Straight Man

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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    "Well, the straight guy is never given enough credit...[Bud] Abbott gets no credit for framing a gag, for the architecture, for the support, for the drive. He does everything except the punchline; he's amazing."


    Somebody has to set up the joke so the funny guy can deliver the punch line. That's the Straight Man. He rarely gets the funny lines, but has to have impeccable timing and delivery so that the comic (the other half of a comedy duo) can hit it out of the park. Bud Abbott (widely considered the greatest Straight Man of all time) had to say "Who's on first" with just the right degree of earnestness and irritation so that Lou Costello could get big laughs saying "Whaddya askin' me for?".

    The best Straight Men are so good they can sometimes get laughs just by delivering a straight line so well the audience knows what's coming. (This is essentially the basis of Bob Newhart's "telephone" routines: he was playing the Straight Man to nothing.) Other straight men in comedy duos have included George Burns (with Gracie Allen), Dean Martin (with Jerry Lewis), and Dan Rowan (with Dick Martin of Laugh-In).

    In less-comedic works, the Straight Man is a Foil for the Bunny Ears Lawyer, Magnificent Bastard or Loveable Rogue.

    If the Straight Man is the lead in an ensemble like a Power Trio or Five-Man Band or even a show with Loads and Loads of Characters, this can lead to them suffering Designated Protagonist Syndrome by being overshadowed by the rest of the cast who get more interesting plot roles and character development.

    The term can apply to women, but "comedic foil" is a more popular unisex term. In fact women in comic pairings have frequently played this role over the last few decades usually with Women Are Wiser coming into play.

    In TV comedy, a Straight Man is frequently one half of an Odd Couple.

    See also The Comically Serious, Straight Man and Wise Guy and Only Sane Man. Also Deadpan Snarker, which quite a few comedic foils are. If multiple characters take turns playing Straight Man, they have a game of Sanity Ball.

    Not to be confused with a heterosexual man, as many, many examples on this page show.

    Examples of Straight Man include:

    Anime and Manga

    • In Clannad, Tomoya often takes the role of the "Straight Man" in regards to pranking other characters, particularly Sunohara
    • Yomi and Nyamo, Azumanga Daioh.
    • Shimura Shinpachi, Gintama. Stated by the narrator during Shinpachi's very first appearance onscreen.
    • Kagami from Lucky Star plays the "straight man" to Konata.
    • Kyon is the straight man for Haruhi's crazyness. Though it has to be noted that Kyon is damn hilarious on his own, too.
    • Tenten, from Naruto, seems to be a Straight Man for her genin team, since Neji is the Arrogant Kung Fu Guy (and occasional Comically Serious guy), and Gai and Lee are... Gai and Lee.
      • Although after his Heel Face Turn, Neji sometimes joins her and they form a collective straight pair (no pun intended) to Gai and Lee.
      • Amusingly enough, the Eight-Tailed Ox, an extremely powerful ancient demon, plays this to its host, the Crazy Awesome Adult Child Killer Bee.
    • In Sailor Moon, Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask is everyone's straight man.
    • In Mahou Sensei Negima, anyone with darkness as a personality trait (Negi, Evangeline) or who has Black as their tonus, or Pactio colour (Setsuna, Yue, Chisame) will fill this role.
      • Eishun fills this role during the flashbacks, and Akira occasionally fills this role within the group of Muggle girls.
    • In Slayers, Zelgadis is the straight man for Amelia. Lina and Gourry, meanwhile, are a fluid pair, each one switching between straight man and comic role depending on the routine.
      • Gourry is usually straight man when Lina is plotting something or when she goes on one of her rampages of destruction. Lina is usually straight man when thickheaded Gourry tries to understand something.
        • Also, Gourry frequently tries to abandon the straight man role by straight-up telling jokes. These are always awful, and leave Lina exasperated. Gourry ends up disheartened, though ironically, doing this puts him in the comic role like he wanted.
    • For some reason, Teana of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha usually gets this role in Fan Web Comics. This was pretty much acknowledged by the people behind the franchise when they gave us an official Nanoha parody Yonkoma where Teana played the straight man for everyone. Even Fate. See.
    • Chika to everyone but especially Miu in Ichigo Mashimaro.
    • Excel Saga: Watanabe are Matsuya are the straight men for the somewhat hyperactive Casanova Wannabe Iwata, and, arguably, Sumiyoshi acts like this for all three of them when Watanabe and Matsuya are of the Only Sane Man. Excel and Hyatt play Straight Woman to each other, as both have their bizzare quirks that rarely overlap, and to Il Palazzo, who is the Comically Serious.
    • In Nerima Daikon Brothers, the very sedate Ichiro typically plays the straight man for the other two members of the group—although he has some of his own strange quirks.
    • Often, Zoro of One Piece is this to Luffy and even Sanji at times.
    • Sumi from Wife and Wife plays this role for her Cloudcuckoolander wife, Kina, making her a Gay Woman Straight Man.
    • Haré from Hare+Guu plays this role for pretty much everyone in the series.
    • Koganei is the straight man to Amasawa's boke on-screen in The Weatherman Is My Lover.
    • Piccolo from Dragon Ball certainly seems to fall into this role, particularly when Gotenks is involved.
    • Himeko from Sket Dance and she takes it's very seriously.
    • Transformers Cybertron: Jetfire is the straight man, with various other characters up to and including Optimus Prime and even Primus playing the wise guy role.
    • Liquid from Papuwa, as well as Shintaro from the original series.
    • Beauty and Gasser from Bobobo-Bo Bo-bobo.
    • Sasshi Imamiya and Arumi Asahina from Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
    • Fuyuki Hinata from Sgt Frog.
    • Daily Lives of High School Boys have Tadakuni towards the more oddball Hidenori and Yoshitake, and Tadakuni's Distaff Counterpart Habara towards Yanagin and Ikushima (who are Hidenori and Yoshitake's Distaff Counterpart respectively).

    Comic Books

    Films -- Live Action

    • Margaret Dumont, the classic foil for the Marx Brothers, especially Groucho. Zeppo Marx himself was a straight man for his brothers, as he had a non-comedic stage persona, but all the requisite timing and skill.
    • Bud Abbott from Abbott and Costello films and radio, as mentioned.
    • In an innovative subversion, Airplane! had no comedic actors; in effect the entire cast was straight men reacting to the ridiculous situations they're put in (except Johnny, the fruitloop in the control tower). Yes, even Leslie Nielsen. Before Airplane!, he primarily acted in horror B-movies (anyone remember Creepshow?).
      • Creepshow came two years after Airplane!, which makes his turn as a murderous cuckold all the more unsettling.
      • He was in Forbidden Planet, however. That was anything but a comedy.
        • One Genre Savvy journalist even went so far as to say that Nielsen's job description was unchanged for his early dramatic roles and the comedic roles which he became better known for: both hinged on his ability to say completely ridiculous lines with a straight face.
    • Steve Carell as the eponymous character in The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
      • His role has some overtly comedic moments, as in the famous body-waxing scene, in which it's the ladies doing the waxing who are playing the "straight man" role.
    • Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean plays the Straight Man to Jack Sparrow.
    • Spencer Tracy in It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
    • Jason Lee, in pretty much any role except Vanilla Sky (where he was horribly misused).
    • Jack Lemmon plays the straight man to Walter Matthau in The Odd Couple and Grumpy Old Men.
    • Arguably, Larry from The Three Stooges, since his style of humor was often to merely react to the extreme characterizations of Moe and Curly (and later Shemp).
      • It is probably more accurate to say that the miscellaneous guest actors in the shorts constituted the straight men, who (like the supporting characters in Marx Bros. films) are there to act appalled at the comedians' antics.
    • In a less obviously comedic example, Paul McGann as Marwood/"I" plays a pitch-perfect straight man to Richard E. Grant (Withnail) in Withnail and I, grounding his manic performance in a solid emotional reality; the film wouldn't work nearly as well as it does without him.
    • Kelly in Mystery Team to the wild and zany eponymous trio
    • There's a good chance that if he's in a comedy, Arnold Schwarzenegger will play the Straight Man. This is particulary apparent in Twins and Junior, where in both he plays the straight man to Danny DeVito, but can also been seen in films like Last Action Hero and Jingle All the Way.


    • On the Discworld, Rincewind and Sam Vimes seem to play the straight man for the entire world.
    • The trope is lampshaded and identified by name in the Dresden Files novel Blood Rites when Harry observes that one of the incidental characters is a born Straight Man and could provide some enterprising wise guy with perfect straight lines for life.

    Live-Action TV

    • Monty Python's Flying Circus often subverts this by making the Straight Man even stranger. A recurring character called The Colonel often served this role, shutting down a sketch partway through because he felt that he hadn't delivered a single funny line.
      • John Cleese is the straightest man in the world.
      • Graham Chapman, generally, played the role straight, although, he had a more active role in the humor than most straight men. Which is funny because he was gay.
      • In the Motor Insurance sketch, there are subtitles that say "Straight Man" and "Another Straight Man" referring to the sketch's... well, straight men. And even there, it's subverted to hell and back.
        • "Excuse me... do I have any more lines?
    • In the uber-famous Sarah Palin-Katie Couric sketch in SNL, Amy Poehler's Katie Couric works as the quintessential Straight (Wo)Man to Tina Fey's ridiculous Palin. Hilarity ensues.
    • Mindy on Mork and Mindy, as the only human who can deal with Mork's silliness without feeling threatened by it.
    • Larry on Perfect Strangers.
      • Averted after the first season or so, as Larry's wacky schemes ended up driving the plots more and more often. By the time the show ended, both characters were getting an equal number of gags. Still, Larry's original job as straight man got lampshaded near the end of the series in an Imagine Spot where Balki and he play Laurel and Hardy, respectively.
    • Face is almost always the Straight Man to counterbalance Murdock's antics, especially when they do scams together.
    • Oscar is usually the Straight Man to Felix on The Odd Couple, except when the joke is based on Oscar's messy habits; then the roles are reversed.
    • On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart plays the straight man to the various fake correspondents, who themselves tend to conduct interviews where they make their subjects unwitting straight men. Stewart also uses footage (sometimes out of context) and reports of various politicians, newmakers and media whores as straight men for his own punchlines, but it could be argued that sometimes what they are doing is so outrageous that he can only react as an incredulous straight man even for them.
      • Stewart also plays the straight man to Stephen Colbert whenever he does tosses over to Colbert's show.
    • From the second series onwards, Rowan Atkinson's portrayal of Blackadder was more or less a straight man for the characters of Baldrick, Percy and George. Except when he was saying something snarky.
    • Burton "Gus" Guster is Straight Man to Shawn Spencer on Psych.
      • The title of straight man is passed around to everyone that isn't Shawn, as Gus is part of Shawn's jokes as often as he's Straight man to them. In those cases usually the straight man reverts to Lassie or Shawn's dad.
    • Hugh Laurie would usually (though by no means always) fill this role on A Bit of Fry and Laurie. This is appropriate, because Stephen Fry is not a straight man.
    • Flipped around on Jeeves and Wooster, where Fry plays the incomparable Jeeves to Laurie's goofy Wooster.
    • Jamie is the Straight Man to Adam's eccentricity in MythBusters.
      • According to the other wiki, Adam was cast for co-host of the show because Jamie felt he would be too dry of a host on his own.
    • Similarly, James May to both Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond on Top Gear.
    • Everyone at the 4077th can fill this role for Hawkeye when needed, but the classics were Major Burns and Col. Flagg.
    • A casual glance at Morecambe and Wise often leads people to conclude Ernie is the Straight Man, but in fact the two of them often exchanged and transcended the role, as in this exchange:

    Eric: How are we going to play the Three Musketeers when there's only two of us?
    Ernie: Easy, I'll play one, and you can play the other two.
    Eric: Can I really? That's very good of you, Ern!

    • Rene Auberjonois' character on Boston Legal is a combination Straight Man and Only Sane Man.
    • The comedic duo Mitchell and Web generally have Mitchell as the straight man.
    • Ironically, Jerry is usually the straight man to his wacky friends on Seinfeld. despite being a stand-up comedian himself.
    • This gets used a lot in the shows Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister. Essentially, Hacker and Humphrey are both playing the Straight Man role to Bernard. The actor who played Bernard has even gone so far as to say in an interview that, though his role was technically the most minor of the three main roles, he feels that he got the best job, because Hacker and Humphrey would often have extremely long sections of memorized, straight dialogue (which, given Humphrey's penchant for Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, is all the more impressive) before he jumped in with a short, but often hilarious, punchline.
    • Mary Tyler Moore's MTM studio was prone to cast one sane woman as a foil for a clown car worth of idiotic or comical male primary characters, such as her character's boss on her eponymous sitcom or just about every character except the handful of sane ladies (Jennifer, Bailey, and the station manager's elderly mum) on WKRP in Cincinnati
      • Get Smart follows this same pattern of "one sane woman"; Agent 99 is a lone intelligent character as foil to a ship of fools (86, 13, Chief). The series jumps the shark upon moving from NBC to CBS for its ill-fated final season where the "99" character, as the one sane figure, is effectively demoted from secret agent to yesterday's little woman and mum of twins.
    • Castiel on Supernatural, especially in Season 5. He doesn't understand when the other characters are being funny and/or sarcastic, which makes his sincere replies hilariously adorable.
      • In earlier seasons, Sam often played the Straight Man to Dean.
    • Gordon Kaye as Rene Artois on English sitcom 'Allo 'Allo! was the Only Sane Man in a small town in Nazi-occupied France, forever getting caught up in hare-brained schemes by Those Wacky Nazis and members of La Résistance.
    • The calm, introspective Sargeant Wilson was straight man to the bombastic Captain Mainwearing on Dads Army, another WWII English sitcom (this time about the Home Guard).
    • Friends. Although Chandler was more of a Deadpan Snarker, he was definitely the straight man to Joey's foil. In one case, he was able to pull it off without even saying anything, as the group prepared to head to London:

    Chandler: You got your passport?
    Joey: Yeah, in the third drawer of my dresser. Wouldn't want to lose that.
    Chandler: (just stares at him)
    Joey: ...oh! (runs back to his room)

    • Jim, Pam, Toby, Stanley, and Oscar on the US version of The Office all serve as as Straight Man/Woman to the wackiness that emanates from various corners of the office.
    • Carly in iCarly. Carly is something of a "Jerry Seinfeld" example, as the show is named after her. Carly provides the setup for most of Spencer and Sam's jokes. Her main comedic role is to deliver rejections to Dogged Nice Guy Freddie, who has a crush on her. Even so, half the time Sam delivers them instead. They also get phased out during Season 3 and 4, leaving her to suffer Designated Protagonist Syndrome.
    • Mark and Ann on Parks and Recreation. This unfortunately makes them one the most boring Beta Couples of all time.
    • Rodney Trotter on Only Fools and Horses.
    • Frasier and Niles, while getting their own funny lines often enough, tend to act as this for Martin in Frasier.
    • Rupert Giles in early seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • Colonal Tigh in Battlestar Galactica.
    • In the first and second season of Angel, Angel often played the straight man to Cordelia and Wesley, although Wesley would sometimes play the Straight Man himself in exchanges with Cordelia. Then in Season 5, when Cordy left the show, Angel got to play the Straight Man to Spike.
    • Greg to his wife especially, and the rest of the cast in general in Dharma and Greg. Lampshaded a few times.
    • Britta on Community has a reputation as a buzzkill.

    Newspaper Comics

    • FoxTrot zig-zags this. In the early years of the strip, Roger and Andy were both rather straight, with Andy occasionally being the funny one. However, someone slipped an Idiot Ball into Roger Fox's shorts and he never removed it, so Andy was pretty much the straight one throughout most of the comic's run, although there have been notable instances where Roger was the straight one.
    • Hobbes also acts like this to Calvin; although there are times where Calvin can identify a little bit of quirkiness from Hobbes.

    Professional Wrestling

    • Vladimir Kozlov acted as one to Santino Marella.
    • When Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder teamed together, they were semi-regulars on John Morrison and The Miz's online show The Dirt Sheet. Hawkins would play the Straight Man to Ryder who was essentially playing the "tool" gimmick that he would adopt on ECW.

    Puppet Shows

    • One of the all-time great straight men is Bert, the Straight Man to Ernie on Sesame Street (though he did deliver the punchline occasionally, usually in his Aside Glance at the end of the sketch).
    • PPDA, the puppet for Patrick Poivre D'Arvor, acts as the straight man for absolutely everybody else in Les Guignols de l'info.
    • Kermit the Frog from The Muppets is the famous Straight Man to everyone else in the cast. You have to feel sorry for what he has to put up with sometimes, especially from Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Animal... The guy doesn't really get a break.


    • Bob and Ray were an exception to this, as each man could simultaneously be the straight man and the goof, all in the same routine.
    • Bud Abbott from Abbott and Costello most famously in the "Who's on First?" routine.
    • In Cabin Pressure, Captain Martin Crieff is usually this to his co-pilot Douglas.
    • Neddie Seagoon, played by Harry Secombe, was pretty much the Straight Man to the entire cast of The Goon Show—when he wasn't joining in the general surreal mess and leaving the announcer of the day (especially if it was Wallace Greenslade) as the Straight Man instead.
    • Hamish and Andy has Andy
    • The title character of The Jack Benny Show typically played the straight man to everyone else in the cast. As Benny said, "I don't care who gets the laughs on my show, as long as the show is funny."

    Recorded and Stand-up Comedy

    • Initially, George Burns had his wife Gracie Allen in the Straight Man role in their comedy act... until he realized most of the laughter was at her set-up lines and not the actual jokes. He switched roles with her and spent the next several decades as one of the classic straight men.
    • Carl Reiner to Mel Brooks' 2000-years-old man is another classic of the trope.
    • Dean Martin to Jerry Lewis.
    • Dick Smothers to Tom Smothers.
    • Jeff Dunham to his puppets. Given that he is voicing the puppets, it is regularly Lampshaded that he is being the straight man to himself.

    Video Games

    • Phoenix Wright in the series of the same name, who appears to act as the straight man for everyone.
      • And in the fourth game, Apollo takes on this role, even playing the straight man to Phoenix.
      • And Edgeworth in case 5 of Trials and Tribulations and Investigations. So basically the protagonist is always the world's straight man.
    • Peter Puppy in Earthworm Jim, who also qualifies as a Deadpan Snarker at times is usually more serious and sensitive than Jim.
    • Sam from Sam and Max. This becomes a plot point in one episode where a villain specifically wants a straight man to help out with his plan, and Sam is the perfect kind of easy-to-manipulate character who just does what he's told.
    • A significant percentage of Merrill's jokes in Dragon Age 2 come from her interpreting Silly!Hawke's sarcastic remarks literally.
    • From Dragon Age Origins, we have Wade & Herren. As confirmed by the developers, Herren is the straight man while Wade is the funny man.

    Web Animation

    • In the original Red vs. Blue series, this role generally fell to Church, Grif, Simmons and Tex (although Tucker and Sarge had their moments too). In the spinoff, Reconstruction, while the old characters are unchanged, Agent Washington, the new guy, fits the bill much more so.

    Web Comics

    • Gamal from Men in Hats.
    • Can't leave Roy from the The Order of the Stick off this list. As the Only Sane Man in a party with a sociopathic halfling, a Spoony Bard, a greedy rogue (is there any other kind?), a dwarf who's afraid of trees, and a power-obsessed elf, Roy has played the Straight Man to each at least once and countless times for most, especially halfling Belkar and bard Elan. Roy has proven to be so essential to the comedic chemistry of the The Order of the Stick that his temporary death left the group fractured and not nearly as funny as normal.
      • Not as funny as normal in what context? If you mean the comic's comedic value has truly declined because of that... I'd say Your Mileage May Vary. If you mean the group doesn't act as funny, happy or go-lucky as cohesively on account of that, that is true.
      • While Roy was dead and the gang was split, Haley became a Straight Man to Belkar and Celia, while Hinjo became the Straight Man for the others. Haley still often plays the Straight Man to Elan.
    • Cherry is the Straight Man to Hero in RPG World. She is, in fact, prophesied to be the Straight Man for the entire world, as she is the only one who thinks there's something strange about a world where all battles are turn-based and groups look like their most important member when viewed from afar, also making her The Chosen One.
    • Shortpacked has theorised that Batman can make anything funny, because he is the ultimate Straight Man. When you consider that his arch-nemesis is the Joker, we may have the oddest Odd Couple in history...
      • Ethan in the main storyline originally played Straight Man to the rest of the cast (even though he's not straight), but as time went on, his quirks became more pronounced, and now he's just as wacky as everyone else (albeit with more frequent moments of clarity). Now his role is filled by the newcomer, Jacob (who actually is straight).
    • Zoe often takes up the Straight Man role in Sluggy Freelance, thanks to being the Only Sane Woman.
    • Ozy in Ozy and Millie is usually this to Millie. And his dad. And Avery. Millie is sometimes this to Felicia.
    • Elliot or Sarah in El Goonish Shive. Susan counts more as a Deadpan Snarker.
    • Louise in Miscellaneous Error serves as the Straight Man to her Chaotic Stupid older brother.

    Web Original

    Western Animation

    • Huey Freeman of The Boondocks had become the straight man of Riley Freeman, Robert "Granddad" Freeman... and even Uncle Ruckus.
    • Carey Means, who plays Frylock on Aqua Teen Hunger Force, has the added privilege of playing the Straight Man to lines that usually don't even make sense spoken by anthropomorphic food items and stoned two-dimensional aliens.
    • Ditto for Charles Foster Ofdenson, who plays Straight Man to Dethklok and Only Sane Man to the Metalocalypse universe.
    • Raffles the border collie from Rover Dangerfield is easygoing and slightly naive compared to the title joker.
    • The concept is parodied in the first episode of Tiny Toon Adventures when Hampton is being interviewed by Buster and Babs in which he rattles off a list of characteristics of the straight man, presenting them as his own personal qualities.
    • Ulrich of Code Lyoko often plays the Straight Man to Odd's antics.
    • Puck of Gargoyles said of his Owen persona, "The Trickster has played many roles, but never that of the straight man."
    • Brian of Family Guy infamy started out as a simple foil for Peter and/or Stewie's wackyness. The evolution of Brian's character gives us an interesting case study in exactly what level of Character Development is appropriate for these types. If all they ever do episode after episode is set up other character's jokes and snark at their buffoonery, you run the risk of having a Flat Character. Going too far in the other direction, though, takes us into much more malignant territory, as giving too much exposure to a character whose main purpose is appearing more sensible and intelligent than others will eventually necessitate the writers revealing their own prejudices about just what they think an intelligent or sensible way of life is.
    • In The Simpsons, Lisa has the thankless task of playing foil to her entire town. In the early days she and Bart were a classic Straight Man and Wise Guy combo, and while this is still true, she often finds herself playing straight to almost everyone else in Springfield. Luckily, she is usually excellent at it. Occasionally, especially in later seasons, Lisa's more extreme personality traits will come to the fore and she gets to have someone else play off her for a change.
      • Lisa was in danger of falling into the same trap as Brian (see above) in later seasons, as she began to turn into a Soapbox Sadie. In more recent years the writers have dialed her back to her earlier, more sensible persona; she hardly ever mentions politics anymore, and she has once again become the straight man.
    • Stan Marsh from South Park is the Straight Man to the WHOLE town in later seasons.
      • While Stan is probably the "straightest" character, others exist too. Kyle is Straight Man almost as much as Stan, especially compared to Cartman. Sharon will often play Straight Woman to her less sane husband Randy. And in general, kids are often the Straight Boys and Girls to the town's idiot adults, though at times the Mayor will do this too (despite at other times being an Authority in Name Only or be just as stupid as them).
        • The premise of the entire show basically boils down to the idea that all kids are straight men to adults: they stand on the sidelines and comment with bewilderment on the insanity that is the adult world.
    • Kim Possible is a laser focused Straight Man to her Sidekick Ron, both comedically and in the action/adventure scenes.
    • On Invader Zim, Zim's insanity is usually contrasted to Dib, though his base's supercomputer or even GIR can play this role in a pinch. In general, though, everyone will play this to everyone else at some time or another, because they're all at least slightly insane.
      • When Dib needs to be the insane one when trying to warn everyone about Zim, his sister Gaz provides the foil.
        • Both of them regularly foil their mad scientist father whenever he comes up with a new invention.
    • Jimmy Two-Shoes is usually this to the other characters, acting fairly normal (for him) so that Beezy, Heloise, or Lucius can play off of him.
    • Classic Disney Shorts have a trio composed of two comedic characters, the unlucky and irritable Donald Duck, and the clumsy and sometimes stupid Goofy... and the everyman Mickey Mouse.
    • Ever since soon after he was created, it has been customary to pair Daffy Duck with a Straight Man—usually Porky Pig, who has been the go-to straight man for Looney Tunes ever since his creation years earlier—but later on Bugs Bunny occasionally played straight man to his then more abrasive personality.
      • Much like his Looney Tunes predecessor, Hamton Pig in Tiny Toon Adventures often plays this role, often, again, to Daffy's counterpart Plucky, though one notable plot played Plucky as suffering straight man to Hamton's ridiculously nuclear family.
    • The cast of Phineas and Ferb is ridiculously wacky, to the point that even more sensible characters tend to become weirder as the seasons progress. The most sensible and dead-pan of all of them is probably Perry. That's right; the green secret agent platypus is this show's straight man.
      • And, of course, Linda, despite her own goofy moments, plays the perfect straight woman to Candance's obsessive craziness. Of course, it's the straight woman attitude that is causing a lot of that craziness...