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Don Quixote and Sancho Panza , Ill. 1889

The term sidekick ( English for 'henchman', 'kumpan') denotes a special type of supporting role in literature and the performing arts as well as in film , usually the companion of the main character.

Sense and purpose

The sidekick often has the dramaturgical task of letting the hero communicate his thoughts and plans so that the reader or viewer learns about them even without an omniscient narrator or inner monologue. One of the most famous literary figures is Dr. Watson , to whom Sherlock Holmes explains how he solved the cases.

The sidekick also serves the purpose of highlighting the hero's superior abilities. In addition to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are examples of the team Kara Ben Nemsi and Hajji Halef Omar as well as Old Shatterhand and Sam Hawkens by Karl May , Phileas Fogg and Passepartout as well as Frodo Baggins and Samweis Gamdschie (in The Lord of the Rings ).

Those minor characters that are not the hero but the villains are side are less than Sidekick, but rather as minions , henchmen and lackeys called. The English equivalent of the executioners or subservient is the Henchman (z. B. Crabbe and Goyle as Henchmen of Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series).

Since the sidekick is often deliberately created as a contrast to the talented protagonist, it is also called the "idiot friend" in literature.

In the work of Edgar Allan Poe

The American writer Edgar Allan Poe applies u. a. as the inventor of the detective novel. In 1841 Poe's first detective story, The Double Murder, appeared in the Rue Morgue , in which the French private citizen and impoverished noblewoman C. Auguste Dupin uses deduction to clear up a cruel act that the police were unable to clear up. Dupin is accompanied by an unnamed first-person narrator , with whom he - like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson - lived in a shared apartment in Paris. The pair of Dupin first-person narrators appear in two other stories by Poe - in 1842 in The Secret of Marie Rogêt and one last time in 1844 in The Stolen Letter . Almost 50 years later, Dupin and his companion served the British writer Arthur Conan Doyle as a template for his two detectives, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. In Conan Doyle's first detective novel A Study in Scarlet Red, Holmes and Watson even talk about Poe's Dupin and his companion.

In the work of Agatha Christie

In some works by the British crime novelist Agatha Christie , in which the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is the protagonist, the latter is accompanied by the British Captain Hastings . Hastings is consistently portrayed as good-natured (to naive), but occasionally also as slightly dull, although he always turns out to be Poirot's loyal companion.

Another character from Christie's works, namely Miss Marple , the single elderly lady and protagonist of several novels, never had a companion named “Mr. Stringer ". This only appears in the four film adaptations from the 1960s in which Margaret Rutherford played "Miss Marple". Rutherford was married to actor Stringer Davis and insisted that her husband play the role of "Mr. Stringer ”was written into the scripts.

In radio, film and television

A classic of the sidekick is Robin Quivers in Howard Stern's satirical broadcast on New York private radio. Quivers has played the sidekick on the show since 1981. In contrast to the biting, sexist moderator and his quick flow of speech, she was quiet, laughed a lot and never expressed herself sarcastically. Over the years she became a popular figure on the morning radio show.

In the film, those supporting actors are called sidekicks whose characters are designed to please the viewer. Most of the time, these supporting actors are also responsible for the comedy in the film. The sidekick is also predestined to die effectively during the film, especially in a classic western . In the 1930s, the adventure films of Errol Flynn got their comical note from his sidekick Alan Hale .

On television, Sidekick refers to a contact person or assistant to the moderator who is actively involved in the process and with whom the audience should personally identify, e.g. For example, the assistant Maren Gilzer in Glücksrad , Heinz Eckner in Rudi Carrell's show Amlauf Band , William Cohn (and later Ralf Kabelka ) in Neo Magazin Royale , Reno Nonsens in Heinz Schenk's Zum Blauen Bock , Hias in Karl Moik's Musikantenstadl , Palina Rojinski or Olli Schulz in Circus HalliGalli , Herbert Feuerstein in Schmidtanders , Manuel Andrack in the Harald Schmidt Show , Harald Schmidt in Olympia with Waldi & Harry , Karl Dall in Do you understand fun? or "Show intern" Elton in Stefan Raab's TV total .

Deputy Festus Haggen ( Ken Curtis ) became known to the German television audience of the 1960s and 1970s as the always cursing owl on the side of the marshal ( James Arness ) in the western series Smoking Colts .

Some TV series (often even within the fictional world) call the hero's sidekick "appendage".

In children's and animation films in particular , sidekicks can also be animals or objects brought to life, a tradition that goes back to fairy tales like that of Hans Christian Andersen .

In other media

In the comic , the expression refers to a helper placed at the side of the superhero (e.g. Robin in Batman or 'Bucky' [James Buchanan Barnes] in Captain America ).

In rock and pop music

A sidekick (or also a sideman ) is a musician who has created known titles either as a composer and / or lyricist, which a well-known singer performs as “his / her own” song (usually without it to refer to who the song is from). Sometimes he is also a musician in the backing band at concerts by the star.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The "idiot friend" at Agatha Christie accessed on October 13, 2011
  2. ^ Russell H. Fitzgibbon: The Agatha Christie Companion. Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green 1980, ISBN 978-0-879721-38-1 , p. 3.
  3. Dawn B. Sova: Edgar Allan Poe. A to Z. New York 2001, ISBN 0-8160-4161-X , p. 323.
  4. A Study in Scarlet, Part 1, Chapter 2 The Science of Deduction on
  5. ^ Ray Tevis, Brenda Tevis: The Image of Librarians in Cinema 1917–1999. McFarland, Jefferson 2005, ISBN 0-7864-2150-9 , p. 113.
  6. ^ David Chute: Organic Machine. The World of Hayao Miyazaki . In: Film Comment . tape 34 , no. 6 , 1998, pp. 62 .
  7. ^ Andrea Immel: Preface to the Special Issue: "Hidden, but not Forgotten": Hans Christian Andersen's Legacy in the Twentieth Century . In: Marvels & Tales . tape 20 , no. 2 , 2006, p. 150-151 .
  8. My hit, your laurels. Only there instead of in the middle: Carl Carlton celebrated great success as a guitarist and songwriter for Peter Maffay, Udo Lindenberg, Joe Cocker and many other top stars. How does a life as a sidekick feel? Zimmer Eins - the patient magazine of the KBV , No. 3/2019, autumn 2019, pp. 40–41, interview with Carl Carlton . Retrieved October 25, 2019 .