This article was written to end the debate about who is the coolest television character of all-time. The answer, my retro friends, is none other than Uncle Jesse. And no I'm not talking about the moonshining Uncle Jesse from The Dukes of Hazzard
. I'm referring to Full House's
own Uncle Jesse. That's right, I went there. Uncle Jesse is way cooler than Arthur 'Fonzie' Fonzarelli, Zack Morris or Shaft could ever hope to be. Heck, throw Mr. T into the equation. What's impressive is that he managed to do this on one of the sappiest and cheesiest television sitcoms of all-time. Wanna know how? Read on...
In the first season of Full House
, Uncle Jesse's last name was Cochran. Then out of nowhere his last name gets changed to Katsopolis without any reasonable explanation. Only a man as cool as Uncle Jesse can pull off trickery like that. Also, his birth name is revealed to be Hermes in season five. Sounds pretty weird, until you find out that Hermes was the messenger of the Greek gods. I'm pretty sure Uncle Jesse also has a direct correspondence with Zeus himself and that means he has the power of lightning bolts on his side.
Uncle Jesse was pure rock and roll. During the show he was a member of two bands, Jesse and the Rippers & Hot Daddy and the Monkey Puppets. While with the Rippers he scored a hit entitled "Forever", a Beach Boys cover song in which they appeared for his music video. He performed at concerts both in Hawaii and Disney Land and was owner of the Smash Club, a nightclub that he attended frequently while growing up. Uncle Jesse could get out of any problem with his wife simply by playing a song for her, as she would melt in her shoes. The man is as smooth as Elvis peanutbutter.
Speaking of his wife, Rebecca Donaldson, have mercy!
She was producer and co-star of Wake Up, San Francisco
, obviously more educated than Uncle Jesse. That didn't stop her from falling head over heels in love with him and having his babies, twin boys named Nicky and Alex. It's tough for a man's pride to swallow being intellectually inferior to his wife, but not to a guy as calm and collected as Uncle Jesse (although there were several episodes where this was an issue).
Uncle Jesse did however pursue his academic dreams by eventually going back to night school to receive his high school diploma. To raise his coolness level up a notch, he graduated as valedictorian and gave his speech on a broken down subway train. Although Uncle Jesse dropped out of high school, he used his immeasurable coolness to pull off a legendary senior prank, go to the high school prom and high school reunion.
Uncle Jesse did it all. He was an exterminator, an advertising executive, a DJ for the radio show Rush Hour Renegades
, a nightclub owner and a musician. Even though it already turned out to be invented, Uncle Jesse came up with an ingenious way to keep hairspray out of your face by using motorcycle helmet screens with handles. He truly was a Renaissance Man.
In most cases, cool people have hair to die for. Uncle Jesse is no exception. He was obsessed with having a great head of hair and it showed. One of his trademark phrases was "Watch the hair!" He even named his comb Mr. Goodparts and was caught on video giving his hair a peptalk. Sounds crazy, but Uncle Jesse's hair could do no wrong. How many guys look that good in a mullet? Which brings up the obvious point that Uncle Jesse was a chick magnet, both before and after meeting Rebecca.
Uncle Jesse was a decent mechanic and even rode a motorcycle. Not to mention, he wore a leather jacket. Hello! That automatically raises your coolness level up a few points. In one episode, an old friend visits and they reminisce about their reckless days from the past when Uncle Jesse's nickname was Dr. Dare. He planned to attempt a dangerous motorcycle stunt on the rooftop of a building until Rebecca showed up and changed his mind. The man has priorities, folks.
Uncle Jesse was a true family man. After his sister died at the hands of a drunk driver, he moved in to the Tanner household to help Danny raise his three daughters - D.J., Stephanie & Michelle. That's quite a sacrifice for such a rebel. He formed a particularly strong bond with Michelle, the youngest of the three. He only seemed to shed tears with Michelle (e.g. - when he moved to Rebecca's apartment and when his grandfather, Papouli, dies in his sleep). How does one remain cool even after singing the Teddy Bear song every night and having pink bunnies plastered all over your bedroom wall? You're named Uncle Jesse, that's how.
Uncle Jesse is so cool that he went sky diving on his wedding day and crash landed in the back of a tomato truck before going to jail. Show me any man that has the balls to do that on his wedding day and I'll show you......Uncle Jesse.
Uncle Jesse was a firm believer in helping those less fortunate, which is why he became best friends with Joey Gladstone. Consider it a dork outreach program. Why else would he hang out with a cartoon impersonating, always broke, can't hold on to a girlfriend, basement dwelling fool? Don't even get me started on that "Cut-it-out!" nonsense or annoying Mr. Woodchuck voice. Neither were ever funny.
Uncle Jesse also lived with the Tanners RENT-FREE in exchange for helping out around the household. Thank you Danny Tanner! That's as cool as the other side of the pillow.
Not only did Uncle Jesse have Rebecca and Kimmy Gibbler jonesing after him, he was also a hit with animals. When Michelle bought a donkey (named Shorty) with her lemonade money and it proved to be a nuissance, the only way the donkey could be kept quiet was if Uncle Jesse sang the Three's Company
theme song to it. There was also Danny's sister's chimpanzee (named Ginger) that followed Uncle Jesse everywhere, even into his bed.
Other reasons Uncle Jesse is the cat's meow:
~ he likes cherry-flavored Snow Cones
~ the goodnight kiss with Rebecca on their first date on Valentine's Day (he's also a romantic) lasted three hours
~ he drives a red Ford Mustang
~ his single "Forever" climbed to #1 on the charts in Japan
~ he's responsible for getting one of Stephanie's friends (Charles) taken away from a violent father
~ when he chaperoned Michelle's class on a field trip, his "fun group" was responsible for destroying a priceless dinosaur skeleton. That's pretty bad ass
~ he dated Rebecca for two years before finally meeting her parents, the night before their wedding!
~ he hit the winning shot in a charity basketball game
~ he bungee jumped from a bridge
~ when he wrecked Danny's car and attempted to buy him the same model, he went as high as bidding $22,000 yet he walked away paying only $11,500. The man is a master negotiator
~ he was very protective of his sister before she died, going as far as beating up Danny Tanner when they eloped
~ along with the guitar, Jesse can also play the drums, saxophone and piano
~ he had a doll made in his likeness
And so on, and so on, and so on.
Imagine how many more cool things Uncle Jesse could have accomplished if Full House
stayed on the air a little longer. My guess is he'd probably win a few Grammy Awards, buy Graceland mansion and open his own hair salon product line. I guess we'll never know. The one thing I do know is that Uncle Jesse's coolness is unrivaled on television. Contrary to popular belief, it's Uncle Jesse and not that little ankle biter Michelle that keeps the reruns syndicated pretty much daily. So if you want to be cool, turn on ABC Family or Nick at Nite and take lessons from the king, Uncle Jesse Katsopolis.
Many thanks to www.wwujd.com for inspiring me to write this article.