You know them, you love them, you can’t live without them. You never hear them. You never see them. But you come to feel you know them almost as much as you know the flesh and blood character that populate your favorite TV Show. They are the characters on TV that become indelible components of the show and without which there would definitely be something missing from the psychological topography of the series. Which of these TV characters that are never heard or seen are your favorites? And which of them do you wish had taken the path of J enny Piccalo that turned out to be inconceivably ill-chosen?
Juanita: The Andy Griffith Show
During his five -year tenure as deputy sheriff of Mayberry, Barney Fife’s longest lasting relationship was with Thelma Lou. Or was it? Did you forget about his frequent side trips off the road of monogamy taken with Juanita. Juanita was a waitress who worked either at the Bluebird Diner or the Junction Cafe, depending on the episode in she is mentioned. The closest viewers ever get to hearing Juanita is the frequent romantic phone calls that Barney Fife makes to arrange a date. On one occasion, Barney mistakes the male owner of the restaurant for Juanita so it seems safe enough to assume that either Juanita has a deep voice or the owner has a high one. What makes this TV character that is neither heard nor seen especially fascinating is that while watching “The Andy Griffith Show” we may have been witnessing one of the first few examples of a romance between mixed ethnic heritages in American TV history. After all, it seems quite logical to assume that Juanita may have been Hispanic. Not quite the same thing as Lucy and Desi, but by Mayberry standards, such a relationship would be shockingly progressive.
Diane: Twin Peaks
Agent Dale Cooper arrives in Twin Peaks speaking to his tape recorder and addressing the contents to some mysterious Diane. Since any requests for items or information that he records on tape tend to arrive not much longer afterwards, the assumption seems quite clear: Diane is Agent Cooper’s secretary or personal assistant. But is that assumption safe? Diane is even more enigmatic than Juanita. We know absolutely nothing about her, really, except for her name. In fact, for all we ever learn from the show, Diane could be everything from the name Cooper gives his voice recorder to some sort of abstract being to which the distinctly weird Dale must connect in order to train his mind upon the deductive reasoning he requires for his job.
Randy Beaman: Animaniacs
There was this irregularly recurring character on “Animaniacs” that feature this very young kid who spoke in a very distinctive voice about his friend Randy Beaman. That stories that reference Randy Beaman were always informed by a curious mixture of the surreal and the ironic. For instance, according to his friend (whom we have to trust on faith, I guess, since we never actually see Randy) “one time Randy Beaman’s mom’s best friend, whose name is Linda, wanted to get a tan more than anything, so she went to a tanning salon and she stayed in too long and she boiled her guts.”
Maris Crane: Frasier
One of the most enduring and well-known characters who was discussed but never seen was Maris, the wife of Niles Crane. Maris must be considered the psychic cousin of Vera, Norm’s wife on “Cheers” which was the show on which the character of Frasier Crane originated. Vera’s voice was heard once or twice and she even appeared in full body on a Thanksgiving episode in which her face was obscured as a result of a food fight. On the other hand, Maris Crane remained forever an enigma who was often spoke of, but never shown or heard. Which probably would have been doomed to failed casting anyway, judging from the descriptions of Maris as impossibly thin and frail.
Bob Sacamano: Seinfeld
Kramer has a very good friend who is not a part of the gang of four nor is he even among Kramer’s extended group of friends who get a shot at blood and flesh reality. Instead, Bob Sacamano remains forever elusive, but we can put together quite a picture of this TV character who is neither heard nor seen, but about which we know quite a bit . He is a rabies survivor who is also a high talker as a result of a hernia operation gone wrong. Of course, Bob Sacamano’s greatest claim to fame and the origin of his fortune is that he was the one who came up with the solution to why Paddle Ball failed to catch on. It was Bob who came up with the idea of the rubber band to keep the ball from flying away.