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-> '''Boomstick:''' Wiz, I'm the funny one. Just stick to being boring.\\
'''Wiz:''' Aww....
-->-- '''WebAnimation/DeathBattle''', Wolverine vs. Raiden

An oft-recurring trope in comedy. The Straight Man and Wise Guy are an inseparable OddCouple duo who play off each other for comedy. The StraightMan approaches everything seriously ([[TheComicallySerious even things that are patently ludicrous]]) and presents a straightforward, sane, conventional point of view. The Wise Guy is a jokester who answers the Straight Man's stodgy pronouncements with puns, wisecracks, and wackiness.

Oftentimes, this will involve one bringing up a topic of discussion, only to have the other interrupt, correct, or otherwise play foil to him. Traditionally the Straight Man brings up a serious topic and the Wise Guy riffs on it, but sometimes the Wise Guy brings up a loony topic, the Straight Man objects to its lunacy, and the Wise Guy riffs on ''that''. Though often misunderstood, the point is for the Straight Man to "set up" a situation which the Wise Guy can joke about. The Straight Man typically isn't much of a DeadpanSnarker, though he may have his moments.

See also BokeAndTsukkomiRoutine, where a foolish character sets up the jokes for a straight man to correct, often violently. Often paired with FatAndSkinny; usually the skinny one's the straight man, but not always.

[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'': Barnaby serves as the StraightMan to Kotetsu's Wise Guy.


[[folder: Comedians and Comic Duos ]]

* Creator/AbbottAndCostello: The classic American comedic duo played off of this almost exclusively, with Abbott serving as the StraightMan to Costello's Wise Guy. Their WhosOnFirst routine is a classic example.
* Creator/GeorgeBurns and Gracie Allen used a variant: StraightMan And TheDitz. Interestingly, Gracie Allen was initially the StraightMan in their comedy act...until George Burns realized her set-up lines got more laughter than the actual jokes. He switched roles with her and spent the next several decades as one of the classic straight men.
%%* Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau: From ''Film/TheFortuneCookie'' to ''Film/GrumpyOldMen''
* Music/DeanMartin served as the StraightMan to Creator/JerryLewis's Wise Guy in their collaborations.
* Creator/LaurelAndHardy: They mixed StraightManAndWiseGuy with slapstick physical comedy. In either case, Oliver Hardy (the fat one) was the straight man.
* Creator/MelBrooks and Carl Reiner: Especially in their legendary "2,000 year old man" routine, which involved a news reporter (Reiner, the straight man) interviewing a Jewish fellow who happened to be 2,000 years old (Brooks, the wise guy.) This routine was actually created on the fly; the two spontaneously came up with it at a party.
* ''The Mark & Brian Radio Program'':
** Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps often had this dynamic during the twenty-five year run of this show, with Mark as the Straight Man & Brian as the Wise Guy. Often during sketches it's Brian who would perform whatever outlandish character they needed while Mark interviewed him [[{{Corpsing}} and tried to keep a straight face]].
** When Mark retired from radio, Brian also left their radio station and joined with longtime friend Jill Whelan to produce ''Podcast/TheBrianAndJillShow.'' However, as self-described "Comedy Soul Mates", Brian & Jill are often both wise guys and rely on staff members Donnie and Kathy to provide the Straight Men.
* Creator/MarxBrothers: In the movies, Groucho was always the Wise Guy; whoever he was talking to (except for Chico) would be his Straight Man (or in Margaret Dumont's case, Straight Woman).
%%* ''Mike & Mike in the Morning'': Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on this ESPN Radio show.
* ''Creator/MorecambeAndWise'': Morecambe (Wise guy) and Wise (Straight man). However, they are often cited as a SubvertedTrope in their later (and funniest) years--one description was "Ernie Wise is a wise guy who isn't funny, Eric Morecambe is a straight man who is".
* Traditional clown routines often would work in pairs where one -- typically in whiteface -- would act as straight man to the wilder, more obviously silly other. In circuses, the part of the straight man could also e. g. be taken by the ringmaster.
* ''Creator/PennAndTeller'' have a variation on this setup - in terms of the spoken comedy, Penn is the Wise Guy. However, in the physical acting and trickery, it's Teller who's the wise guy while Penn guides us through the trick.
* The Pork Chop: This duo plays with this trope, alternating between the roles of Straight Man and Wise Guy after every punchline is delivered.


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'':
** SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker invariably plays the Wise Guy to Batman's Straight Man... a psychotic, murderous, twisted genius of a Wise Guy, and an obsessive, violent, angst-ridden Straight Man. Mental health is not the strong point of the Batman oeuvre. Given that that Batman is the TheComicallySerious of the entire DC universe, he plays the straight man to the more flamboyant of his RoguesGallery, and often other superheroes such as the wisecracking ComicBook/TheFlash as well.
** [[ServileSnarker Alfred]] also serves as a more snarky version of the wise guy to Master Bruce and is quite possibly one of the only level heads in Gotham.
* ''ComicBook/CableAndDeadpool'': This is the main focus of this comic book series. {{Deadpool}} is a crazy, NoFourthWall character who loves pop-culture references and extreme violence. ComicBook/{{Cable}} is a serious leader who barely tolerates Deadpool's antics.
* ''ComicBook/SunnyvilleStories'': Samantha plays the straight role to Rusty; essentially, Rusty says or does something funny and Sam reacts.
* ''ComicBook/{{WITCH}}'': Has Cornelia as the Straight Girl to Irma's Wise Girl. They're also each other's SitcomArchNemesis.
%%* ''Howard and Nester'': Formed such a duo in the long running Nintendo Power strip, with the difference being that Howard never physically "corrected" Nester - the environment (or an enemy nearby) corrected Nester for him.
* In the ''ComicBook/StarWarsDarthVader'' comics, this is basically the dynamic between Vader and Dr Aphra. She's a snarky, adaptable archaeologist / thief, he's a 7'' impassive BlackKnight.
* ComicBook/SpiderMan is the wise guy to most of his villains, much to their annoyance, and ''almost'' any hero [[https://davidmann95.tumblr.com/post/146981189181 when they team up]]. The exceptions are the Human Torch, where they basically take turns annoying each other, and Deadpool, who's so out there it gives even Spidey a headache.


[[folder: Film ]]

* [[Film/TheViewAskewniverse Most]] of Creator/KevinSmith's films have [[ThoseTwoGuys Jay and Silent Bob]], with Silent Bob being the Straight Man.
* Creator/SimonPegg and Nick Frost: In ''Series/{{Spaced}}'', ''Film/ShaunOfTheDead'', ''Film/HotFuzz'' and anything else they do. In ''Film/TheWorldsEnd'', however, these roles are reversed.
%%* Creator/HaroldRamis and Creator/BillMurray in ''Film/{{Stripes}}'' and the ''Franchise/{{Ghostbusters}}'' films.
%%* Creator/DavidSpade and Creator/ChrisFarley on ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' and their films ''Film/TommyBoy'' and ''Film/BlackSheep1996''.
* Stephen Fry often plays straight man to Hugh Laurie whenever they are in the same production.
* ''Film/{{Revolution 1989}}'': Desmond "Olivier" Dingle is the straight man and Wallace is the wise guy.
* Rowan and Martin also used this in a straightforward way. Dan Rowan was the straight man; Dick Martin, the Wise Guy.
* ''Franchise/{{Shrek}}'' has Shrek & Donkey, with Shrek as the cynical and pragmatic Straight Man to Donkey's CloudCuckooLander Wise Guy.
* The V film in ''Film/ABCsOfDeath2'' is a {{Deconstruction}} of this trope; a man is on a Skype call with his girlfriend while on vacation with his best friend. Said sleazy best friend, however, starts to show and tell her what they had been doing that night, including sleeping with two prostitutes, with the StraightMan trying to stop him throughout.
* Hot blooded [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Marty Mcfly]] and ingenious [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Dr. Emmett Brown]] in ''Series/{{Back To The Future}}''.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' has Jake as the team's natural leader as he is brave, responsible, cool under pressure, and able to take charge during a crisis. His best friend is Marco who throughout the war always maintains a sense of humor, able to crack jokes and make sarcastic remarks in the midst of battle.
* ''Literature/{{Psmith}}'': Creator/PGWodehouse's original wise guy Psmith has Mike Jackson as his straight man.
* ''Literature/ThaliasMusings'': Apollo often ends up playing the Straight Man to Thalia's Wise Guy. Though, strictly speaking, he's not a [[BiTheWay straight]] [[IncrediblyLamePun man]].
* ''Jackrabbit Messiah'': Jackrabbit is the wise guy to, of all people, God as the straight man. (God is [[spoiler: actually the predominant [[HelpfulHallucination voice in Jack's head]] - Jack is schizophrenic]]).


[[folder: Live Action Television ]]

* ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'': Andy Griffith and Don Knotts were like this. Andy's Andy Taylor was the straight man and Knotts' Barney was the wise guy. Although it was originally to be the other way around.
* ''Series/PerfectStrangers'': Of course Balki (Wise Guy) and Larry (Straight Man) deserve to be listed here, [[CatchPhrase don't be ridiculous]].
%%* ''Dag Sinterklaasje'' (''Sinterklaas Day''): Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet in this Belgian series.
* ''Series/TheDailyShowWithJonStewart'': Part of Stewarts reformulation of the show from the Kilborn years is that, instead of the correspondents playing the Straight Man part to the antics of the subject, who are cast as oblivious Wise Guys, Stewart himself plays the Straight Man to the correspondents' antics. Most often, the correspondents take on the role of a StrawMan, UpToEleven version of whatever (usually conservative) political ideology or position the segment is meant to skewer. Creator/StephenColbert was successful enough at this that his conservative-pundit-Wise-Guy persona was spun off onto [[Series/TheColbertReport its own show]].
* ''Series/MostExtremeEliminationChallenge'' has Kenny Blankenship play Wise Guy to the snarky Vic Romano.
--> '''Kenny:''' Heh, that Troper just called me a wise guy.
--> '''Vic:''' Right you are, Ken.
* ''Series/HomeImprovement'': Al and Tim usually seem to pull off this dynamic in [[ShowWithinAShow Tool Time]], with Tim as the bumbling-but-wisecracking Wise Guy and Al as his competent-but-long-suffering Straight Man sidekick, but at one point they switch roles accidentally and have Tim play the straight man when they do a cooking show.
* ''Series/MythBusters'': Adam, the gleeful, prank-loving Wise Guy and Jamie, the no-nonsense, ComicallySerious Straight Man.
** Turns out to be an InvokedTrope: the show was originally going to star Jamie as its only host, but he asked Adam to be his co-host since Jamie thought he was too boring to host it on his own.
%%* ''Series/{{Psych}}'': Gus and [[PluckyComicRelief Shawn]]! Or Juliet and Shawn. Or Lassiter and [[TheComicallySerious Shawn]]. Or Shawn's father Henry and Shawn. Or pretty much any other character and Shawn.
%%* ''{{Series/QI}}'' - Stephen Fry & Alan Davies.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** In the early seasons, Sam often played straight lan to Dean's wise guy. This happened less and less often as the show fleshed out their relationship.
** [[TheComicallySerious Castiel]] and Dean also have this dynamic, with Castiel as the straight man...[[PlayingWithATrope Played with]] in that Castiel's "straightforward, sane, conventional point of view" is that of an [[OurAngelsAreDifferent angel]] and frequently quite bizarre from a human point of view, while Dean's joking represents a more typical human perspective.
* ''Series/TheMuppetShow'':
** JustForFun/StatlerAndWaldorf unintentionally play the Wise Guy to Fozzie's Straight Man. It's the only reason that Fozzie's act is funny.
** And Kermit was the StraightMan to the rest of the cast's general zaniness, although he was often the DeadpanSnarker too.
* ''Series/SesameStreet'': The other Muppet show has Bert being the Straight Man to Ernie's Wise Guy.
** In the original season, a ''non-muppet'' sketch series starred Buddy, (Wise Guy) and Jim (Straight Man).
%%* ''Series/KenanAndKel''
* ''Series/KamenRiderExAid'': Jerkish, calm-to-apathetic [[DoctorJerk Taiga]] is stuck with the bratty, overly cheerful [[MoralityPet Nico]]. His attempt at acting like proper [[PerpetualFrowner brooding]] TokenEvilTeammate are followed either by [[TastesLikeDiabetes her]] trolling him or trying to act tough herself. Both ways usually [[NotSoStoic ruin]] his efforts, much to his dismay.
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'': Early episodes were mainly multiple wise guys (Hawkeye and Trapper, with occasionally Col. Blake or Radar) against straight men (Frank and Margaret). Later on, though, Hawkeye and BJ comprised one of these duos, with clean-cut BJ as straight man (most of the time).

[[folder: Podcasts ]]
* ''Podcast/NitroGameInjection'': [=KyleJCrb=] is the StraightMan to Liontamer's Wise Guy in this video game music podcast.

[[folder: Theatre ]]
* ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'': Lorenzo (Straight Man) and Launcelot (Wise Guy).

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'':
** ''Everyone'' and everyone else at various points in [[VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins Origins]]. That the entire cast is composed of [[DeadpanSnarker sarcastic people]] doesn't help. [[PlayerCharacter The Warden]] and [[DeadpanSnarker Alistair]] is probably the most notable example.
** In [[VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening Awakening]], Anders, Sigrun and Oghren are generally the wise guys who bounce off of Nathaniel, Velanna and Justice. Nathaniel gets a little snarkier [[BelligerentSexualTension around Velanna...]]
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' gives us [[LiteralMinded Merrill]] or Anders (how times change) as the StraightMan when placed opposite [[DeadpanSnarker Silly!]][[PlayerCharacter Hawke]]. Aveline and Fenris tend to act as the straight men to Isabela / Varric / Silly! Hawke (again). Especially Silly!Hawke and Aveline:
---> Silly!Hawk: (To Aveline)"You don't want me as sour-and-dour as you. You need a counterpoint."
%%* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
%%** Most of these games have at least one pair:
%%** ''Mystery of the Emblem'': Julian and Ricardo
%%** ''Genealogy of the Holy War'': Jamuka and Deu
%%** ''The Blazing Sword'': Kent and Sain, Dorcas and Bartre
%%** ''The Sacred Stones'': Kyle and Forde
* In ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon}}'', {{idol singer}}s Callie and Marie play the parts of wise guy and straight man, respectively, in newscasts announcing the current stage rotation, Splatfests, and updates. However, they invert the roles of set-up and response: Callie is the jokester that often opens conversations with a bad joke or by saying something ditzy, and Marie is the straight woman that sneaks in a quietly (or blatantly) snarky comment playing off it.
-->'''Callie:''' Help! I have a sudden craving for peanut butter!\\
'''Marie:''' Great stage tip, Callie. Really helpful.


[[folder: Web Animation ]]

* ''WebAnimation/DeathBattle'': Wiz and Boomstick are almost the epitome of this trope, Wiz is a genius MadScientist who often does the hard maths and deductions, while Boomstick is a crude [[GunNut Weapon Nut]] who makes all the jokes and one-liners.
* In the PTA episodes of ''WebAnimation/TheMostPopularGirlsInSchool'', we have the no-nonsense wife-of-a-senator Pamela Darabond & {{Cloudcuckoolander}} [[LikeMotherLikeDaughter Trish Cappelletti]].
* ''WebAnimation/LlamasWithHats'': Paul and Carl. Paul is the Straight Man by virtue of being the even-tempered and normal OnlySaneMan, and is stuck reacting to the BloodyHilarious antics of Carl, the AffablyEvil (and AxCrazy) Wise Guy.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* ''WebComic/DubiousCompany'': Walter is the Wise Guy to Tiren's Straight Man. Also occasionally, Mary and Leeroy are the wise guys to Sue and Sal respectively:
--> '''Tiren''': So where are we...?
--> '''Walter''': [[WhosOnFirst Nowhere.]]
--> ''(beat)''
--> '''Tiren''': Walter, I will beat you to [[CutHisHeartOutWithASpoon death with a coconut]]!
* ''Webcomic/TheFourthWall:'' Foul-mouthed, perpetually disgruntled snarker Ric plays the Wise Guy to Greg's Straight Man.
%%* ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'': Piro and Largo, initially.
* ''Webcomic/{{Stairwell}}'': This webcomic is a little on the odd side as it has Norman as the Straight Man AND the Wise Guy (which is represented by a manifestation of Norman's brain)
* ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'':The straightlaced Tycho and TheDitz Gabe.
* ''Webcomic/ExistentialComics'': Creator/AlbertCamus and Creator/JeanPaulSartre, where the former is shown as being a superbly cool, laid-back womanizer who effortlessly picks up women, while Sartre is a stuffy intellectual, mostly the {{foil}} to Camus's barbs. This may ''some-what'' reflect their real-life relationship. Also Zeno of Citium and Zeno of Elea, depicted as roommates in the mode of ''Theatre/TheOddCouple'', the latter mostly getting on the former's nerves when he used his paradoxes as excuses.


[[folder: Web Video ]]

* [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Spock]] plays straight man to [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Q]] in ''WebVideo/SpockVsQ''.
* ''WebVideo/GameGrumps'': When doing ''Game Grumps'', Creator/{{Egoraptor}} is the Straight Man, while WebVideo/JonTron (or [[Music/NinjaSexParty Danny]] as of June 25th, 2013) is the Wise Guy.
* WebVideo/{{Danisnotonfire}} often plays Straight Man to WebVideo/AmazingPhil's Wise Guy in their collabs.
* [[Creator/TheCynicalBrit John Bain]] and WebVideo/JesseCox, with the former as the straight man and the latter as the wise guy. You wouldn't think so, given Jesse's wacky and outgoing personality and {{WebVideo/WowCrendor}}'s monotone deadpan voice, but this is an InvertedTrope when the two partner up. This is because Crendor's more {{Cloudcuckoolander}} traits tend to make Jesse the straight man.
* The [[https://www.youtube.com/user/TheJeffAndDavidShow/ Jeff and David Show]]: David (Straight Man) and Jeff (Wise Guy).
** "You[Wise]'ll be short and angry, and I[Morecambe]'ll be tall and stupid. And we'll ''both'' be idiots."
* Most of The Courier's companions in ''CouriersMindRiseOfNewVegas'' are straight man compared to him to some degree, but [[TheStoic Boone]] is easily ''the'' Straight Man to his Wise Guy. Nowhere is there a bigger contrast in personalities than between the [[TheComicallySerious No-Nonsense]] veteran ColdSniper and the [[LargeHam loud]], {{boisterous|Bruiser}}, and [[AxCrazy cheerfully bloodthirsty]] mailman.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

%%* ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingChanAndTheChanClan'': Brothers Henry and Stanley (though Henry is often a DeadpanSnarker and gets some funny lines).
* ''WesternAnimation/GoofTroop'': [[HighSchoolHustler Max]] and [[NoRespectGuy PJ]], though which one is which depends on the episode. As a pattern, [[TheDragAlong PJ]] is more likely to be the straight man and [[FearlessFool Max]] the wise guy, but there are some episodes where the roles are reversed and others where they can switch roles in the span of a single scene. It helps that they're both in the CompetenceZone and [[DeadpanSnarker naturally snarky]].
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'': This dynamic is a common setup, with a designated victim like Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam set up as the Straight Man to Bugs Bunny's Wise Guy tomfoolery. Occasionally, Porky Pig will play a humbler, more unassuming Straight Man to Daffy Duck's even kookier Wise Guy antics.
** ''WesternAnimation/BugsBunny'', of all people will occasionally play the Straight Man to Daffy's Wise Guy, while the latter lets his inner demons get the best of him and gets himself into hot water almost all the time, Bugs keeps his cool and just tries to relax or get to somewhere he can relaxe, until Daffy's antics become his problem.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** Twilight Sparkle is the Straight Mare and Pinkie Pie is the Wise Girl.
** Pinkie is so [[CloudCuckoolander bizarre]] that any interaction with her tends to convert characters who would normally serve as the Wise Guy into the Straight Man, most obviously her [[OddFriendship seemingly unlikely friendship]] with BoisterousBruiser Rainbow Dash.
** In fanfiction Lyra and Bon Bon usually end up like this with Bon Bon having to put up with Lyra's crazy antics.
* ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'': With Pinky as the Wise Guy and The Brain as the Straight Man.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Early episodes had Lisa and Bart as a classic Straight Man And Wise Guy pair, especially when they investigated mysteries together. Usually, Lisa would compare the situation to some historic moment or classical literature, and Bart would make a joke about it:
-->'''Lisa:''' This is so cool, Bart. We're just like Woodward and Bernstein.
-->'''Bart:''' Yeah, except their dad wasn't waiting in the car reading Archie comics.
* ''WesternAnimation/ChalkZone'': Rudy is the Straight Man and Snap is the Wise Guy.
* The hosts of ''WesternAnimation/KaBlam'' - Henry is the Straight Man while June is the Wise Girl.
* ''WesternAnimation/WallaceAndGromit'': Notable in that the Straight Man (Gromit) is completely mute and only expresses himself through pantomime. Their exchanges are usually along the lines of:
--> '''Wallace:''' I know! I'll build a wacky elaborate contraption to solve this ordinary mundane problem!
--> '''Gromit:''' ''(gesticulates wildly)''
--> '''Wallace:''' Hm, you're right. It will have to be ''exceptionally'' wacky and elaborate to get the job done. Let's go!
--> '''Gromit:''' ''([[SilentSnarker rolls eyes]])''
* In ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb,'' Perry plays straight man to Dr. Doofenshmirtz's wise guy. Keep in mind, [[EverythingsBetterWithPlatypi Perry's a platypus]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'':
** In Book Four, straight-laced detective Mako gets assigned as the bodyguard to the foppish, hedonistic CasanovaWannabe Prince Wu. Mako doesn't make a secret of how annoying this is and takes some getting used to the whole idea.
** Bolin, usually something of a wise guy himself, ends up playing the straight man to the eccentric Varrick when the two of them are on the run from Kuvira.
* [[WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow Ren and Stimpy]] are a subversion, with Ren as the straight man, and Stimpy as the "eediot".[[note]]Some (repeat: [[DependingOnTheWriter SOME]]) episodes DO have Stimpy acting as though he were a wise guy, but that's joke, since he's anything BUT wise...[[/note]]