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 (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: Comedians and Comic Duos ]]

* Creator/AbbottAndCostello: The classic American comedic duo played off of this almost exclusively.
* Creator/GeorgeBurns and Gracie Allen used a variant: Straight Man And The Ditz.
* Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau: From ''Film/TheFortuneCookie'' to ''GrumpyOldMen''
* Creator/JerryLewis and Music/DeanMartin.
* Creator/LaurelAndHardy: They mixed StraightManAndWiseGuy with slapstick physical comedy. In either case, Oliver Hardy (the fat one) was the straight man.
* Mel Brooks 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.


[[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 world's most ComicallySerious, he plays the straight man to all his flamboyant RoguesGallery, and other superheroes.
** [[ServileSnarker Except Alfred]], who 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.
* BlueBeetle and ComicBook/BoosterGold: Although that's really more of a "wise guy and wise guy" duo.
* ''ComicBook/CableAndDeadpool'': This is the main focus of this comic book series. {{Deadpool}} was a crazy, NoFourthWall character who loved pop-culture references and extreme violence. {{Cable}} was a serious leader who barely tolerated 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.


[[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.


[[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.
* ''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/TheDailyShow'': Jon Stewart and Creator/StephenColbert, which overlaps with the outdated Vaudeville act of an IrishmanAndAJew.
* ''Series/HomeImprovement'': Al and Tim usually seem to pull off this dynamic in [[ShowWithinAShow Tool Time]], but they once switched roles accidentally and had Tim play the straight man when they did a cooking show.
* ''Series/MythBusters'': Adam (the wise guy) and Jamie (the straight man).
* ''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 man 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.


[[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).
* ''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


[[folder: Web Animation ]]

* ''WebAnimation/DeathBattle'': Wiz and Boomstick are almost the epitome of this trope, with Wiz taking the entire show seriously and Boomstick always interrupting to say something funny and/or crude.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* ''WebComic/DubiousCompany'': Walter is the Costello to Tiren's Abbott. 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/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)


[[folder: Web Video ]]

* ''WebVideo/GameGrumps'': When doing ''Game Grumps'', {{Egoraptor}} is the Straight Man, while [[WebVideo/JonTron JonTron]] (or [[Music/NinjaSexParty Danny]] as of June 25th, 2013) is the Wise Guy.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingChanAndTheChanClan'': Brothers Henry and Stanley (though Henry is often a DeadpanSnarker and gets some funny lines).
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': It's Brian (Straight Man) and Stewie (Wise Guy). Also happens with Brian and Peter, but not as often.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': Fry (Straight Man) and Bender (Wise Guy).
* ''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'': PorkyPig (Straight Man) and DaffyDuck (Wise Guy) was the most common example.
** In ''WesternAnimation/TheLooneyTunesShow'', ''BugsBunny'', of all people is the Straight Man to Daffy's Wise Guy.
* ''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.
* ''PinkyAndTheBrain'': With Pinky as the Wise Guy and The Brain as the Straight Man.
* ''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.


[[folder: Unsorted ]]

* ''Howard and Nester'': Formed a StraightManAndWiseGuy 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.
* The [[ Jeff and David Show]]: David and Jeff, respectively.
* [[Creator/TheCynicalBrit John Bain]] and [[OMFGCata Jesse Cox]], 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 [[{{Crendor}} 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.
* ''KenanAndKel''
* [[TheViewAskewniverse Most]] of Creator/KevinSmith's films have [[ThoseTwoGuys Jay and Silent Bob]], with Silent Bob being the Straight Man.
* ''TheKidsInTheHall'': Parodied in a sketch, where the Straight Man ruined the joke every time by [[DontExplainTheJoke laboriously explaining why it's funny]].
* ''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.
* 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).
* ''M*A*S*H'': 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).
* ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'': Lorenzo (Straight Man) and Launcelot (Wise Guy).
* ''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".
** "You[Wise]'ll be short and angry, and I[Morecambe]'ll be tall and stupid. And we'll ''both'' be idiots."
* ''TheMuppetShow'':
** 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.
* ''NitroGameInjection'': [=KyleJCrb=] is the StraightMan to Liontamer's Wise Guy in this video game music podcast.
* ''PennyArcade'': Tycho and Gabe.
* The Pork Chop: This duo plays with this trope, alternating between the roles of Straight Man and Wise Guy after every punchline is delivered.
* ''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.
* ''SesameStreet'': The other Muppet show has Bert being the Straight Man to Ernie's Wise Guy.
** In the original season, a ''non-muppit'' sketch series starred Buddy, (Wise Guy) and Jim (Straight Man).
* ''{{Shrek}}'' - Shrek & Donkey.
* 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 ''Film/{{Ghostbusters}}'' films.
* Creator/DavidSpade and Creator/ChrisFarley on ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' and their films ''Film/TommyBoy'' and ''Film/BlackSheep''.
* Stephen Fry often plays straight man to Hugh Laurie whenever they are in the same production.
* ''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]].
* ''TigerAndBunny'': Barnaby serves as the StraightMan to Kotetsu's Wise Guy.
* ''TheVicarOfDibley'': Geraldine Granger (or sometimes David Horton) and ''everyone else''.
* ''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]])''
* QuantumAndWoody
* ''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]]).