"Anyway, I'm not a cliché,
I hardly own any ties.
I may be old but at least I'm not
like all those other old guys."
The effectiveness of a cast member is often determined by his distance from the median age of the cast
. Deviations up or down will always be coupled with a lack of effectiveness. The Cool Old Guy is an exception to this. At some point, if one character is much older he swings the meter back
to 'totally awesome'. In a lot of anime and video games, this makes him somewhere around middle age and the only non-clean shaven guy
. Expect him to be greying, a loud voice, but in peak physical condition and unafraid of anything. For reasons that should be clear enough, this trope frequently overlaps with Bald of Awesome
He usually won't have any special powers
but that's only to marginally keep him from intruding on the other's limelight. He usually either has a dated and dramatic but lovable personality or is a complete no-nonsense hardass, depending on how the other characters act.
In Japan, this trope is called the Oyaji, written 親父 or オヤジ, which means "daddy". Can often stray into Even the Guys Want Him
or Stupid Sexy Flanders
territory. Wise Beyond Their Years
is a younger version (usually no younger than late 20s at minimum) that has many of the same characteristics.
See also: Old Master
, Older Sidekick
, Badass Grandpa
, Eccentric Mentor
, The Obi-Wan
, Dirty Old Man
, Evil Old Folks
. See Cool Old Lady
for the Distaff Counterpart
. Contrast Grumpy Old Man
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Anime & Manga
- Joseph Joestar from Part 3 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Not only does he fight vampires and telekinetic bad guys alongside the younger heroes, but he collects comic books and has a wickedly awesome sense of humor; the latter two are especially put into play in the finale chapter. After being killed by Dio and having his blood drained, Joseph is brought back to life with a blood transfusion from Dio's remains. He pretends to be possessed by the vengeful spirit of Dio as a prank on Jotaro, and barely saves his skin from his angry grandson by stating his personal interests. Namely, that he collects comic books, that he knows Bo Derek starred in Tarzan, and that "Weird Al" Yankovic sang "Eat It". Jotaro relents, because "only he would know such stupid things".
- Dr. Juzo Kabuto from Mazinger Z. When Dr. Hell sicced an army of Humongous Mecha on him and his colleagues, he managed escaping alive. Afterwards he spent several years building the titular Humongous Mecha, an eighteen-meter-tall One-Man Army robot. When one of the henchmnen of Hell blew up his mansion, he got half-buried under several metal rafts, but in spite of he was moribund and trapped in an underground basement, he managed surviving several hours until his grandsons showed up and he could hand Mazinger over to the eldest (Kouji Kabuto). Also, he saved his son's life by turning him into a cyborg after he nearly got killed cause a lab experiment gone wrong. And in the manga and Shin Mazinger he overlaps this with Crazy Awesome.
- Gundam00 gave us Sergei Smirnov. Despite being not very bishounen (and obviously older) that most of bishounen/bishoujo protagonist cast, he has a crapton of fans for being a Colonel Badass Hot Dad Reasonable Authority Figure.
- The Claw from Gun X Sword.
- For a heroic example, every member of the El Dora V.
- Jet from Cowboy Bebop (although almost all of the main characters are hardened ultra-cool characters).
- Dr. Reichwein from Monster.
- Bear from .hack//SIGN was an older man comfortably pals with a teenage girl, Mimiru, through their shared love of virtual reality online gaming.
- Phyllo in Roots. He sits on the bridge in Mac Anu all day, talking to anyone who's interested and becoming close with Haseo. In real life he's an old man, widowed and with two cats. As he tells Haseo, he's just there to kill time, and dies of cancer at the end of the anime.
- The protagonist's grandfather in Beyblade may be getting up there in age - but that's not gonna stop him from dancing on the tables in Vegas!
- Lt General Grumman of Fullmetal Alchemist.
- Old Man Fu and Dr Knox as well.
- Fuhrer King Bradley aka Wrath, who despite being at least 60 and regularly complaining about feeling his age is one of the most badass characters in the Fullmetal Alchemist universe.
- Hiko Seijuuro from Rurouni Kenshin is in his forties when the main series takes place, but the man is easily in superhuman condition with strength light years beyond anyone.
- Subverted because Seijuuro looks significantly younger than his actual age; when Yahiko and Misao learn that he's 43, they're shocked and conclude that "Hiten Mitsurugi is the secret to eternal youth!!"
- Ditto for Kenshin, who also looks significantly younger than his thirty, despite quite a turbulent life.
- Played somewhat straighter with Okina, who is old and LOOKS it. Upbeat and always ready with a bad joke, he's not afraid of chasin' some young skirts. He's also quite powerful in combat, being nearly a match for Aoshi...
- Bleach: Old Man Genocide Yamamoto is the Badass Grandpa of the series and the kind of cool old guy that could turn you into a charcoal biscuit if you disagreed.
- Chief Daisuke Aramaki, the Mission Control of the Ghost in the Shell franchise.
- His brother, from what little we see of him, would also count.
- Axel Thurston, grandfather of Renton Thurston in Eureka Seven. Robot mechanic extraordinaire and full of determination, even if a bit grumpy. Not to mention that he does a near-suicidal stunt to make possible for Renton to get an indispensable device and lives through it.
- Early on in Dragon Ball Master Roshi filled this role, even defeating the main character Goku at the end of the series's first tournament arc, where he actually blew up the frickin' moon! Unfortunately, Roshi's powerlevel remained fairly constant throughout the series, while the younger characters became vastly stronger every arc, to the point where, by the start of Dragon Ball Z Roshi was relegated to being the comic relief.
- Andrew Waltfeld from Gundam SEED; the show's director specifically referred to him as a Cool Old Guy, and this fact, combined with the director's being friends with Andy's Voice Actor, are often credited with his Never Found the Body return from the "dead" later in the series.
- Third Hokage in Naruto, a very kind, very awesome old man who cared for the people in his village. Just watch the scene where he visits the Academy class to talk to them about the village and the people he cares about. Watch Naruto and his contemporaries' memories of him at the funeral. Everyone has a memory about something awesome he did for them.
- There's also Jiraiya, and the Tsuchikage seems to be showing signs of this.
- Tsuchikage is a dick and well past his prime.
- It's implied he wasn't one before since Gaara's question seems to perturb him, and over the years he just grew more cynical with the shinobi world. With the world's constant militarization, and the fact that every major village had at least one tailed beast or dealings with Akatsuki by the beginning of Shippuden, he became cynical to match the times. What with the Magnetic Hero and Gaara, his protege, he's softening again.
- There's also the original Ino-Shika-Chou trio, aka the fathers of Team 10, although they're all in their forties.
- The fact that Sarutobi Hiruzen Sandaime was in one the real Uchiha massacre, even if he wasn't happy about it, has caused many fans to adopt a very cynical view of him, even though he is probably the single biggest reason Konoha isn't insane like Mist or as cruel as Sand. The fact that he runs a society of professional murderers who start before they hit puberty is kind of a reality check problem when compared to the actual events of the show.
- Except that he'd gone through great lengths to try and prevent the Uchiha massacre from happening, and even Itachi pleaded with him that he protects Sasuke. Also, every village has been running a society of mercenaries before they hit puberty, possibly since around the time of the First Hokage himself.
- Don't forget Chiyo! Despite fitting the Cool Old Lady trope she definitely proved herself to be a wrinkly badass while fighting Sasori alongside Sakura. Recently Kabuto ressurected Chiyo, along with an insane number of other dead shinobi, so we might see her engage in another battle in upcoming chapters.
- Yukiatsu in Ayakashi Ayashi (Ghost Slayers Ayashi), a special case, since he's also the protagonist.
- Watari, acting as L's assistant, proxy and Battle Butler in Death Note.
- Genkai from YuYu Hakusho, although she is female, follows this trope better than Cool Old Lady. Oh, and also discounting the fact some of the teenage-appearing cast is Really 700 Years Old.
- The highly skilled but aged and wearily bitter Shimada Kambei of Samurai 7. Quite possibly the reason Kirara surprisingly fell for him. Alas, his hardass nature solidifies when he coldly rejects her feelings before she can even get them out.
- Master Asia from G Gundam.
- Kanchou/Skipper from The Daughter Of Twenty Faces certainly fits this trope to a t; even his death is cool. An argument could also be made for Muta, even though he's more The Stoic.
- Max Jenius in Macross 7. He might be 52, but he can still pretty much wipe the floor with everybody in the show, both in cockpit and with his bare hands, and he's the heroine's dad. Ah, BTW, he's also the fleet military commander.
- Scary Black Man Dutch from Black Lagoon. Given that he's a Vietnam vet, and roughly contemporary setting of the show, he must be at least in his fifties.
- Apparently, he lied about being a Vietnam vet. Who knows how old he really is...
- Master Tiellagory of Le Chevalier d'Eon is one of the best fencers in France and possibly all of Europe, as well as having more experience with court parties and often wittier repartee than his younger companions.
- Walter C. Dornez, the butler of the Hellsing Family in the anime Hellsing is also a prime example of a Cool Old Guy.
- While he's alive, anyway.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, while about half of Nagi's group could potentially count, Takahata-sensei and Graf Wilhelm are likely two very good examples. Takahata counting as old mostly because almost 90% of the cast is between 9 and 17. While god knows how old Wilhelm actually is. Takahata's teacher Gatou likely is one too but we rarely see him do anything but smoke in flashbacks.
- Hell, almost every old guy in the series could qualify, especially the (currently middle-aged) members of the Ala Rubra.
- The Prince of Tennis has two: Ojii, the Rokkaku coach, and Banda Mikiya aka Banji from Yamabuki. Taro "Itte yosh" Sakaki of Hyoutei is still a bit young compared to them, but he's heading there.
- Lief the Lucky might have only appeared during the flash back arc of Vinland Saga, but he still came off as a cool old sailor who liked to tell kids stories about his journeys amongst the skraelingar.
- Gil Graham of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. A kindly old English gent who also happens to be one of the most experienced and powerful mages under the Space-Time Administration Bureau's employ. Though he turned out to be a Treacherous Advisor who was very reluctantly planning to seal the Book of Darkness together with Hayate once the book turns Omnicidal Maniac, the cast didn't blame him too much for it considering the complicated circumstances.
- 20th Century Boys loves its Cool Old Guys.
- Since it starts its characters around ten and takes them up to a prematurely-aged forty-something, yeah. Later-appearing Kenji is pretty good with this, especially considering his scruffy chin, but last-stage Shogun wins. A lot.
- Full Metal Panic has Andrey Kalinin, who admittedly plays mostly a support role, but is still a tough old soldier who still has some fight in him, made especially obvious during the Behemoth arc.
- Gauron could be considered this. His Ax Crazy, nutty ways and apparent immortality have made certain parts of the fandom feel that he's completely awesome.
- The old guy from Gantz.
- Zelretch from the Nasuverse (all of the works) is unanimously considered to be the trope incarnate by fans. When he was younger, he beat down and killed the "ultimate" being, Crimson Moon Brunestud (and in the process singlehandedly stopping the moon from falling into the Earth), only because of a minor dispute he had with it. He's also one of only five "True Magic" users — his magic? Operation of parallel worlds, which lets him do pretty much anything involving alternate universes.
- He pops into the "main" universe every now and then to take apprentices and screw with them until they're near useless from shock and trauma.
- Or until they become Badasses. Whatever comes first.
- Tenchi Muyo!: Katsuhito Masaki/Yosho is a mustached old man who can still kick ass. In the original OVA, he's actually physically younger than he appears, but in the Tenchi Universe and Tenchi in Tokyo series, he's genuinely old and a straighter example of the trope. Nobuyuki Masaki is this at times too.
- Legend of the Galactic Heroes has Fleet Admirals Merkatz and Bucock from the Empire and Alliance respectively.
- In One Piece, Silvers Rayleigh would most definitely count. The dude fights an Admiral to a standstill!
- Not forgetting Vice-Admiral Garp who laments that he's gotten weak in his old age after throwing cannon balls like baseballs and topping off his attack with a huge flail whose ball is the size of freaking battleship, Whitebeard who ate the Quake Quake Fruit and can create tidal waves large enough to destroy Marine HQ and take on several admirals at once, Ganfall who can fight aerial battles against chosen warriors of God, Tom-san who was strong enough to break his chains after being harpooned through the chest, Admiral Kizaru, who kicks around major characters, and so on! Oda freaking loves this Trope!
- That's only if you compare it to other stuff. Here they need it to do their job.
- No, Whitebeard is a super Cool Old Guy. Garp's pretty good, too, even if he is a horrifically abusive guardian, considered seriously.
- Just about any elderly person from Rave Master, but especially Shiba.
- No Fukumoto series is complete without one- a lot of the time they're complete nutjobs too though. Just to name a few, Ichikawa in Akagi, Ginji in Gin to Kin and Akagi in Ten.
- Oboe from Violinist of Hameln manga is revealed to be this near the end. Whenever he decides to show his (really good-looking, despite the obvious signs of age) true form, an epic battle ensues.
- Professor Itsuki from Moyashimon. He's rather laid back for a college professor, referring to nearly everyone with the informal honorific "-kun". Though he does get rather passionate about fermented foods and his research into bioremediation.
- Initial D has three: dr. Toshiya "God Hand" Joushima, Kozo "God Foot" Hoshino, and Bunta Fujiwara himself. All three are top-tier racers, and nobody has ever beaten Bunta. Even when he's not serious.
- Dan'l Baboon from Kimba the White Lion.
- Technicaly count, Shiba Hiroshi in the sequel Kotetsushin Jeeg. While he is a cyborg and still looks like a normal adult, the sequel takes place 50 years after the original, and his girlfriend already has a grand-daughter as a reference of his age. His age doesnt affect his Badassery though.
- Grandpa Tanaka in Yandere Kanojo. He smokes, drinks, speaks informally, and it's implied he sleeps around with younger women (though not too young - when asked to charm a high school girl he was highly reluctant to do so). He's also good natured and friendly to just about everybody, and dispenses useful advice often. His grandson who lives with him, protagonist and arch-stoic Manabu, has a huge inferiority complex about it though.
- In Akagami No Shirayukihime, we have the heroine's father, who is the leader of the vigilante-ish mercenary group, the Lions of the Mountains.
- Gangsta features Chad the police officer and Monroe the mafioso.
- Worick and Nic are in their 30's so technically they are too.
- The Principal in Hidamari Sketch.
- The Justice Society of America is more or less built around this trope, along with that of the Legacy Character. Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, and Wildcat are pretty much the coolest old guys in the entire DC Universe.
- In fact, Jay Garrick is so cool that he's the guy Nightwing (the original Robin) wants to grow up to be.
- While not the Trope Namer, Garrick is referred to as "One cool old man." By Jack Knight in JSA #2.
- Wildcat slept with Wonder Woman's mom. That is all.
- Alfred is also pretty darn cool, a magnificent example of the Servile Snarker, and dangerous when pushed.
- Batman becomes this whenever the timeline pushes him into clear agedness. Elseworlds aside, even the current comics continuity has him in the 'grandfather' age bracket. The most famous example being The Dark Knight Returns. For an animated version, see Batman Beyond (and the Batman Beyond version of Old Bruce guest-stars in a time-travel episode of Justice League Unlimited...and proves to still be a downright scary interrogator, even moreso than his younger self!)
- Marvel's short-lived Alpha Flight revival featured an elderly superhero called Centennial, a little old man in a sweater who came out of a coma thanks to extremely delayed Puberty Superpowers identical to Superman's. He was played mostly for laughs, but when the team needed someone to give them a good kick in the pants for motivation, he was always ready to provide.
- Marvel also has Roger Aubrey (the Destroyer) and the Thin Man, and they did have Iron Cross, who was still active as a hero in the present day despite being old enough to have seen service in World War One, until he sacrificed himself to save the world.
- ElfQuest has a few examples.
- Savah, mother of Memory, is a wise and practical grandmother-figure to the younger Sun Folk and Wolfriders (also very hot).
- Likewise, after some initial misunderstandings have been cleared up, Lord Voll of the Gliders, who is even older, endears himself to the Wolfriders in much the same way. Unfortunately the trolls kill him.
- Then there's Ekuar, the wizened old rock-shaper, who retains his charm and wit despite having survived centuries of mistreatment by the trolls.
- Scrooge McDuck — pick anywhere in the world, and he's been there. Pick any type of adventure, and he's done it.
- Charles Francis Xavier.
- Wolverine, whose healing factor slows down his aging immensely. He was born in the late 1800s but has looked like he's in his mid-to-late 30s since his introduction.
- Cable and Magneto also count, though Depending on the Artist means both are subject to suddenly being white-haired 20-year-olds.
- Magneto is actually physically in his 40 or so, having been de-aged and re-aged by one of his many experiments. And seeing as Quicksilver was born white-haired, it might just be genetic.
- The Punisher, depending on the writer. Mainstream writers tend to downplay his age, but people who write the more hard-edged MAX stories acknowledge that he's in his late fifties. He is still a bigger badass than anyone else he faces.
- Nick Fury, who's been standing up to supervillains since World War II and whose only power is his longevity and is a badass in every sense of the word. He was born in 1920.
- Douwe Dabbert.
- Getafix the Druid, maker of the magic potion, speaker of Gothic, one of the calmest and most sensible inhabitants of the village, and Badass Grandpa with Magnificent Bastard tendencies. No wonder the Romans are after him.
- Uncle Chuck, who, despite being the one that built the roboticizer in the first place, still serves as a viable and reliable role model to his nephew.
- Gandalf of The Lord of the Rings. His impressiveness isn't just because he's a wizard, but because most of the hobbits he's friends with usually describe him in grandfatherly terms.
- Also deserves a mention for The Movie, as he's played by Sir Ian McKellen. Old guys don't come much cooler than him. Except for Sir Christopher Lee, who played Saruman, and who was still badass despite being too old to walk up a flight of stairs smoothly.
- Most of the elves are pretty awesome, and some of them are older than the kingdom of Numenor. Legolas' age is never directly stated, but estimates range from 500 to about 3,000 years old. Book Legolas refers to the whole rest of the Fellowship, except possibly Gandalf because he was still dead when the remark was made, as 'children.' Movie Legolas gets called 'lad' by Gimli. There is a disconnect.** Not necessarily. might be more along the lines of "the body informs the mind." ie, maturity levels are reflected by physical aging to some extent. there is a trope for it, don't remember what it is called. This is a psychological theory debated in Real Life, as a whatif? result of theoretical immortality.
- Gimli is 140 years old by year 3019 of the Third Age (Dwarves age slower than Men and live into their 250s). Aragorn is in his eighties. (Seriously, look it up.) Frodo is fifty. Merry is somewhere above forty, and Pippin, the youngest, is still in his thirties. Sam is younger than Frodo, but apparently older than Pippin, since Pippin's age comes up as a reason not to bring him into danger but Sam's doesn't. (Unless you don't worry about that kind of thing with servants.) No report on Boromir, though he doubtless aged much more normally than Aragorn since his blood is thinner, so maybe between Merry and Pippin's ages, maybe a little older than Merry. No one on this trip is an actual young guy.
- There is a report on Boromir. He was born in 2978TE and died 3019TE which makes him 41. His father Denetor II was 89 when he died, and wasn't even considered very old.
- To clarify on the hobbits. According to the birth dates given on family trees and so forth in the appendixes: At the start of the Quest, Samewise is 39, Merry's 37, and Pippin's 29. Still in his tweens, which is apparently the equivalent of the teens in a human, since thirty-three is coming-of-age for hobbits. This is going by the year of 1419 S.R. as the year the quest began.
- Hobbits also were thought specifically by Tolkien to retain childish appearance (and somewhat childish and carefree way of thinking) for most part of their lives. Peter Jackson's film played this accurately - Bilbo Baggins still has the language and mannerisms of a young lad despite being over 100 years old and near the end of his lifespan.
- Cohen and his Silver Horde, of Discworld fame. Not one cool old guy, but seven (eventually six, but in their most recent story they pick up a Cool Old Lady).
- Commander Samuel Vimes fits this in his most recent stories. After all, he's over 50! (When Night Watch threw him thirty years into the past, the version of himself he met there seemed to be only in his late teens, and he describes a 51 year old vampire as 'not a lot younger than him' in "Thud".)
- Vetinari. About as old as Vimes (if not older). Not only a political mastermind skilled at manipulating people to act in his favour but a former assassin of incredible skill.
- Ridcully, especially when he has a crossbow in his hand.
- One of his predecessors, Galder Weatherwax, was almost as good, but lost it, after going against fate by trying to capture Rincewind.
- And, lest we forget, Lu Tze the living embodiment of (if not inspiration for) Rule 1: "Do not act incautiously when confronting little bald wrinkly smiling men." The one and only master of Deja Fu, with a reputation that makes men who know of him wet their pants (literally in at least one case) if they learn they have crossed him, and he kicked the ass of the new anthropomorphic personification of Time itself.
- Also Reg Shoe, I mean he's not much older than Vimes, but he's 30 years dead (dies at the end of Night Watch).
- Various other Zombies and Vampires would fit if 'cool' could be used to describe them.
- The old Count Bella de-Magpyr in Carpe Jugulum is, as is Lady Margalotta.
- Alberto Malich, the Wizard who started UU. 87 years old when he blew himself into Death's Domain, and it's been almost 2,000 years since.
- Dios from Discworld/Pyramids. Okay, maybe not actually cool, but old can't be used to describe him, he's a freaking stable time-loop.
- Zedd in the Sword of Truth saga.
- Though Nathan is even older and in most cases even cooler. Someone who can serve as estrogen brigade bait (in-universe, anyway) at nearly a thousand years old, be one of the only existing prophets in the world, and be such a powerful wizard and (implied) swordsman to boot definitely deserves a mention here.
- Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter. And after he dies, we get his brother, Aberforth, who is very nearly as cool as he is. Too bad their relationship was, well, rather troubled.
- There's Mad-Eye Moody, too. Leaving aside that much of the cool stuff we actually see him do is a Death Eater impersonating him rather well, he's annoying and insane but pretty cool.
- The Dresden Files:
- Shiro from Death Masks as a Japanese Knight of the Sword who, while looking like somebody's grandfather, manages to kick Denarian ass. Even Nicodemus, leader of the Denarians, is afraid of this guy. The RPG states that he has plot device levels of swordsmanship, which says it all really.
- Harry's mentor Ebenezer McCoy fits also, although he's a wizard and not a Badass Normal.
- The entire Senior Council. The Merlin held off an army of vampires and Eldritch Abominations with a single ward, and is pretty much based on Christopher Lee. Listens to Wind is a nice old medic and shaman. He also once shapeshifted into a bear the size of a minibus to beat the crap out of an Eldritch Abomination / Physical God of fear. Simon Pietrovich had a death curse powerful enough to wipe out several Red Court nobility and their allies. Aside from Cristos, all other Senior council members qualify by default.
- Michael Carpenter by the time of "The Warrior". A half-crippled former knight takes on a much younger former Marine and beats the crap out of him.
- Khlit of the Curved Sword (aka Khlit the Wolf) from the Cossack stories by Harold Lamb is already retirement age when he first appears in a story. He chooses not to accept mandatory retirement and goes on walkabout through Asia instead, having many exciting adventures. Along the way, Khlit becomes both Kha Khan of the Tatars and Koschevoi Ataman of the Cossacks (but not at the same time). He's often underestimated by people who don't realize how tough a Cossack had to be to reach an advanced age. Even when Khlit relinquishes the protagonist role to his (adoptive) grandson Kirdy because he's no longer able to wield his famous sword effectively, Khlit remains a cunning fox, and quite capable of licking twice his weight in mooks.
- Huang Zhong in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and Dynasty Warriors video game.
- Most of the disciples of Aldur in David Eddings' Belgariad universe, but especially Belgarath and Beldin.
- Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. He's obviously also a Magnificent Bastard, minus the Bastard part. Hell, one of his responses to an argument is something along the lines of stating "You think you're about to win?", which he only said when he knew he would win an argument, or had a back up plan for what they were about to say. He's the model of a father that every child wants.
- Brother Cadfael.
- Papa Jan from This Perfect Day.
- Giles Corey from The Crucible.
- And from real life. The part about his death was true.
- The short story They Live Forever has a subversion of this trope. The narrator becomes a Cool Old Guy at 25 when he is stranded on a planet where the natives have a life cycle of two years. He is proportionally so old by the end of the story that he realizes his age would be meaningless to them and claims to have forgotten. This mirrors the original immortal of the story who made the same claim about himself when questioned by the narrator.
- Raptor Red brings us a Cool Old Dactyl in the form of... the white dactyl. Old even by dactyl standards, he has bowed out of the great play of reproduction and chick-rearing, choosing to instead spend his golden years dicking around with the other predators.
- Ruy Sanchez de Casador y Ortiz from 1632: Over sixty years old but still besting swordsmen half his age, and winning the heart of a twentieth century woman with wit and panache.
- Roland Deschain of The Dark Tower series is not only is he several decades older than the rest of his ka-tet and the epitome of The Gunslinger, but he is also possibly several hundred millennia old, due to his having repeated his life over countless times after reaching the Tower. He's totally unaware of that last fact, though.
- Abraham van Helsing from Dracula.
- Woodrow Lowe, age 108, from James Thayer's Man of the Century.
- Great-uncle Ebbitt from The Seventh Tower combines this with Crazy Awesome.
- P. G. Wodehouse's novels have Uncle Fred and the Honourable Galahad, who regularly helping their younger acquaintances out of trouble, often with rather impressive Zany Schemes. Uncle Fred gets extra points for knocking the hat off the pompous barrister Sir Beefy Bastable with a slingshotted Brazil nut.
- The Mariner from the Keys to the Kingdom. He has a magical harpoon so powerful it hurts others just to use it (he calls his 'friend'), and a ship that can sail through suns.
- About ninety percent of persons in the Honor Harrington series. Honor herself is 65 in the most recent stories. Yes prolong makes everyone seem younger. But prolong has been around only about 2 generations so there are few people over 120 yet.
- Captain Flint from the Swallows and Amazons series is the only adult the protagonists seem to take entirely seriously.
- Lord Varano from Samuel Shellabarger's Prince of Foxes, a historical novel of the Italian Renaissance. This upright old knight teaches cynical Guile Hero Andrea Orsini the meaning of honor. Lord Varano's Crowning Moment of Awesome scene, in which the folk of Città Del Monte elect to fight for him despite believing they are doomed to defeat by Cesare Borgia, is among the classic examples of both tropes.
- Fraa Jad in Neal Stephenson's Anathem. This avout of the millenarians is a master of pithy one-liners, and has the ability to wander between parallel time tacks.
- Professor Henry Armitage of H. P. Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror; a university scholar in his 70's who takes it upon himself (and a couple other professors) to get bitch-slap the earthborn spawn of Yog-Sothoth.
- In the Petaybee books, Whittaker Fiske is not only cool but far more progressive than his son- he's completely open to the idea that Petaybee might be sentient when few off-worlders are.
- Many characters in The Wheel of Time. Thom Merrilin, Rhuarc, Gareth Bryne, Furyk Karede, Noal Charin, and the male Forsaken at least.
- Santiago, the titular old man in Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.
- Cristobal Junta from Monday Begins on Saturday.
- Abraham Setrakian of The Strain, a holocaust survivor that teaches two doctors, an exterminator, and a gaggle of gangsas how to slay some monstrous vampires
- In Aaron Allston's Galatea in 2D, the protagonist's father C. J. teaches them all how to use guns. He also does all the cooking.
- The Railway Series: Edward, Toby, Skarloey, Rheneas, Duke. All of them but Toby were built in the nineteenth century, and all are still in active service. Skarloey and Rheneas would currently be 146 years old. Also applies to Sir Topham Hatt I and Sir Topham Hatt II during certain parts of the series' timeline. Out-of-universe, applies to the original author, the late Rev. Wilbert Awdry, and his son Christopher Awdry who is the current author.
- In Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough For Love, this applies not to Lazarus Long himself, two-thousand years old though he may be, but to his grandfather, Ira Johnson. At seventy he was heartbroken not to be able to enlist in the army to fight in World War One, played a mean game of chess, and could kick ass nine ways from Sunday. He also raised his daughter Maureen on the principles of Eternal Sexual Freedom, which had major repercussions on the future of the human race, including Lazarus himelf.
- A Tale of Two Cities: Mr. Lorry. He is a 75 years old businessman, his business include being a banker, hostage negotiatior, and help refugees to flee the country.
- Bodger the old bull terrier from The Incredible Journey. He's a dogfighting veteran who spent his younger days terrorizing the local cats with his right-hand cat and best friend Tao the Siamese, and in his golden years is a loveable goof who simply wants and gets lots of love from humans.
- Nestor from Homer's Iliad is one of these, he is the oldest man in the Greek army and was a young adventurer contemporary with the previous generation of heroes, including Hercules, Perseus, Theseus, and Achilles' father Peleus, he says that all of these previous heroes were stronger fighters than any of the Greeks attacking Troy, including Achilles. He is the frequent source of advice, counsel, and long monologues about the olden days. He is an old badass, because he is still gearing up and fighting with the young men on foot and on chariot - and he is a better fighter than most of them! The fact that he survived to old age without being killed in Greek warrior society is taken as a testament to his great wisdom.
- Many musical artists from the 1960s and 1970s such as Fleetwood Mac; Chicago; Crosby, Stills, & Nash; Alice Cooper, Music/Aerosmith, and James Taylor are still going strong today. As are both of the surviving Beatles – Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Chuck Berry's music dates from the '50s and he's still going strong.
- Ditto for Stevie Wonder; Earth, Wind, & Fire; and Lionel Richie.
- Frank Sinatra was like this in the second half of his career. (In fact, he was probably even cooler than he was when he was younger.)
- Same goes for countless country artists, with George Strait being the most successful of the lot (currently, at least from a radio and album sales standpoint). Others are way too numerous to mention, although guys like Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and Hank Williams, Jr. immediately come to mind.
- And for 1970s and early-1980s hard rock and metal musicians, who are past 50 (some of them even pushing 60) by now, like AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and the aforementioned Aerosmith.
- The Rolling Stones. Both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are 68, and the band's been touring for 50 of those years. Do they seem like they're gonna stop any time soon? Very probably not.
- Yamauchi-sensei from Greek Ninja.
Live Action TV
- In Professional Wrestling, any wrestler in his late 40s and beyond who can still kick ass and take a beating definitely counts.
- The most recent examples: Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Shawn Michaels, and The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25. WOW. Three men over 40 (and in Steamboat's case, almost 60 and had been retired since suffering a career-ending back injury in a match against "Stunning" Steve Austin"- from a bump on the apron, not from something Austin did- back in August 1994) showed up practically everyone under 40. And throw in Jimmy Snuka, still wrestling at the age of 69, and Mae Young, who is an octogenarian, current WWE Diva, and has been in every decade of professional wrestling since the 1930s.
- And oh yeah, we forgot one more: TERRY F'N FUNK!
- Bob Kingsley, at age 73 and still going strong as host of Bob Kingsleys Country Top 40. He is best known for his 27-year stint helming American Country Countdown. Not counting the times he was substitute host of ACC, Kingsley has been a fixture on country radio for 34 years, introducing the biggest hits from George Jones and Tammy Wynette (in 1978, the year he started) to Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift (today's top singers).
- Casey Kasem, host of American Top 40 (and its spinoffs, American Top 10 and American Top 20) was a weekly presence on radio for 39 years – from his late 30s through late 70s! His voice had noticeably changed by the early 2000s, but it was still Casey, and it was cool to many to hear a 77-year-old radio host introduce artists such as Katy Perry, Lifehouse, Alicia Keys, Maroon 5, Pink, Fergie and many other urban, contemporary pop and rock artists of the late 2000s decade. (And to think, many people half Kasem's age won't think of listening to any of the above listed artists' music. Kasem – old enough to be some of these artists' great-grandfathers, was still making their music cool.)
- The original panel of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue all became this some time during the nineties. Special mention goes to the late host, Humphrey Lyttelton, who told some of the filthiest jokes on the radio well into his eighties.
- Warhammer 40000: Logan Grimnar, Chapter Master of the Space Wolves.
- Any space marine, Chaos Space Marine, Necron, Eldar, or Titan princeps. A UNIVERSE of cool old guys.
- Aun'shi of the Tau. One of the few examples of this trope to be only about 38, due to the Tau getting shafted on life expectancy.
- Given the fact that human life expectancy, depending on planet, social status and wealth, can be hundreds of years, it would seem that in 40k, it's a little harder to qualify as cool old guy. Most players will come up with someone from their own army who is cool and old. Abaddon, Vect and so on. Still, there is one cool old guy who every 40k player can admit to being the coolest old guy who ever cooled. Yarrick.
- Failaddon is hardly cool, really. He's just bark and no bite. Yarrick, on the other hand... Even Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!, who also kicked mucho ass while ostensibly in retirement, did it only once (at least what we know about). Yarrick... Yarrick did it THRICE. With Power Klaw and Eye Beams. Being 200 years old.
- Abaddon only failed the majority of the Black Crusades due to infighting amongst the forces of Chaos, not due to his own incompetence
- People, are we seriously going to forget Eisenhorn? The man The man lived to be over 300 (which even with drugs and implants is about the oldest a man gets without being a Space Marine or a Champion of Chaos). Then he gets both of his kneecaps blown out with a bolt pistol by his oldest friend. Meanwhile, the Big Bad is preparing to unlock an ancient daemonic superweapon which he will use to conquer the galaxy. What does the good Inquisitor do? He gets his legs rebuilt, and while doped up on painkillers and very slowly dying of his injuries, proceeds to challenge the villain (who, by the way, is a psychic powerful enough to kill a man by glaring at him and exists in an indestructible metal body that can use all of its limbs and its cloak as lethal weapons) to a SWORD FIGHT. And fights him to a fucking standstill. Then, when it becomes obvious that he can't actually win, he pulls the greatest Indiana Jones reference of all time, pulls the MacGuffin out of his pocket, and rips it in half.
- Elminster from the AD&D Forgotten Realms universe. He loves jokes and riddles. He's an accomplished dancer who loves ice cream and sliding down banisters. He's possibly the game's most powerful character, probably the most powerful wizard.
- Similarly, King Boranel of Breland in Eberron. Also, possibly, Kaius of Karrnath, but since he's a vampire, he may not count.
- If the spoilered example counts, Vol absolutely must get a mention here.
- In a twist, Boranel is painfully aware of this trope — his coolness and the situation the country was in when he rose to the throne has made Breland unusually dependent on him... which wouldn't be so much of a problem if he had a equally cool heir or wasn't pushing it in years.
- Sebastian Crenshaw from Mutant Chronicles. Pushing 55 in a world where average life expectancy is 40. One of the solar system's best assassins and a mentor to many young trainee assassins. He is also a good-looking, distinguished gentleman, who is the life of every party and quite the ladies' man. Oh, also he's implied to be Scottish.
- For different reasons, Archangel Michael and Archangel Yves in In Nomine. Michael is the classic version of the trope, the Archangel of War who's older than every being but Yves and could kick the ass of anything in creation. Yves is the quieter one, the pleasant old man whom everyone loves (except Michael) who *looks* like a harmless old man but as Archangel of Destiny possesses the secret knowledge of the universe and is feared by most of Hell because they don't understand him.
- Although he's 42, Ezren from Pathfinder is the oldest of the iconic player characters and a very cool guy.
- Epcot has had two over the years: Dreamfinder from Journey Into Imagination, who flew around in a Cool Ship collecting thoughts and ideas to create all sorts of new things, and served as The Obi-Wan to his creation Figment until the attraction was overhauled to remove him. Then there was the Sage of Time from the Tapestry of Nations parade, an aged immortal that tried promoting human unity through his Great Millennium Walk that involved lots of cool puppets and Crowning Music of Awesome.
- Thaco from Goblins. He is literally old enough to be the other characters' father. He IS the father of one of them. In his first introduction, he was sitting in the 'retirement hut' with two other goblins — one blind from cataracts and one who shakes so much he can't walk without two canes. Not to mention that his name is a reference to Advanced Dungeons Dragons Second Edition, which is apparently a good way in the past in the game world — at least one generation ago — and which he was apparently alive to see.
- Lord Shojo from the Order of the Stick. Even Belkar thought he was cool.
- Yeah, but it was mostly because he ordered paladins to clean his cat's litterbox.
- So? Anybody who
orders gets paladins to clean a cat's litterbox has to be pretty cool.
- O-Chul is probably old enough to count, too. Bad-ass enough to resist torture for months while gathering useful information, then escape armed only with a metal bar, he's another example of successfully being Lawful Good and awesome.
- General Tarquin, ruler of the Western Continent and Elan's father.
- Dan McNinja, father of the titular character of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja.
- Dr. Disaster from Gunnerkrigg Court. How many teachers' dramatic entrances are greeted with cheers from the students? Bob Sutton the gardener, who chuckled at Renard's jab about Ysengrin's "terrifying skills of gardening". As we discover later, he's the one who regularly handles some consequences of this — successfully. Also, he always shows good sense of humor and good sense in general.
- Rocky's 'Grampy' from Too Much Information. He's got a black belt in 3 different martial arts, has fought in 2 different wars, has traveled the world as an adventurer-archeologist, and taught English in inner-city schools. While the rest of the cast are stuck working their way out of a Love Dodecahedron, he hits it off with Cool Old Lady and borderline Manipulative Bastard Rosa Cartman - who, other than being RIDICULOUSLY good-looking for her age, owns a multimillion-dollar corporation. While the young 'uns are still trying to figure their way out of Dysfunction Junction, he hooks up with her, gets laid (on their first date, no less), and elopes with her within weeks.
- Mr. Bear from Achewood, a sharp-witted old pub owner with a broad range of knowledge, who in one story arc handily beat all the younger characters in a contest to see who was the most Badass.[http://achewood.com/index.php?date=06082006]
- Mrs. Primrose from The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!! Seemingly a cute and chubby little old lady, she's an agent employed by an ancient civilization of dragons, and owns a suit of Bubblegum Crisis-style power armor with which she can fly into space.
- Donovan Deegan isn't as old as some of the other guys on this page, but he probably qualifies, considering he's the father of 3 full-grown men. And he's certainly cool, always upbeat and sociable. Plus he's an awesome swordsman who's pulled some pretty badass stunts (such as slicing his initials into one Jerkass's pant seat). And he can play an electric guitar (which is actually a normal guitar powered by lightning magic, which is all sorts of badass).
- Tales of the Questor has the Eldest. He's apparently the old Raccoonan in the region of Freedom Downs and is a fun loving chap who apparently is one of the few, until recently, there who respects Quentyn.
- Actually, he's the oldest living Racconan— period. As to whether he respects Quentyn or not, it's more a matter of being so old that he doesn't give a tinker's damn what anyone else thinks about anybody.
- Mob Ties has Papa-san, the head of one of the few decent Yakuza clans in Tokyo. He's friendly, intelligent, devoted to his daughter, and is the first person to truly realize just how badass Sidney Burns truly is, and is the only person man enough to actually confront him about why he is so badass in the first place. Of course, given that Papa-san was quite the badass himself in his younger days, that last part is understandable.
- Horse-Man from Unwinder's Tall Comics: He's twenty-something while the main cast are high-schoolers. He's also nice enough to treat Unwinder like an equal; Horse-Man is likewise the only person that Unwinder seems to respect.
- Baron Klaus Wulfenbach from Girl Genius.
- Both Tagons from Schlock Mercenary (the captain is well into his 40s, turning 49 in the Credomar plot-arc).
- Sul, the main character in Kiss Wood, who doesn't let age get the better of him. He manages to break out of a huge prison complex and walk across a desert whilst caring a child on his back - only to find out he can't save both of them and sacrifices himself.
- In Commander Kitty, Morris edges into the "mentor" variant of this trope when he helps Mittens find his self-confidence. Subverted when he realizes that Mittens' newfound hyper-competence threatens to obviate every other single member of the cast.
- Magus from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe is the most powerful wizard on Earth and the heroic defender of the planet from the sorts of supernatural threats usually faced by Marvel Comics' Doctor Strange. He's 318 years old (though he only looks 70 or so), and acts like a Cool Uncle to the rest of his teammates.
- In The Gamers Alliance, there are several cool old guys such as Harrad, Josiah and Waldheim.
- Tech Infantry has several, including Admiral Karl Von Shrakenberg, Dr. Icarus Hicks, and Colonel Arthur Clarke. Lwan Eddington also qualifies in the later stories.
- The aged
Buddhist Shinto priest and Badass Long Robe Kamimura from Broken Saints, who lost his family to the atomic bomb in World War II, making him at least twice as old as any of the other three protagonists.
- Sensei Ito at the Super Hero School Whateley Academy in the fictional Whateley Universe is a Crazy-Prepared Badass Normal who is a tiny old Japanese martial artist capable of taking down virtually every single superpowered student at Whateley. As he demonstrates at the start of every term, in aikido classes. He also has a bit of Magnificent Bastard in him.
- Whateley Academy is rife with Cool Old Guy characters, from sixty-ish Gunny Bardue who runs the ranges, to Security Chief Franklin Delarose, to a number of older teachers who you just know used to be superheroes. Charles Xavier's school should be so lucky.
- Pretty much every over-fifty on Gaia Online counts to some extent.
- Johnny K. Gambino, who started out in the plotline as a major villain and is pretty much just Crazy Awesome in general.
- Edmund, who is BFFs with Gambino, chock full of Battle Butler charm, and suave enough to make perving on Vanessa look gentlemanly. Moonlights as a member of the superhero G-Team whenever the need arises.
- Old Man Logan, also a member of the G-Team and an obvious Wolverine expy.
- Uncle Kin in zOMG!, second-in-command of a ninja clan and devoted relative to his Miko niece.
- And last, but definitely not least, the late Vladimir Von Helson, lord of Gaia's vampires, whose sparkly death scene was easily the best thing about MMVII (unfortunately, even sparklepires couldn't save MMVII).
- Some Something Awful Goons:
- GeneSplicer, 43 as of 2009 (that's old when you're among high school/college students) high school forensics teacher ("Who brought the maggots for the students to 'play' with? Me!"), who even has an avatar of the creepy old man from Family Guy with the legend "Forums Senior Citizen". Has a wedding ring made of meteorite iron and collects (fake) skulls. Has a bookshelf full of sci-fi props, including one of those mind-eating bugs from The Wrath of Khan in a tank. Makes sock monsters in his spare time, which he gives to his students as prizes. Mrs. GeneSplicer also counts, since she got him some of the skulls as a birthday present.
- Possibly HellBastard, since he mentioned a TV show that GeneSplicer also saw as a kid.
- 50-Foot-Ant (presumably around 50), excellent writer and author of about two dozen Dungeons & Dragons manuals and claims to have witnessed the Ramstein air show disaster and to have a supremely annoying Otherkin relative.
- Someone who claimed to be a World War II veteran who registered to praise Humper-Monkey (age unknown and possibly 50-Foot-Ant's creation) during his tales of the haunted German US Army Base that was once used by Nazis where problem recruits are ditched.
- Tokaii, who was a Chicago cop for a few years during The Sixties. He wasn't a Corrupt Cop, but pretty much everyone else was which is why he left despite loving the job. He's also been on the some form of internet since 1982.
- The Nostalgia Critic's grandfather. He might have been crazy, but he gets points for being the only family member who Critic has fond memories of.
- Iroh of Avatar The Last Airbender practically embodies this trope. (Though he's not a Badass Normal.)
- And his group, the White Lotus Society, is a whole gang of cool old guys.
- "Welcome to Old People Camp!"
- Plus all
five30 or so of them reconquer Ba Sing Se, and at least one of them doesn't even bend!
- The best part about Uncle Iroh is that you just know that if someone went down the list, and played the "Who Would Win" game, nobody would win against Iroh, because he'd offer them all tea, and they'd end up calmly drinking tea and discussing old people stuff.
- Iroh was trained up to conquer the world. Although he must have had mixed feelings, given the thing with the dragons happened relatively early in his life, he was doing pretty well at that until his son died. His father died the next day. He suspended all his Badass and sank into sleep mode, doing nothing while his little brother usurped him and then following his traumatized nephew around the world being as annoying as possible. Then, One-Man Army.
- Doc from Invasion America fits the bill nicely, though that series was less plagued by Competence Zone than most.
- Grandpa Max from Ben 10, especially after he's revealed to be a former Man in Black who remembers quite a bit from his old job and still has access to his old gear. Generally of the "dated but loveable personality" type, but swings into "no nonsense" when the situation calls for it... In a nutshell, he's a textbook case.
- He's the same guy who bosses Snake around, making him even more awesome.
- Master Fung in Xiaolin Showdown started out a mentor-type, but with the introduction of Mala Mala Jeong, proved he still has plenty of awesome fighting skills in him.
- Ol' Skool from Get Ed, who uses actual old school gear, but can keep up with the kids he mentors, their enemies, and with Mr. Bedlam as well, much of the time.
- Bruce Wayne from Batman Beyond.
- Makes sense, considering he used to BE Batman.
- USED to be Batman? Tell that to his subconscious!
- Terry would like to disagree.
- Batman is Batman is Batman...the Battle for the Cowl in the comics featured at least two, although Machine Gun Jason Batman was out of the running for reader acceptance. Because machine guns.
- Jerry in Totally Spies! - on the rare occasion that he's personally called into action, he consistently outclasses the Spies themselves.
- Uncle from Jackie Chan Adventures, not only is he the Old Master but he is seen kicking ass as it is needed and will bring pain to those who bring trouble, including the main protagonist.
- One more thing. Let's not forget his totally awesome Catch Phrase, "One more thing!"
- Cap'tain K'nuckles from The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. He beat 100 pirates alone, carried Bubby on his back and sailed in a storm during a fight against 8-Armed-Willy.
- Most "old" characters in Transformers tend to be cool old guys. Since they don't age like humans, the most common cause of death is war-related and anyone who survives to be really really old probably did so by being really really badass.
- Ratchet in Transformers Animated is definitely a badass, despite sporting a beer gut. He's also the team's medic, making comparisons to Bones McCoy even more impossible.
- Kup in Transformers Generation 1 is definitely a cool old guy, like Animated Ratchet but much less grumpy. Also, in "All Hail Megatron" he gets a bitchin' robot cigar to chew on.
- Even Ratchet's G1 incarnation, who's not really intended to represent any extreme of age the way Kup is, tends to get a lot of this trope. His canon appearances as a competent medic and go-to guy paved the way for his interpretation by the fans. Fandom is especially fond of causing him to bludgeon insubordinate/uncooperative patients with wrenches and other tools, go all Doc McCoy even on Optimus Prime's aft, and generally act in a lovably codger-y manner, even ascribing him Cool Old Guy traits such as extreme shrewdness and a wrathfully protective nature regarding his crewmates (the young twins Sunstreaker and Sideswipe tend to be at the receiving end of his lectures and fists, more often than not).
- Somewhat justified by G1 Ratchet and Ironhide being the same toy with different color schemes.
- G1 Ironhide was the franchise's original Cool Old Guy . His toy card specifically states how he's the oldest Autobot, the most likely to break down from outdated parts, but too stubborn and orny to give up and quit fighting. The show just made it better by giving him a Southern grandpa accent to match.
- Vector Prime in Transformers Cybertron is both cool and so old he's made of clockwork.
- Scavenger in Transformers Armada was mentor to Optimus freaking Prime.
- And don't forget Revenge of the Fallen Jetfire. When Scorponok erupts from the sand without warning, Jetfire simply stabs him in the head with his cane, just about as quickly.
- Detective Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov from Stuart M. Kaminsky's series set in Russia. Over fifty when the series started in the '80s, he is lame from a WWII injury involving a tank, but is a champion weightlifter. He once defeated a thug just by holding him in the air, despite all the thug's attempts to get down. (Most of what Rostnikov does isn't brawn but brain, though.)
- Scrooge McDuck in DuckTales, serving as a faithful adaption to the comics' glory.
- Master Oogway in Kung Fu Panda was quite old when he beat one of the most dangerous known martial artists. Master Shifu probably could have replicated the success 20 years later if not for his sentimental attachment to said artist.
- Wildcat in Justice League Unlimited and Batman The Brave And The Bold. Both are Badass Normal to boot, and don't even have Batman's level of training or gadgets- just boxing.
- From Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, Kai-lan's grandfather Ye-ye.
- Like his Real Life counterpart, Benjamin Franklin of Liberty's Kids.
- Mosey from Horseland and to a somewhat lesser extent, Shep.
- Plato from The Little Flying Bears.
- Ito San from Tokyo Mater, who is an old Japanese car who helps Mater race against the villain Kabuto after being rescued from a ditch and brought back to Japan.
- In ThunderCats (2011)
- Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth from Futurama. For starters, he has a Thug Life tattoo on his back.
- Secret Millionaires Club has Warren Buffett (voiced by himself) as one who's hip to the four students he mentors that form the Club.
- He also knew Jay-Z and Shaquille O'Neal, and set the Club up to meet them and learn from their business abilitie as well.
- Konrad Adenauer. He had been retired for years, hunted by the Nazis, many times imprisoned, financially broke, and 73 years old when he got elected Chancellor of (West) Germany, supported by all large parties except Communists. Stood for 14 years, throughout the worst of the Cold War, rebuilt the state administration of Germany by himself, practically from scratch, initiated the reparations agreement between Germany and Israel, helped secure the release of the last German POWs from the USSR, and above all gained the entrance of Germany in the nuclear club during the 1950s. It takes some diplomatic hype to ask the cooperation of former enemies in this matter barely 10 years after The War.
- Kheyr ed-Din, a.k.a. "Barbarossa" (not to be confused with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I), was a Barbary pirate who was still fighting sea-battles in his eighties - and kicking righteous ass, too.
- Jazz singer Tony Bennett. After his career tanked in The Sixties, he's staged an amazing comeback, keeping light bouncy jazz alive and kickin' since 1994 (and has no intention of retiring, according to The Other Wiki).
- Tony Benn. An ever-present figure in British politics who had his start in the mid-1940s/1950s somewhere there, is still involved in politics, even after not being a member of parliament since 2001, had a talk with Ali G once, and that's just a couple reasons I could name right off the bat. In-fact, some consider Tony Benn a living national treasure in the UK.
- Tom Bergeron, host of The Hollywood Squares, Dancing With The Stars and America's Funniest Home Videos. He's known for being very laid back and "un-Hollywood" off camera.
- King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX of Thailand. He's simultaneously the world's oldest, richest, and longest-reigning monarch, led his country to democracy in the 1990s, and is really the one stable constant in Thailand's notoriously shaky political system (the man has seen sixteen governments go by without a single change to his own office). He's also the only monarch in the world to hold a patent (on a water aerator and some rainmaking devices) and an accomplished saxophonist, apparently.
- John Williams.
- Jerry Goldsmith.
- Elmer Bernstein.
- Norman Borlaug. He's a pretty cool dude.◊
- Though really, internet memes aside, He's responsible for saving the lives of billions of people through breeding of drought-resistant, disease-resistant crops to feed the world. Check out all his life work here on the Other Wiki. Honestly, why his life isn't taught in schools is a downright shame.
- Michael Caine
- George Carlin
- Sonny Chiba
- William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. Kirk and Spock. Also best friends in real life. And despite being well into their eighties now, both are still very active in the Star Trek fandom and the media as a whole. Need we say more?
- Winston Churchill: Because He Never Surrenders.
- Dick Clark. Until his stroke a few years ago, he still looked so untouched by age that he epitomized his "World's Oldest Living Teenager" nickname.
- Sean Connery, no doubt.
- Anthony Hopkins
- Jacques Cousteau, the great aquatic explorer who seemed like the Ancient Mariner himself in his documentaries.
- Walter Cronkite, "The Most Trusted Man in America". Uncle Walter not only brought us "the way it is" night after night, but was a long-time race car driver and expert sailor.
- Robert De Niro
- Clint Eastwood is the personification of this trope. At 80-ish years old, he's still awesome, is a Memetic Badass, still makes some of the best movies in Hollywood (now more often as the director rather than an actor, with a distinctive visual style and a good reputation for finishing ahead of schedule and always within budget), and still has a great attitude. As a licensed pilot, he apparently still sometimes flies his own helicopter to the studio to avoid traffic. He's a veteran of the Korean War, and is a former lifeguard. He's also a Friend to All Living Things and has long been involved with animal rescue efforts in California, and he and his wife take care of several rescued animals that they've adopted on their ranch. He's also got a talent for music, and in particular is an aficionado of jazz (and his son Kyle is a renowned jazz musician in his own right), as well as Country Music. He's also been known to practice meditation every morning since the 1970's. And he can still kick your ass easily.
- Roger Ebert
- Donald Fagen and Walter Becker
- The Reverend Lionel Fanthorpe. Anglican priest, member of Mensa, former writer of Extruded Book Products (which made him a figure of minor legend in the UK SF scene), dan-grade martial artist and weightlifter, biker, investigator of anomalous phenomena. All carried out with an enormous zest for life and a great sense of humour. Your only problem, if you're lucky enough to meet him, will be getting him to stop talking...
- Tim Gunn. To the point where Congress recently declared him a national treasure.
- Benjamin Franklin was this by the time of the Revolutionary War.
- Morgan Freeman. Because, you know, he's God.
- James Harrison, the "man with the golden arm." His unique blood donations have saved approximately 2 million babies' lives, and at 74 he's still donating a pint of blood as often as he can.
- Mark Hamill isn't that old, but is nevertheless an avid comic book fan since childhood and has voiced everybody's favourite clown psychopath for twenty-odd years now.
- Even if he wasn't old, when he did it, he's still LUKE FREAKIN' SKYWALKER.
- Werner Herzog. Among other achievements, his most recent documentary required him to climb around in a cave with his camera crew, someone once drove by and shot him with a BB gun and he just laughed it off.
- Sammo Hung. A legendary action superstar (and friends with Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao) in Hong Kong action cinema. What's even more impressive is that this former Peking Opera player turned actor is now nearing 60, doesn't seem to get any thinner, but could still go toe-to-toe with the likes of much younger action stars such as Donnie Yen and Wu Jing.
- Samuel L. Jackson.
- Lloyd Kaufman, who's been making truly independent films for about forty years, and, at 65, he definitely hasn't softened.
- A 63 year old man named Fred Kemp protected himself and his wife from a robber by getting him in a rear-naked choke. http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/blog/cagewriter/post/63-year-old-holds-off-robber-with-rear-naked-cho?urn=mma-wp5794
- Sir Christopher Lee: Just read the article; actor, commando, secret agent,note heavy-metal singer. That's right—heavy metal singer. At age 87. And it's epic metal about Charlemagne, at that. And now, at age 90, he participated in another heavy metal album, this one focusing on CHRISTMAS SONGS. You truly have not lived until you hear Dracula/Count Dooku/Saruman singing "Little Drummer Boy" to the sound of heavy metal.
- Being Saruman the White AND Dracula.
- Did his own stunts in the Star Wars prequels, used a stunt double only when he was supposed to run.
- Stan Lee, as the image on this page indicates. Innovating most of Marvel Comics's major characters and generally being a great guy make Stan Lee absolutely a Cool Old Guy.
- Kurt Loder for MTV News. Granted he was only 42 when he began to work for MTV, but that was still twice as old as even the second oldest on-screen MTV personality. Despite this he's actually MTV's longest serving personality because of his trustworthiness and popularity with the young adult crowd.
- Most of the stalwart staff of MAD magazine is pretty well up there but still turning out some top-notch parody. Among them are writers Dick DeBartolo (born 1945), Duck Edwing (born 1934), Mort Drucker (born 1929) and Al Jaffee (born 1921).
- Sir Ian McKellen.
- Nelson Mandela, doubles as Badass Grandpa.
- William Marshall. He had multiple chances to seize a throne for himself but his honor and loyalty were stronger than the temptation of power. He also suffered from terminal levels of badassery. His most dramatic moment was the battle of Lincoln. as he put down the rebellion against young Henry III (William was Regent). He led the charge against the rebels and fought in the streets until he captured the enemy commanders, with three dents in his quarter-inch-thick steel helm from the fighting. Not bad considering he was 73 at the time. Immediately after that he rode to Dover and stopped the invading French forces there and negotiated a peace.
- Michael McDonald. (02/12/1952 - present); 5-time Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter who has worked with Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers.
- Shigeru Miyamoto. It's hard to find a picture of him where he's not grinning his ass off with that youthful sparkle of creativity in his eye, and he's 60.
- Paul Newman. Aside from being a beloved actor, philanthropist, World War II Pacific veteran, and all-around great guy, he was still racing cars in his seventies.
- Al Pacino
- Don Pardo. He's NINETY-TWO and still rockin' the opening announcements for Saturday Night Live.
- Ron Paul is no doubt seen this way by many.
- The late John Peel fit this trope when he got older. He never settled into a routine of playing his old favorites on another radio station; even up until the very end, he kept his Radio 1 gig of playing new, upcoming acts and making sure that if a demo tape/CD was good enough, it'd be played on his program, regardless of whether the artist was signed or unsigned.
- Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's husband. Still grills at the age of 90, flew over 5,000 pilot hours by the time he turned 70.
- Terry Pratchett
- Former US president Ronald Reagan. After being shot, he was wheeled into the hospital...and was still calmly cracking jokes.
- And most of the other US Presidents who lived past sixty.
- His Excellency, General and President George Washington was a Memetic Badass within his own lifetime and has continued to be ever since. He survived near-death experiences on the battlefield and rallied the troops to keep fighting for independence. Later, the inability of the first Congress to pay the troops' long-overdue salaries in the aftermath of the war created a situation where angry troops wanted to overthrow Congress and many wanted to convince Washington to lead this coup and become a military dictator, which would have crushed American freedom in its infancy. George Washington refused, and successfully convinced his troops to relent. By doing so, Washington saved the early American republic (for the second time, considering the fact that his military leadership had preserved it during the Revolution), and became the Cincinnatus. Years later, he became the first President and set another important precedent by stepping down after two terms (becoming the Cincinnatus a second time), a precedent followed by all following Presidents except FDR. The early Americans were well aware of Washington's status as "the American Cincinnatus", and one of the first veterans' associations in the United States was named the Society of the Cincinnati in recognition of this fact. This is also where the name of Cincinnati, Ohio comes from. Even Washington's archnemesis, King George III of the United Kingdom readily admitted that by giving up power, Washington would deserve the title of greatest man then-currently alive. That's right, Washington was so badass that his own archnemesis couldn't deny it.
- Mr. Warmth, Don Rickles. He's 84 years old but he can still kick all those younger stand up comedians and insult comics around the curb.
- The late Fred Rogers, Friend to All Children and beloved by generations of television viewers.
- Many would agree that the late Scatman John qualifies. Not only did he have to overcome his severe speech impediment (during the height of his success, journalists commented that interviews were difficult due to his constant stuttering), he achieved global success with his numerous dance singles. Did we mention that he was releasing dance songs at the age of 54? While not by any means ancient, at the time dance mixes were something almost exclusively created by the younger generation. Worth noting is said speech impediment invariably contributed to his success.
- Socrates became something of a youth idol in his time, despite being over forty when he began his "gadfly of Athens" phase, to the point that the main charge that led to his execution was "corrupting the youth* youth Alcibiades]]." (Athenian law was more... flexible.)
- Shigesato Itoi
- Ringo Starr, obviously.
- Paul McCartney as well.
- Heck, any old rock star guy who is still around in the music business as of 2010 automatically qualifies for this trope, which include but are not limited to Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan. He doesn't even have to be a former Beatle.
- To name a few, Keith Richards, Little Richard, Robert Plant, Johnny Rotten.
- Charlie Watts deserves special mention for making a decades-long marriage, clean living and jazz drumming look cool for 50-plus years.
- Keeping to music, David Bowie has probably been this since he marked his 50th birthday with an all-star concert at Madison Square Garden in 1997, but then he released The Next Day in 2013, which was his first album in nearly 10 years and an international success with critics and music buyers. He hasn't performed live since 2007, so with this feat he effectively made an outright, out-of-the-blue comeback at the age of 66.
- Jim Steranko. Instantly recognizable at any comic book convention in his double-breasted suits, tinted aviator glasses, and wave of silver hair, Steranko continues a lifetime of being a Cool Guy, having been an escape artist, early rock-n-roll musician, ground-breaking comics artist, and collaborator of Spielberg, Lucas, and Coppola. In a recent interview, he revealed that he only sleeps two hours a day and only eats one meal of raw fruits and vegetables. Interviewer Jonathan Ross asked him, "You know how mad that makes you sound?" He replied, "Yeah, I don't give a damn." Ross concludes his article by expounding, "I believe it when he tells me he still runs miles every day, pumps iron, and fornicates blissfully like a man a third his age."
- Sir Patrick Stewart
- Ed Sullivan.
- George Takei. Oh Myyyy!
- Mr T, foo'!
- Tamerlane/Temur Lang/Timur Lenk, the fourteenth century conqueror. Absolutely brutal, but notable for surviving being a great, empire-building conqueror, outliving two and a half (the third son suffered crippling brain damage) of his four sons. When he was about seventy, his favorite grandson stalled out invading India, so he rode out and gave the kid a hand, sacked Delhi, and went back to Qandahar. He died at seventy-four in the process of gearing up to invade China. And he probably would have won, too.
- Extra points for doing all this with a congenitally deformed leg (Timur Lang means 'Timur the Lame;' he called himself Amir Temur) and shoulder. And for his pacifist fifty-something youngest son holding over half the empire together from Herat for decades during the succession struggle after he died.
- Let it be pointed out that the sack of Delhi above is famous for its brutality. Policy was purportedly to kill everyone over fifteen. Timour butchered Delhi.
- In that case Genghis Khan gets to be on here, too, though he didn't get quite as old. He actually conquered China.
- And his personal charisma was so high that Chinggid rulers of his bloodline were the only legitimate ones for centuries in many regions of the empire even after it broke apart, even if they were only figureheads. (Timurids had a similar if lesser value in his region later on, and Timur himself married Chinggid princesses for legitimacy.)
- Alex Trebek, 71, chased down a burglar and helped catch her. 
- Nobuo Uematsu. Singlehandedly wrote and composed ALL the Final Fantasy songs from FFI to FFX. Is also in a metal band called the Black Mages.
- Norio Wakamoto definitely counts amongst the Seiyuu circles.
- Tom Waits, for crying out loud! The man is coolness incarnate.
- The one, the only Sir Terry Wogan. For ages, the only reason many tuned into the Eurovision Song Contest, and his radio audience transcended age boundaries (which is why there's a "TYG/Terry's Young Geezers" counterpart to the "TOG/Terry's Old Geezers" fanbase). He too broke new artists on his Radio 2 program, from Katie Melua to the late Eva Cassidy to Jamie Cullum.
- Tsutomu Yamaguchi, a Japanese businessman who lived to be 93, having survived the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in 1945.
- All the astronauts from the US space program, as interviewed in the documentary In the Shadow of the Moon.
- Buzz Aldrin in particular. One day, while walking with his daughter, he was confronted by a crazy conspiracy theorist who kept loudly and rudely claiming that the Moon landing had been faked, and called Aldrin "a coward, and a liar, and a thief." Aldrin promptly responded by punching the conspiracy theorist in the face...at the age of 72.
- Later, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing, Buzz teamed up with Snoop Dogg, Quincy Jones, Talib Kweli, and Soulja Boy to create the rap single and video, "Rocket Experience." Proceeds from video and song sales went to benefit Buzz's non-profit foundation, Share Space.
- Once introduced himself at a speaking event as Buzz Lightyear, and also appeared As Himself on The Simpsons in a role where he mercilessly mocked himself.
NASA Scientist: ...and Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon!
Aldrin: Second comes right after first!
(Long pause as everyone save Aldrin looks around awkwardly)
- Ch. Loteki Supernatural Being, better known as Kirby, won Westminster when he was 8. That's old for a dog. This was the same year he won the canine Triple Crown. However his pure canine awesome didn't stop. When he was 14 he came out of retirement to win (for the fourth time) Papillon Club of America's National Speciality Show. This made him both the oldest dog to win this title and the dog with the most wins of said title. He died two years later at 16.
- Sir◊ Elton◊ Hercules John.
- Although he isn't exactly "old" quite yet, as of his recent 50th birthday, Jon Bon Jovi is on his way to becoming this trope. At 50, he's still very athletic (apparently, he still has abs), recently started up the JBJ Soul Foundation to help provide quality food and housing to poor people in his home state of New Jersey, and unlike some rockers, he's still married to his first wife, who happens to be his high school sweetheart. Oh, and he and his band (who are also on their way to becoming Cool Old Guys) can still put on awesome concerts, and generally tickets for their tours get sold out extremely quickly.
- Baseball's Yogi Berra is definitely this trope. During the 1940's, 50's, and 60's, he was one of the greatest players in the game. He later became a coach, serving as mentor to the new generation of players. Now 86 years old, he still attends the Yankees' Spring Training to dispense wisdom to the current players. He's known for being extremely friendly and gregarious, and lots of people in baseball think of him as a Cool Uncle. Oh, and the many amusing malapropisms he's uttered over the years, known appropriately as Yogi-isms, always result in a Crowning Moment of Funny. In short, Berra is a classy, funny veteran of the game and it can quite safely be stated that he's universally loved by fans and players alike.
- The late Pope John Paul II definitely counts.
- Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington was still active in both politics and the military up until his death.
- John Cleese.
- Lemmy from Motörhead. As of this writing, he's 66 years old but still playing kick-ass metal music.
- William S. Burroughs died in 1997 at the age of 83... but not before becoming an alternative-subculture icon during the early 1990s.
- The Cardinals' Stan "The Man" Musial is very similar to the Yogi Berra example above (still attends all the events he can, still gives autographs and replies to fanmail univerally beloved) with one extra detail: at age 90, he was the center of a fan-led grassroots campaign in St. Louis to get him the Congressional Medal of Freedom (the highest honor a U.S. civilian can receive). He received it in January 2011. He's possibly one of the finest Real Life examples of a Sacred Cow.
- Christopher Walken.
- Ronnie James Dio (R.I.P.) was definitely this.
- Bruce Willis is definitely becoming this.
- Most males from the Dutch series Golden Oldies are this. They are in a choir that actually sings modern day rock music, dispite being over 70. (Some even being in their late 80s.)
- Iggy Pop
- And last, but most definitely, certainly, positively, not least: The Man, the Myth, the Legend, Chuck Norris. 70+ and still going strong.
- BRIAN BLESSED. Need any more be said?
- Ozzy Osbourne, despite the problems that poor choices have caused him.
- Brian Dewhurst's name is familiar to Cirque du Soleil fans — he originated key roles in two tours (Nouvelle Experience and Fascination), has appeared in several of their film and television productions, and is currently playing the Non-Ironic Clown and crowd favorite Brian Le Petit in Mystere. That he's been working in circuses, cabaret, etc. since his teens is not surprising. That he was born in 1932...that's another story.
- George Burns built a whole second entertainer career with this trope after the death of his wife, Gracie Allen, and kept it up until his death at 100.
- Ernest Borgnine - lived to be 95 and was in full-on Borgnine mode right up to the end.
- Joe Biden, combining several traits of your favorite goofy uncle with a sharp wit, occasional verbal gaffes and considerable experience. No wonder one of the petitions on whitehouse.gov is to give him his own reality show.
- Tommy Lee Jones