The Four-Man Band
is a primarily comedic group, designed for a sitcom or domcom. The four distinct personalities are specifically designed to play off each other so that whatever happens that day, Hilarity Ensues
Please note that the Four-Man Band
include The Hero
. The focus is evenly spread between them. If there is a Main Character
(rare) they can easily be any one of the Band, or it can just be switched between episodes to give focus to different characters. Even the four roles can be shuffled around a little.
Compare and contrast Four-Temperament Ensemble
. The band most commonly includes:
- Only Sane Man - Or maybe just the guy who comes the closest to being sane most often. Every zany gang must have a straight man, and the other three leads have to share one. While his (or her, although the role is usually male) friends act out, the Normal Guy's role is to Lampshade and be embarassed by their behaviour. He will be more successful with the opposite sex than his friends, notably The Pervert.
- The Smart Guy - More intelligent than his friends. This variant is primarily geared towards Lampshading the relative stupidity for the others and being humiliated for his arrogance. Alternatively he may be a Mad Scientist type, with insane inventions.
- The Pervert - This guy has a perverted mind. He usually takes one of two common forms - the Loveable Sex Maniac whose high sex drive is his most memorable trait, or the Comedic Sociopath, who has bursts of hilarious violence. In lighter examples, certain concepts may be Played for Laughs, whereas in darker examples the character may draw on Black Comedy Rape.
- The Butt Monkey - A character who serves as a target for the others' jokes. There are a few tropes that could make the Band's Butt Monkey; The Ditz, the Extreme Doormat or others. This member has remarkably less charisma than his friends or is a better target for jokes. The others will pick on him frequently and make him the target of practical jokes. Sometimes, however, this character may get one over on his bandmates, and this will thoroughly humiliate the others.
Compare Comic Trio
(where The Pervert leads, The Butt Monkey
goes along with him, and The Only Sane Man
complains but is ignored).
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reminds us that situational comedy humour can be found in many genres.
|Only Sane Man||Jigen||Keeps the most level head, gets to snark instead of gasp at the other characters.|
|The Smart Guy||Goemon||Head in the clouds, but not obsessed with his intelligence. Still gets into humiliating situations.|
|The Pervert||Lupin||Depending on the story, his actions may be more or less explicit.|
|The Butt Monkey||Inspector Zenigata||Especially in Lupin III (Red Jacket), his role is to be humiliated by Lupin.|
" Yoh and co. group searching for Dobi village
Live Action TV
The Big Bang Theory
|Only Sane Man||Leonard Hofstadter|
|The Smart Guy||Sheldon Cooper, and how.|
|The Pervert||Howard Wolowitz|
|The Butt Monkey||Raj Koothrappali. He's shy to the point he can't even speak to women unless drunk, and is generally awkward.|
|Only Sane Man||Olivia Dunham. Peter sometimes takes a crack at this, especially when Olivia shows up at his apartment at ungodly hours.|
|The Smart Guy||Peter Bishop: IQ 190.|
|The Pervert||Walter Bishop. He would be the smart guy, but he's just too darn insane to function.|
|The Butt Monkey||Astrid. Walter can't even remember her name.|
The Young Ones
|Only Sane Man||Simon Cooper. Not, however, the Main Character.|
|The Smart Guy||Will Mackenzie, who speaks French and is something of a high flyer|
|The Pervert||Jay Cartwright, who has been singularly attributed with bringing the word clunge back into the popular lexicon|
|The Butt Monkey||Neil Sutherland. While he is more successful with the opposite sex than the others, he takes The Ditz to extreme levels and is the target of the others' jokes|
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia note
That '70s Show
Will and Grace
|Only Sane Man||Paddy Maguire. Frustrated at the failed initiatives and incompetence of his sons|
|The Smart Guy||Jamie Maguire. Generally speaking, the most independent and able of the sons|
|The Pervert||Mickey Maguire. Mainly his obsessive love for gay porn|
|The Butt Monkey||Shane Maguire. Pretty much identified for his lack of common sense or intelligence, early on.|