The Comedic Hero is a less-than-competent protagonist who nevertheless succeeds despite his best efforts. He might have dumb luck on his side, or a Hypercompetent Sidekick might be watching his back with or without his knowledge. Alternatively he might good at weaponising his eccentricities into his own special brand of competence at just the right time.
The Fool is a specific variant of this character type. Might be a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass. For the superhero version, see Super Zeroes. For a goof who is more competent than people would like to admit see Let's Get Dangerous!.
- Numerous from the Golden and Silver Ages of comics, including but not limited to:
- The original Red Tornado, a hefty housewife who crossdresses as a superhero with a cooking pot over her head and beats up gangsters. She was a member of the Justice Society of America.
- Johnny Thunder, a hopeless twit who has an all-powerful genie at his command and doesn't even know it.
- Super-Hip, aka Tadwaller Jutefruce, Bob Hope's nerdy nephew who turns into a super-powered mod crooner whenever he gets angry. His battle-cry? "Bleck to Lawrence Welk!"
- Angel and the Ape: She's a private eye with brains and beauty to spare. He's a comic-book artist who happens to be a talking gorilla. They Fight Crime!!
- Stanley and His Monster, a little boy who pals around with a demon who was kicked out of Hell for being too darn nice.
- Zayne Carrick, main character of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (no, not that one, the comic series) started out as this, a walking catastrophe who couldn't even hold onto one lowlife criminal once captured. However, after the first story-arc, he settled into a more heroic mold, and his proneness to accidental carnage degenerated to an Informed Attribute.
- He also becomes smarter (he outsmarts and derails the plans of a mad scientist, a corrupt corporate executive, and a deranged Sith wannabe), and when he fights his former teachers he actually does fairly well (when he fights Raana Tey they're pretty evenly matched for most of the fight).
- Bertie Wooster, Jeeves and Wooster. Hilariously incompetent, "mentally negligible", and the epitome of the Upper-Class Twit — but so ridiculously nice that you can't help but root for him.
- Bink in A Spell for Chameleon and other novels. His magical talent renders him immune to harm from magic, but it does so by making him seem to escape through pratfalls, coincidence, and sheer luck.
- Maxwell Smart, lead CONTROL Agent in Get Smart, is a lovable doofus most of the time, though not without his moments of heroism.
- Ralph mostly fulfills this role on The Greatest American Hero, simply because he doesn't know how his suit works.
- NBC's Captain Nice, and CBS's Mr. Terrific, two very short-run (half season) series which tried to ride the "camp superhero" wave started by the Adam West Batman (1966) series.
- The title goofball Cowboy Cop on Sledge Hammer!
- Inspector Gadget (a spiritual successor to Get Smart and voiced by Don Adams, no less!) is nowhere near the hypercompetent inspector he thinks he is.
- Bullwinkle, Rocky and Bullwinkle, mainly gets through life with the aid of his Hypercompetent Sidekick Rocky (though Rocky has his moments too).
- The title character of The Tick is a Cloud Cuckoolander of the first order, but he still manages to get the job done.
- Daffy Duck, primarily in certain Chuck Jones cartoons where he was constantly trying (and failing) to take on the more dramatic hero role: Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century, The Scarlet Pumpernickel, Robin Hood Daffy, etc. In earlier takes Daffy was still comical, but far better at weaponising his own brand of craziness.