Here at Fulcher 2 Stay, we decided to gauge Andy Dalton’s popularity periodically by comparing him to others that share his same name. Some share the birth name, others the surname. All varieties of spelling are welcome and all qualifications are subjective. And, most importantly, this only measure where Andy Dalton ranks in popularity among other Andys and Andrews of the world on this day. This was measured by comparing Andy A to Andy B and asking this: if you were walking in the middle of a busy sidewalk and these two Andys approached simultaneously, which one would you say hello to first? This week, let’s take a look at some fictional characters.
10. Andrew Klein
You likely don’t remember him because you tuned out of the later seasons of Entourage like any normal person would, but he had a horrible character arc on a show that had its share of regrettable character arcs. Played by the perpetually unlikable (I mean that as a compliment) Gary Cole, his crowning moment in the show was when he drove his own car through his own house, which sums up my thoughts on Mr. Klein.
9. Andrew (Full House)
Remember that episode when Michelle falls off a horse, gets amnesia, and then doesn’t have amnesia anymore because she remembers Uncle Jesse’s Mr. Goodbar comb? (Yeah, I don’t either…) But if I did, I’d know that it overshadowed Steph smooching a high school hunk named Andrew and…
Oh, no. I just IMDBed it. I remembered wrong.
Andrew was actually played by actor Will Estes (now starring in Blue Bloods!) and NOT Tiger Beat bro Andrew Keegan, like I originally thought. I got that character confused with the one played by Keegan in the previous episode. Guess I’ll save all my sick #KeeganBurns for the actor rankings. But still, this Andrew from Full House is better than Klein.
8. Andy Bernard (The Office)
Oh, Nard Dog. He burst onto the scene like a phoenix, delivering to The Office reams of a capella tunes and a severely distorted sense of reality. But then he stayed, his shtick remained the same, he was given some strange backstory that involved being a disappointment to his father and dwarfed by his brother (played by Josh Groban, who dwarfs all humans), and he became too much. Stop trying so hard, Andy. There’s a reason Angela played you like a fiddle. And you don’t really want to be seen talking to him.
7. Andrew Neiman (Whiplash)
If you didn’t see one of the most enjoyable films of last year’s Academy Awards nominees (and judging by its global box office haul of less than $14 million, you probably didn’t), you may not be familiar with this character. He’s played by Miles Teller and really, really, really likes drumming. He chooses drumming over the following: a promising romantic relationship, his education, his family, having not bloody hands, and the real possibility of internal injuries/death. He’s focused, sure, but he’s not really my tempo.
6. Sheriff Andy Taylor (The Andy Griffith Show)
The only thing I knew about The Andy Griffith Show was its iconic theme song. So because this is important journalism, I watched 10 minutes of one episode to gauge just what kind of character Andy Taylor was. Turns out, he was basically just the straight man to a group of goofy cads like Goober and Gomer Pyle and Barney Fife. In a way, that’s the inverse of Andy Dalton’s career until this season, the comic foil to the exceedingly competent supporting cast. Yet through the first six games of the season, Dalton is harnessing the quiet power of Andy Taylor.
5. Andie Anderson (How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days)
At the risk of beginning a Fulcher 2 Stay civil war with fellow editor Justin Williams, I’m including the lovely Andie Anderson in the top five of Andy/ies. HTLAGI10D may not be the greatest romantic comedy ever (except that it probably is) but it delivers a character who’s equal parts passionate, creative, and dedicated. She’s a Columbia-educated journalist mired in a job that’s beneath her professional ambition. She enjoys eating burgers and drinking beer. She can belt Carly Simon just as well as she can lambaste Latrell Sprewell. Also, she got the raw end of the deal in this plot. McConaughey just has to get her to fall in love with him. There’s no stipulation on him falling in love with her. Love you, Andie. I get your struggle. I will defend you, always. (Justin’s note: You’re dead to me.)
4. Andy Davis (Toy Story)
I struggled with where to slot the boy whose affection was sought by the likes of Woody and Buzz Lightyear. On one hand, he’s a less-than-minor character as far as screen time goes. On the other, he’s the driving force behind the franchise. He has poor taste in food (even as a kid, I understood that something like Pizza Planet was basically the equivalent of CiCi’s with a cooler ambiance), but he does have Rex, and I loved dinos as a kid. In the end, a kid whose toys love him as much as Andy’s #squad must be pretty cool.
3. Andy Dalton (The Bengals)
The Bengals are 6-0, his quarterback rating is better than anyone not named Tom Brady, and he’s beginning to make believers out the hordes of skeptical Bengals fans. The way I see it, there are certain stages to accepting Andy Dalton as your football savior. First, you have to convince yourself he’s good at football. I’d say that part is done. Most would argue that Dalton is a good quarterback, or at worst, that he’s an average quarterback with a good supporting cast that sucks in the playoffs. Even then, he’s capable of doing good things. Next, in addition to doing good things consistently, you have to be convinced that he won’t inevitably screw it up with one idiotic decision. I think we’re teetering on the edge of that right now, but not quite there. The next steps of acceptance? Well, we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.
2. Andy Dufresne (The Shawshank Redemption)
Andy Dufresne has seen some shit. Literally. But he survived Shawshank Prison (which was located in Ohio, about 180 miles up I-71 from Cincinnati) and made it to Zihuatanejo. (For years, I thought Zihuatanejo was a fictional Mexican Eden. Turns out, it’s very real and just as beautiful as the postcard to Red promised.) Dufresne is arguably the most popular fictional Andy, and certainly the most respected, but in keeping with the scenario that’s governing this scientific analysis, I think it’d be a little intimidating to approach him. So, uh, that beer after tarring the roof sure seemed tasty. Was that an IPA? Ever try MadTree or Rhinegeist, Andy? Prison is a touchy subject, man.
And the top fictional Andy goes to…
1. Andy Dwyer (Parks and Recreation)
He may be the most likeable television character in the last 20 years. Andy Dwyer has nary a mean bone in his doughy body, and comes with a childhood sense of wonder equivalent to a thousand cotton-candy-filled amusement parks. Throughout his rise from homeless vagrant to dedicated shoe shine to humble public servant to cable-access TV star, Dwyer maintained an unwavering, infectious optimism born from the absence of malice. He’d probably be walking the streets with his guitar and would absolutely play an acoustic Mouse Rat set on queue. He’d definitely pour one out for Li’l Sebastian.
Previous editions of an Andy Amongst Andrews: Sports!
Adam Flango is an associate editor at Cincinnati Magazine. He would also like to retire to Zihuatanejo.