Watchers of MST3K will no doubt have identified the occasional use of “Wormy Guy” to describe a certain kind of character in various MST3K films. Often cast as a loyal sidekick, a villain’s lieutenant, or “colorful” minor character, the wormy guy brings a special level of moist, loathsome annoyance to the movie-watching experience.
Which prompts the question: who do YOU think was the absolute wormiest Wormy Guy ever to appear in MST? The criteria are somewhat vague, but to help guide you in your assessment, I submit that a true Wormy Guy must possess two or more of the following characteristics:
- A weak, noodle-like physical stature
- A greasy, lecherous way of behaving around women
- A cowardly disposition, easily frightened or dominated by the other characters
- A whiny, plaintive voice – just hearing it makes you want to step on him!
- A pathetic, dog-like loyalty OR a resentful, treacherous obedience to “the boss”
Other characteristics may suggest themselves as we go, but I would like to pre-emptively disqualify Roger Grimes of Fly Creek, GA (Squirm.) He’s not a wormy guy; he’s a WORM guy – or more accurately, a worm face. There’s a difference!
So let’s hear your suggestions! If there’s enough interest, maybe we’ll do a bracket and let fan polls decide this vitally important question once and for all.
Three choices right off the top of my head:
- Joe Wilson, the scientist sidekick from This Island Earth (a.k.a. MST3K The Movie)
- Basically any of the Maltese thugs from Final Justice
- Mikey Walton, the angst-ridden little brother from Teen-Age Strangler
I think there’s gotta be a strong case to be made for Watney from Outlaw.
Weak and noodley? Check.
Greasy and lecherous around women? Check.
Cowardly disposition, dominated by the other characters? Check.
Whiny and plaintive voice? Check.
Resentful, treacherous obedience to “the boss”? Check and check.
Danny from The Girl in Lovers Lane leaps to mind, though he grows a spine at the end of the film.
Danny does indeed grow a spine whereas Marv from High-school Big Shot degenerates as the film progresses
Little Man (aka Jake Hayes) in Gunslinger. He’s in the background of the picture below, just as a subservient woooorm should be. He dotes on Erica Page who treats him like dirt. He’s easily dominated by her, pathetic dog-like loyalty, definitely a weak stature.
I will add one thing on the side, though. Jonathan Haze (who played Little Man and has been in quite a few Corman movies) is really a good actor. He gives his all to these roles he plays and honestly, the first time I saw this episode, I didn’t realize he was the same person who had been in so many other movies.
I feel like Cooch from The Sidehackers should at least get an Honorable Mention here. As should the Worm Trio of Lowe, Ellis, and Marcelli from The Indestructible Man. None of them seem to care all that much about creeping out women, but in other aspects they’re at least in the neighborhood.
Buz from Girl In Gold Boots would be a strong contender for… the Gold.
One simply cannot forget Eddie Deezen in Laserblast. He certainly belongs on the list somewhere.
I almost feel like Deezen should be excluded simply because he’s too much of a given… he made a career of playing the wormy guy so it’s almost unfair to the others.
DEFINITELY a good choice… I especially love that he has witless loyalty to Erica the whole time until he sees her with Cane and turns on her… he’s essentially the prototypical INCEL! I definitely agree about Haze as an actor, he throws himself into these roles and makes them far more memorable than they would be on the page.
Torgo from Manos, obviously. The OG Wormy Guy, in my book
What about the guy who threatened to make people the worm face. He seems pretty wormy.
Buzz from Mr. B Natural is a Wormy Guy in the making. Hopefully learning the trumpet will squash these tendencies before it’s too late!
Well, in real life I think he did go on to be a music teacher. Hopefully not the one saddled with “composing” the dance music from The Creeping Terror.
Disqualified, I’m afraid. See the paragraph after the list of traits.
I can’t believe not one mentioned Troy MacGreggor from The Final Sacrifice. He definitely fits criteria 1and 2, and really hits 4!
McDade from Avalanche (1978). He fits 1, 3, 4, and 5. He has “A weak, noodle-like physical stature”, “A cowardly disposition, easily frightened or dominated by the other characters” even Rock Hudson’s mother, “A whiny, plainitive voice - just hearing it makes you want to step on him!” especially when giving exposition, and “A pathetic, dog-like loyalty” to Rock Hudson and his “development”. McDade may not be as high-strung as some wormy guys though he lands most of the notes and never goes his own way.
Which brings up a good question, I think. Is Steve Franken wormier in Avalanche or in The Time Travelers?
(Of course, he may have been at his wormiest on Dobie Gillis, which comes to mind because Dwayne Hickman just passed away.)
@FastidiousRobot I would answer YES he is in Time Travellers (1964) and I’m working on that nomination as we speak.
I thought about it, but I cut him some slack because A) Adolescence and B) Canada.