After Hours

Seven great fools in sci-fi and fantasy

April Fools' Day brings out the idiot-seeker in most geeks, so we serve up seven of the foremost fools from geek media to get the imbecility going.

Geeks have a special appreciation for April Fools' Day. Between some infamous pranks (and some web apps so awesome they were mistaken for hoaxes), geeks live for the annual celebration of lovable idiocy. As such, we present seven prime examples of fanciful fools from geek literature and media.

Marcus Brody

The avuncular associate of one Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones Jr., Marcus Brody is as loyal as he is bumbling. A gifted archaeologist but at best an addled adventurer, Brody is the perfect foil for the ever-capable Jones. Just try to ignore that time he got lost in his own museum.

Jar Jar Binks

The epitome of comic relief gone wrong, Jar Jar Binks is the lovable idiot who never becomes lovable. Constantly annoying, slapstick in the extreme, and with an accent as put-upon as it is impenetrable, Jar Jar is everything that's insufferable with fumbling fool archetypes.

Groo The Wanderer

If a teleporter accident somehow fused Conan the Barbarian with Forrest Gump, the result would be Groo, a send-up of the sword & sorcery genre whose oblivious stupidity is perhaps his greatest superpower. Groo has unknowingly ended civilizations and accidentally thwarted villains and heroes alike in his endless quest for adventure, proving once again that ignorance is more than bliss — it's the basis for an entire comic book franchise.

Jayne Cobb

Jayne is the member of Mal Reynolds's Serenity crew that refuses to believe he's as dumb as everyone tells him he is. His instincts are good — especially when interrogating federal agents or predicting the need for grenades — but he's a bit gullible when it comes to pretty much everything else. Jayne is the most compelling case of a fool being more entertaining because he refuses to be seen as a fool — and because, despite his rather simplistic worldview, he's actually really good at what he does.

Jason Stackhouse

The dim, good-hearted, athletic, and compulsively promiscuous brother of True Blood protagonist Sookie Stackhouse, Jason is the conscious inverse of the female bubblegum blonde stereotype that populates low-quality horror fiction. Put more simply, Jason is the male equivalent of the proverbial "hooker with a heart of gold" rewritten to appeal to the standard female demographic. Yes, he's dumb, but he means well, and he looks good doing it.


Few would have guessed this Deep Space Nine supporting character would have offered such depth. Rom isn't so much stupid as he's a savant, shockingly competent at technical tasks but awful at social interactions and profiteering — and the latter two are the talents most prized by Ferengi in general, and Rom's brother Quark in particular. It's no overstatement that Rom's engineering skills saved the Federation, but Rom would never say that — probably because it would never occur to him that he'd done it.

Professor Hubert Farnsworth

The absent-minded professor taken to intentionally absurd extremes, Futurama's Hubert Farnsworth does more than run Planet Express, he spends his time building bizarre technologies — mostly doomsday weapons — and then promptly forgets what he's done with them. Think Doctor Doom, the Alzheimer Years. Farnsworth has shaped more of 30th Century human civilization than he's remotely aware, and less than he'd probably like. Good news, everyone, his idiocy stops him from enslaving all mankind for his personal amusement.

Think we missed a great fool, or just want to share favorite bits of each fool's biography? Our comment section awaits your snark.


Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger — amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

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