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10 Reasons Omar From The Wire Was the Ultimate Badass

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Michael K. Williams’ path to playing jazz musician Rock Banyon in The Spoils Before Dying is pretty atypical – he worked at a pharmaceutical company and was homeless for a while before being discovered by Tupac Shakur. Everything changed for him in 2002 when he got the role of one of the most iconic badasses in TV history – Omar Little on The Wire.

To get you ready for the July 8th premiere of The Spoils Before Dying, let’s recap the reasons why Omar was so awesome. (Spoilers ahead!)

10. He Stood Up to the Gangs

The essential nature of Omar’s character was as a sort of hood Robin Hood, no pun intended. Omar made a living not by preying on the innocent (or as innocent as they get on The Wire) but on the predators. This naturally made him not very popular with the Barksdale crew and the other gangs that filled their shoes.

Omar the Wire All in the Game


9. He Took His Grandma To Church

It takes a lot of guts to be a family man on the mean streets of Baltimore, and every Sunday morning Omar showed respect by going to church with his dear grandmother (who thought he had a honest job at the airport). When two of Barksdale’s boys go after him there in the third season, it causes all Hell to break loose. But Omar is always a cool customer.

HBO

HBO


8. He Lives By A Code

In a world where morals are hard to find, Omar is a rare bird: he abides by a strict moral code. Best illustrated by him telling Bunk he “ain’t never put my gun on nobody who wasn’t in the game,” the code keeps Omar level when a tsunami of crap comes his way.

Omar The Wire Code


7. He Always Gets Revenge

Stringer Bell’s cunning plan to pit Omar against Nation of Islam hired gun Brother Mouzone ended badly for the copy shop gangster when the two adversaries figured out they’d been played. Their takedown of Stringer is one of the show’s most satisfying moments.

HBO

HBO


6. He Was Only Supposed To Last Seven Episodes

David Simon originally envisioned Omar as just another passing face in the Baltimore crowd, with a character arc lasting just seven episodes and culminating with him dying on his quest for revenge against the Barksdale gang. After watching Michael K. Williams completely inhabit the role, Simon knew that Omar was destined to be a bigger part of the story.


5. He Brings His Own Music

All the great badasses have theme songs, and Omar’s eerie whistling of “The Farmer In The Dell” created an atmosphere of menace that reverberated through the streets of Baltimore. You knew Omar was coming from a mile away, and all the knowledge in the world couldn’t save you.


4. He Could Laugh At Himself

After The Wire wrapped, the closely-knit crew went their separate ways. But in 2012 many of the original cast came together for the hilarious Funny or Die clip “The Wire: The Musical,” which showed Omar, Bubbles at the rest at their singing, dancing best.


3. He Loved With All His Heart

Omar’s homosexuality was an incredibly daring choice for the series. Making such a powerful and feared figure gay – and showing him being emotionally intimate with his boyfriends – reminded us that Omar was human, not just a force of nature, and his reaction to Brandon being killed in the first season set many wheels in motion.


2. His Fashion Was On Point

Omar’s trademark duster and doo-rag combo was all well and good, but you got a totally different view of the man when he showed up in court to testify against Bird. To jazz up his black and red tracksuit, Mr. Little ties on a white silk tie for the couture statement of the century.

Omar The Wire style


1. Obama Said So

You may not agree with the POTUS on everything, but you can’t deny that Barack Obama has pretty great taste in TV shows. So when he says that Omar was the best character of all time on The Wire, we’re going to agree. Now all he needs to do is sign an executive order to make that legally binding.

Omar The Wire Indeed

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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