films The Weirdest Characters in Coen Brothers Movies

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List Rules "Nobody f*cks with the Jesus" ...or any of these Coen Brothers characters. Vote up the ones you think are the weirdest.

The Coen Brothers are considered to be among the best filmmakers working today. Their unique style, crazy characters and twisted sense of humor is visible in each one of their many movies. Got a favorite Coen Brothers movie? You can vote it up on this list of the Best Coen Brothers Movies.

One of the things that the Coens always manage to fit into their movies are bizarre characters that sometimes don't even factor into the plot of the film at all. Whether it is a straight comedy like The Big Lebowski or a tense thriller like Fargo, one of these strange characters always manages to make it on screen.

Here is a list of some of the absolute weirdest side characters the Coens have come up with so far. Even though they may not be on screen for long, they definitely make an impression. Vote up the strangest characters on this list and thank the Coens for all the creepiness.
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Jesus


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"Nobody f*cks with the Jesus."

Film: The Big Lebowski (1998)

John Turturro's portrayal of this bizarre character is one of the highlights of the 1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski, despite his relatively short appearance. Jesus is a bowling rival of Walter and The Dude and has a very flamboyant personality, dances his way to the lane, and allegedly has a record of child molestation. The way Turturro licks the bowling ball (which was apparently something that was not in the script) has now become a signature weird image of this strange and wonderful film.
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Knox Harrington


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"Just a friend of Maude's"

Film: The Big Lebowski (1998)

Almost every character in The Big Lebowski could be on this list, but Knox Harrington the "video artist" is easily the strangest. For an entire scene, he is in the background giggling loudly about seemingly nothing. When "The Dude" asks him any kind of question or even insults him, it only sets him off more. When Maude, the performance artist whom "The Dude" came to see in the first place shows up, she joins in with the giggling. What is so damn funny?
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Big Dan Teague


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"I'm a man of large appetites."

Film: O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

O Brother, Where Art Thou? is loosely based on Homer's The Odyssey. In the film, three outlaws looking for lost riches meet a large Bible salesman named Big Dan, who offers to teach them the ways of selling "the word of God, in bulk." When they ask him for further information, he beats them half to death with a giant log and robs them. Big Dan represents the Cyclops in Homer's story both literally and figuratively. He wears an eyepatch and is also a monster of a human being. This is just one of many of John Goodman's appearances in Coen Brothers films. He always manages to bring a unique kind of unhinged creepiness to each of his roles.
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Mike Yanagita


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"You were always such a super lady!"

Movie: Fargo (1996)

Mike Yanagita is definitely the most pathetic character on this list. In a strange side-plot from the main storyline of Fargo, Marge Gunderson goes to visit an old high school friend who turns out to have motives beyond just having a drink. After confessing that his wife has died and he is very lonely, Mike confesses he still has feelings for Marge. It isn't until after this awkward meet up that Marge finds out that not only was Mike not married to the woman he said he was, she's perfectly alive and well!
Chet the Bellhop is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Weirdest Characters in Coen Brothers Movies
Photo: user uploaded image
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Chet the Bellhop


"My Name is Chet!"

Film: Barton Fink (1991)

Barton Fink is undoubtedly one of the Coens' creepiest films. The period piece takes place in 1941 Hollywood and stars John Turturro as Fink, a distinguished playwright who is asked to pen a screenplay to a wrestling movie for a big Hollywood studio. He checks in to the bizarre Hotel Earle where everything goes to hell... literally.

The first sign that things might not be normal comes at the beginning of the film when Fink checks in. After ringing a bell, which echoes through the entire building, a grimy, almost apelike bellhop played by Steve Buscemi climbs out of a hole in the ground and starts cheerily telling him the rules of the hotel. Throughout his speech he repeatedly mentions that his name is Chet, and then he hands Fink a piece of paper with his name written in capital letters followed by an exclamation point.

Chet is only seen once or twice more in the movie, but his appearance sets the bizarre tone for the rest of the film.

 
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Roland Turner


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"Folk songs? I thought you said you were a musician."

Film: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Roland Turner is an aging saxophone player and jazz enthusiast who speaks in an affected tone and has no respect for Folk musicians. He has a valet who drives him around without saying a word, and he walks with two canes, which also serve as poking instruments for him to use when people are ignoring him. Roland has some secrets, and he is constantly wandering off to the restroom for long periods of time. He is as mysterious as he is obnoxious, and he leaves the film almost as suddenly as he enters it. Once again, John Goodman plays someone that only the Coen Brothers could possibly create.
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Leonard Smalls


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"You want to find an outlaw? Hire an outlaw."

Movie: Raising Arizona (1987)

Leonard Smalls - or the "Lone Biker of the Apocalypse" - from Raising Arizona is strange because he seems almost like he's from another movie. While most of Raising Arizona takes place within the realm of reality, this constantly-grimy, gun-slinging badass with a breathing problem seems like he would be more at home in "Mad Max" than in this film. Hi McDunnough, played by Nicolas Cage, is constantly having bizarre dream sequences about him, and the way the film portrays him makes it seem like he may actually be a figment of somebody's imagination.

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see more on Leonard Smalls
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Bear Pelt Guy


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"Do either of you need medical attention?"

Movie: True Grit (2010)

Even when the Coens make a somewhat straightforward movie like the 2010 western True Grit, they still manage to add their personal brand of weirdness. The film stars Hailee Steinfeld and Jeff Bridges as two adventurers looking for a murderer in the late 1800s. About halfway through the film, while they are traveling through the forest, they encounter a slow-talking self-proclaimed dentist wearing a full bear pelt and carrying a corpse. This is the most Coen-esque moment in the film, and it's also one of the funniest.