How an area is perceived is based on a number of things, like food and weather. Or gun laws. Or how people from the area are portrayed through the creation of fictional characters. I’m going to talk about the third one. I’m avoiding shows set in Ohio, like WKRP and “3rd Rock From The Sun.” Same with movies like “A Christmas Story” and “Heathers.” I’ll get to those someday. Instead, I’m going to take a look at the people that left Ohio to show the world how we do it. Ted Mosby – “How I Met Your Mother” I’m going to start with the most obvious. “How I Met Your Mother” has been around for six years and it’s going to be around for at least two more. Ted Mosby is the everyman in the middle of all the commotion. He’s a New Yorker, but he’s never shy about representing Shaker Heights. His favorite CD is “Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone.” He makes mistakes, but we still want him to win. He attracts people like Barney and Robin, even though he doesn’t look or act like he should. And he punched Doogie Howser in the dick. Egon Spengler – “Ghost Busters” Yes, the dorky, quirky silent brain behind the whole Ghostbusters operation is from the heart of it all. Venkman may be everybody’s favorite, but Spengler is the guy the writer chose to play and the real soul of the Ghostbusters. Spengler even brings the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (SPMM) to Ohio when he comes to visit his uncle Cyrus. Wouldn’t it be great if Spengler was from Berlin, Ohio? Because then the SPMM could be singing Leonard Cohen while he wreaked destruction! Roy Hinkley a.k.a. The Professor – “Gilligan’s Island” Another brilliant scientist, The Professor was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio before he became a botanist, went out on a three hour cruise and met the Globetrotters. He’s very much the Spengler of the island. I’m not really sure if this is a clear win for Ohio, however. As brilliant as the Professor was – he made some really amazing shit on that island – he couldn’t build a boat. Didn’t they even have a wrecked boat? Maybe he was just procrastinating because he wasn’t done hanging out with Mary-Anne. That’s what I’d do. J Robert Fowler – “The Sum of All Fears”, “Clear and Present Danger” I had to take Ohio history, so I’m aware that Ohio has eight presidents and that is the most of everybody. Since then, I’ve bothered to look things up and realized that William Henry Harrison was born in Virginia and just came here later. Some people would count that as a (w) for Virginia, but they didn’t count on Tom Clancy. J Robert Fowler is the President of the United States that brought peace to the fucking Middle East. Part Clinton, part Reagan, he banged his advisor, threatened to throw nukes at Russia and looks like James Cromwell. We win, Virginia. We win. Rip Cord – “G. I. Joe” The G. I. Joe from O-hi-o. That was lame, but so are the other G. I. Joes from Ohio. Rip Cord, on the other hand, is awesome. His entire job is to beat people up and jump off really high shit. It doesn’t get any better. But wait, it does! When he finally gets his fifteen minutes of fame, he starts dating a girl named Candy Appel. What is that about? Any cartoon character named Candy Appel has got to be hot. Vincent Van Ghoul – “Scooby Doo” Growing up watching Scooby Doo, it was hard to watch Vincent Van Ghoul and not think that he was Vincent Price playing Ghoulardi. Maybe that’s because that’s exactly what it was. Vincent Van Ghoul lives in Coolsville, Ohio. In fact, the entire Mystery, Inc gang is from Ohio. They went to school together. They were the breakfast club, until they grew up and started solving mysteries, spending an inordinate amount of time cramped in a van together. They did meet the Globetrotters. Velma was the only half-sane one in the group. She probably just hung out because Shaggy had some crazy drugs and every trip was another story. Because that’s what I’d do. And an honorable mention to Bruce Banner and Joe Gillis, both from Dayton, Ohio. Does anyone know who Joe Gillis is? Who are your favorite fictional characters from Ohio?