Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Meet Ted DeWitt-Clinton (some observations)

Rather than go through the whole sheebang about who Ted is and so forth, since everyone here pretty much knows all that, we'll start with the basic links that give you everything there is to officially know about him.

Outpost Daria transcript of "The New Kid," which has pretty much all there is to say about him on the surface, since that's the only episode he appears in that's worth mentioning. He snaps a pic of Daria and Tom in "I Loathe a Parade" and sits in the grandstands behind Kevin (saying nothing) in "A Tree Grows in Lawndale," but you don't need to know any of that to know Ted (except that he's still the yearbook's photo editor in his junior year).

Outpost Daria synopsis of Ted's appearances and personality in the series. Nice thumbnail about him. This is where I stole the picture of him at left, which is just about the best pic of him I can find. See also the Daria Character Database thumbnail of him on Glitter Berries.

Ted's brief monologue on the MTV Daria website, to which we will return later. (By the way, this webpage proves the W in DeWitt is capitalized.)

It's interesting to note that Ted is not only nicer than Daria, he might be smarter and better adjusted than she is, too. He has a much better knack for understanding people on top of that; the way he pegs Daria as shallow is just priceless. He was Daria's second romantic interest after Trent, though her first actual date was with Robert.

Ted's name is actually a little historical joke courtesy of the Daria script writers. He is obviously named for the very famous 19th century American politician, DeWitt Clinton, who was himself named for his father (Clinton) and mother (DeWitt) exactly as Ted is. The original DeWitt Clinton was a prodigy, like Ted, and his impact on America, particularly New York State, is still being felt today. (See the Wikipedia link on his name for details.)

And now for a little observation of my own.

Despite the fact that he and Daria dated, and despite the fact that fanfic writers like to pair up Ted and Stacy Rowe, Ted would never end up dating either one of them for long, because (and I say this with all due respect to him, as he is a great guy) Ted is the gayest character I have ever seen in the comics or on an animated TV show. He is gayer than the ascot-wearing Fred from Scooby-Doo, gayer than Mike Slackmeyer from Doonesbury, gayer than Lawrence Poirier from For Better or For Worse. I'm outing him, and it's about time.

There's been an off-and-on argument in Daria fandom about the intense focus that (assumedly) lesbian characters get in fanfic vs. the near absence of interest shown in gay characters. Yeah, there was that story about Trent and Jesse, "Ragged Denim," but that was ages ago. I think there was another story, but I forgot everything about it, it was so long ago. And here's Ted, who has an incredibly obvious thing about Charlie Rose's eyes. C'mon, people, wake up! Get with it and get over it. You want a gay Daria high school character, he's been there right in front of you all this time. You know I'm right.

'Nuff said.


cincgold said...

"Daria...have you ever seen a Steve Reeves movie? (Sighs.) Man, it must have been great to be one of the ancient Greeks...."

E. A. Smith said...

"Daria, do you like movies about gladiators?"

The Angst Guy, not logged in said...

"These days I occasionally allow myself to relax and enjoy a breezy situation comedy or stimulating horror motion picture. The guilt is overwhelming, but I just can't resist the kapow of a good action flick, the charge I get from watching muscle-bound wrestlers beating the cartoony crap out of each other, and most of all, the haunting allure of Charlie Rose. Those sad eyes of his have seen so much. What's happening to me? I'm sorry, I have to go." — from Ted's monologue on the MTV webpage (italics mine).

I rest my case. It's debatable whether Ted is gayer than Mr. Garrison and Mr. Slave of South Park, but this is a matter best resolved by people other than myself.

Party on.

the nightgoblyn said...

And he's wearing a lavender shirt! How did we miss this!?

waldnorm said...

Where are they now? . . . Ted and Robert have a reunion with the other gay couple at Lawndale . . . Corey and Skylar . . .