On My Own: Sidekicks Turned Heroes

It sucks to be a sidekick. You do all the work, and somebody else gets all the glory. Even if you have a great situation, or a weird semi-homosexual relationship going on with your hero (we’re looking at you, Watson), it’s no life for a true go-getter. After reading this New York Times article on Gayle King’s escape from sidekick-land, we decided to take a look at all the sidekicks who have battled their way to the top, transitioning into their own heroes. Hopefully, any currently oppressed and depressed sidekicks out there will take this list as inspiration to be the heroes of their own lives — or, er, stories, at least. Click through for our list of now-famous sidekicks.

Gayle King

Being Oprah’s best friend is a pretty plumb gig. King is editor-in-chief of O, The Oprah Magazine and instrumental in the entire Oprah empire. However, two months ago, King began broadcasting her very own eponymous show, The Gayle King Show, where as the New York Times reports, she greets Lady Gaga in her underwear, whether Oprah approves or not.

Victoria Beckham

You may have forgotten it amidst all the denim collections and reality TV shows, but Beckham (née Adams) first came into public awareness as Posh Spice. Though she’s certainly done the best for herself out of all of the former Spice Girls (David Beckham, end of argument), she was by no means the leader at the beginning. Geri Halliwell was the Beyoncé of the Spice Girls, the de facto group leader, with Mel B (Scary Spice) not far behind. Poor Posh was in the background… until now. But does anyone even remember Sporty Spice? Sigh.

Robin

After the death of the child’s parents, Batman took 10 year old acrobat Dick Grayson under his wing and taught him how to fight, calling him Robin or the Boy Wonder. Robin was Batman’s sidekick for many years, until he struck out on his own, assuming the identity of Nightwing. Apparently, he is now the new Batman, with Bruce Wayne’s son as the new Robin. Finally he has a job where the outfit is only kind of silly.

Jimmy Kimmel

Kimmel’s began his television career on Comedy Central game show Win Ben Stein’s Money, which he “co-hosted” with — you guessed it — Ben Stein. Though he’s credited as a co-host, let’s not lie. Whose name is in the title? That’s what we thought. Now, he’s put those pudgy cheeks and perpetually stoned-looking eyes to use, and he’s famous in his own right. His current show finally has his name in the title, and Jimmy Kimmel Live! has the dubious distinction of being the longest running late-night talk show in the history of ABC. He even got to kiss Ben Affleck.

Princess Peach Toadstool

Not only did Princess Peach have to work up to being a heroine in her own right, she even had to work up to being a sidekick at all. In her first appearances within the Super Mario Bros. world, Princess Peach was merely the damsel in distress, the object of desire for the man characters to work towards. Then, in Super Mario Bros. 2, she became a playable character along with Luigi and Toad, although in subsequent games she did continually get kidnapped. Super Princess Peach was the first game in which Peach was the main character, and fittingly, her goal is to rescue Mario, Luigi and Toad, whom Bowser has finally kidnapped instead of her. You go girl.