When I was very young, I was obsessed with Superman.  I used to watch VHS copies of the original cartoon all the time.  I even would go around asking people to call me Clark Kent.  As the new iteration, Man of Steel, is being released today, I figured I’d take a look at the tradition of TV Characters and their respective pseudonyms.

5.  Rusty Shackleford AKA Dale Gribble, King of the Hill


Dale Gribble is a conspiracy theorist; you know, just like your uncle or that one guy you know on Facebook.  As a diligent man bent on not giving the New World Order an inch, Dale doesn’t even sign his real name… on anything.  Enter Rusty Shackleford, the name Dale chooses to give when faced with any person of governmental authority.

4. Bert Macklin: FBI AKA Andy Dwyer, Parks and Recreation


Andy Dwyer is a simple man that likes simple things: April Ludgate, Dave Matthews Band, and moonlighting as FBI Agent Bert Macklin.  Macklin is Andy’s escape from the realities of his own life, especially in the early seasons when he didn’t have much going for him.  He was able to turn any tiny bit of investigation into the most important case to the safety of America.  Bert Macklin is the most pure example of an alter-ego: a chance for a well-meaning soul to experience his own fantasies.

3. Don Draper AKA Dick Whitman, Mad Men


One thing that Don Draper has over everyone else on this list is that his alter-ego became his life.  Dick Whitman “died” in Korea and with him, he left behind the life he had growing up in a whorehouse, son to a prostitute and a drunk that got kicked in the head by livestock (which is the main reason why you won’t see me hang around the ass end of a horse).   Once Don Draper, Whitman turned his life around to become the most powerful man he could be; something that a whore child could never accomplish.

2.  Art Vandelay AKA George Costanza, Seinfeld


Art Vandelay became so ingrained in the lexicon of Seinfeld that he more or less became a secondary character all his own.  Cultivated during the second episode, George used it every time he needed to get extra devious: from trying to scam the unemployment office to conjuring him up as the author of his favorite book “Venetian Blinds”.

1.  Heisenberg AKA Walter White, Breaking Bad


For all the crazy schemes that George Costanza has allowed himself to get into while under the pseudonym Art Vandelay, no scheme ever came close to actually parlaying a career as a chemistry teacher into becoming the most feared meth overlord in all the Southwest United States.  Heisenberg has brought out the very worst in Walter White, but also turned him from a sheepish bookworm into a man of action.  If only he used his powers for good.