In a film and television world full of superheroes, extraterrestrial forces, dirty politicians, and more, sometimes the protagonist we seek is the janitor behind the curtain. Here is a list of some outstanding janitors from classic television shows and movies.
Carl Reed, The Breakfast Club
Best known for siding with the students against Vice Principal Vernon, Mr. Reed showed how being on the right side of information could help fight the good fight. Though his janitorial services were rarely seen, it’s assumed that he exceeded his job’s expectations.
J.D.’s nameless foe was not known for his janitorial services; rather, the opposite is true. With endless pranks and disguises, “Janitor” may not have given cleanliness the importance it deserves, but he was always sure to deliver a laugh.
Will Hunting, Good Will Hunting
The mathematical prodigy struggled with his own personal problems as a janitor on Harvard’s campus, but with a mentorship by Sean Maguire (Robin Williams), Will Hunting (Matt Damon) found the ability to gain knowledge within himself. Good Will Hunting has cemented itself as one of the most popular films of all time, and Matt Damon gave such a superb performance that, arguably, Will Hunting is the most popular janitor ever in film or TV.
Gordy, Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide
More of a guide to the show’s student protagonists than a qualified janitor, Gordy regularly hides in his backpack-laden closet and cleans up messes only as a ruse to give the appearance of hard work. Maybe he needed more insight into how to mop floors? Though his janitorial services were well-hidden, Gordy was a crucial component to the success of his school’s students.
Lee Chandler, Manchester by the Sea
A harrowing tale of a man who lost everything, Lee Chandler (played by Casey Affleck) is forced to reckon with the hometown he abandoned for a new life in Boston as a handyman. Manchester by the Sea is nominated for six Academy Awards, with Affleck at the top of the list of potential Best Actor winners. From Will’s absent-minded friend in Good Will Hunting to star of one of the most powerful movies of 2016, Casey Affleck takes the crown for this Oscar season’s most popular janitor.