Television Top Trumps: Bobby Newport vs Mike Hannigan

There are two facts about Paul Rudd that will never change; that he has somehow found the secret answer to the ageing process and will maintain the exact same face for all of time, and that he’s absolutely freakin’ adorable. But, if there were to be a third fact, it would be that he’s something of a comic genius.

And so it makes total sense that he’s appeared in both the ridiculously successful Friends, and the ridiculously brilliant Parks and Recreation. But where were he and his lovely face at their best? In early 00s Manhattan, or in little old Pawnee, Indiana?


Bobby: Supposedly, Bobby Newport is a Vice President at Sweetums, the massive candy producer that employs most of Pawnee. We say “supposedly”, because Bobby isn’t the wisest of men, and so this is definitely a ‘have the job title but don’t do any actual work’ situation. 4/10

Mike: He’s a pianist. That’s right, a pianist who plays at open mike nights and can somehow afford to live a fairly decent lifestyle in Manhattan. Totally plausible. Still, points for not following his dream, I guess. 7/10


Bobby: Bobby is a member of the Newport clan, owners of the aforementioned Sweetums. Which makes sense of how he’s got that fancy job title. Ah, nepotism. It’s what corporate America’s built on. 4/10

Mike: There’s an awful lot of wealth in this Top Trumps, as it turns out that Mike is also from fancy, rich, stuck-up stock. Which makes sense of how he can afford to be a jobbing pianist in Manhattan. Still, at least they’ve not given him a job for the sake of it. 7/10


Bobby: Bobby Newport doesn’t know much, but he does know how to wear a suit. And he wears a suit very, very well. 8/10

Mike: Poor Mike is at a distinct disadvantage here, as he was on our screens in the early 00s. Which means that his slightly dishevelled look is currently at the bottom of the fickle spinning wheel of fashion. Give it another 9 years or so, and he’ll be right back in style. After all, we’re all dressing like they did in Friends season 1, aren’t we? Only a matter of time til he’s back on top. 6/10

Loveable rival

Bobby: Bobby’s entire reason for being – at least within the confines of Parks and Recreation – is to run against Leslie Knope for city council. Sure, he’s got the cash, and the fancy campaign manager, and those really good suits. But she’s LESLIE KNOPE. She’s pretty much the most loveable woman on television. Which is why, in the end, even Bobby votes for her. Well, that and the fact that he’s an idiot who doesn’t realise he can vote for himself. 10/10

Mike: Once upon a time, the writers of Friends thought that Phoebe was going to end up with “Scientist Guy” David. Then they created Mike, and shat on their own doorstep. How could Phoebe end up with David when Paul Rudd and his incredible hair were in the running? She couldn’t, that’s how. Especially as when you actually think about it, David’s just a guy she went on a couple of dates with before he buggered off to Russia. 4/10

Love match

Bobby: Sure, for most of his time on the show we don’t even consider Bobby Newport in a romantic sense, even though he’s got one of the greatest faces ever. But then he suddenly marries Shauna Malway-Tweep in the season finale, because…erm…because she’s desperate and he’s there? Sounds magical. 2/10

Mike: If there’s one reason to be eternally grateful for Mike Hannigan, it’s that he stopped the writers of Friends trying to marry them all off to one another. For Mike marries Phoebe. But only after failing dismally to propose umpteen times, and nearly having the entire wedding snowed off. After all, things can’t go smoothly in a sitcom, can they? 10/10

The verdict

Mike takes it, with 34 to Bobby Newport’s 28. Which is probably for the best, as Bobby’s such an idiot that he probably couldn’t even count to 28.

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