25 Best Coen Brother Characters

From Barton Fink to the Dude, counting down Joel and Ethan's craziest, most unforgettable creations

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14. Carl Showalter ('Fargo')

A perpetually annoyed ex-con with a flapping jaw and a passion for prostitutes, Carl is Exhibit A for why you do a background check on the men you hire to kidnap your wife. And in Steve Buscemi's hands, he's also the dedicated comic relief of a movie in which even the most tragic characters are a little funny; he's such a loose cannon that nobody can ever feel safe around him (parking lot attendants least of all). Unfortunately for Carl, the bluster and big ambition that make him so much fun to watch are the same things that lead him to make the most reliably fatal mistake that a Coen brothers character can: He convinces himself that he's in control. In some places, that might pan out just fine. In Fargo, it's a one-way ticket to the wood-chipper. DE

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