The Bumbler

This category includes the buffoon, the bungler, the scatterbrain, and the shlemiel. Here's another standard characterization that's going out of fashion.

The humbler is sometimes part of a comic team (Gracie Allen) where the straight man (George Burns) sets up the gags. The fall guy becomes the humor target who not only can't do anything right, but whose language often takes on the color (or drunken odor) of a misfit. The bumbler can be a dullard or a plain tightwad. Where there's weakness there is comic strength.

Some of the most famous examples are Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau; Irwin Corey, the absentminded professor; and Robert Benchley, whose major accomplishment each day was to get out of bed without a mishap. They are the comedic opposite of the stand-up—they fall down.

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