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The Blacklist Fans Crown Glen As Their Favorite Comedic Side Character

For the better part of the last decade, NBC's espionage-tinged crime saga "The Blacklist" has remained one of the best-loved and most consistently entertaining dramas in the primetime landscape. That no doubt has much to do with the shamelessly grand-standing work of star James Spader, who's portrayed criminal mastermind turned FBI ally Raymond "Red" Reddington since the pilot episode. The actor will almost certainly continue to play that endlessly juicy role as long as "The Blacklist" is on the air. And with the show heading into its fan-conflicted 10th season, there's no telling how long that might be.

Spader's transfixing performance will, of course, continue to play center stage. But "The Blacklist" creative team has excelled as much as any show on television at surrounding their star with compelling, richly-drawn side characters who dramatically enhance the series' twisty overarching narratives. Ditto for the actors who vividly bring those secondary characters to life in typically just a handful of episodes. As one might expect, fans of the show have done great sport of claiming favorites among the series' sprawling rogue's gallery of side players. Several of those "The Blacklist" diehards recently even took to the internet to crown Glen "Jelly Bean" Carter (Clark Middleton) as the series' comedic king. 

Glen Jelly Bean Carter is the clear favorite among fans of The Blacklist

Glen Carter earned that crown by getting named-dropped on the regular during a recent Reddit thread dedicated to discussing fans' favorite side characters on "The Blacklist." It should be noted that the Reddit thread asked those fans to leave anyone from the task force assigned to Red off the list. And yes, they even asked that his regular right-hand man Dembe Zuma (Hisham Tawfiq), be left off the list.

As for Clark Middleton's Glen, the fantastically quippy character who served as Red's DMV hookup on "The Blacklist" from Seasons 2 through 7 indeed gets a nod from thread originator u/Gerald_Bostock_jt, who lists him "for his immaculate comedic timing." Glen gets mentioned in the bulk of the following posts, with u/DarthAnger3 offering, "Glen, of course, because he's Red's court jester." The Glen love continued with u/McGutter's post stating, "Glenn for best comedy side character." Meanwhile, Redditors u/Bekah_bek and u/monachopsisxx offered simple yet emphatic support for Glen by posting, "Glen was the best" and "Glen 100%," respectively.

If you count yourself among "The Blacklist" fandom, you know it's hard to argue Middleton didn't provide some of the series' most memorable clap-backs and one-liners during his run. And that's saying a lot for a character who only made 13 appearances before his Season 7 exit.

Clark Middleton carved out a distinctive career prior to his 2020 passing

Some might even argue Glen Carter was one of the few side characters who regularly stole the spotlight from the unabashedly self-important Red. Regarding Glen's Season 7 exit, well, it was not something "The Blacklist" creative team had planned and resulted from Middleton's untimely passing in 2020 (per Variety). As for the scene-stealing, that was just Middleton's M.O. throughout his decades-long screen career.

It was, naturally, hard to miss Middleton in many of his projects as his stature and distinctive features were byproducts of a lifelong battle with rheumatoid arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. However, Middleton never let the affliction stand in the way of his work. He typically leveraged it with his razor-sharp wit to imbue his characters with a quippy intellect and fiery humanity that kept viewers and, no doubt, scene partners beautifully off-balance. 

Indeed, Middleton did just that while playing most of his signature roles, including the beer-swilling pal of Budd (Michael Madsen) in "Kill Bill Vol. 2" and, of course, the feisty rare book dealer Edward Markham on Fox's cult hit sci-fi series "Fringe." Most recently, Middleton brought his singular presence to the likes of "Twin Peaks: The Return," "Snowpiercer," and the "American Gods" adaptation. But it's safe to assume for a legion of television fans; he'll always be Glen "Jelly Bean" Carter.