Charlie Runkle: The Real Hero of “Californication”

Charlie Runkle is the same kind of familiar anti-hero (or, sidebar hero) you’ve always known. He’s the same guy you could read inside-out even without watching an episode. He’s the classic circus clown. He’s Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, only with more sexual errors.

He’s also a tragic figure. For as often as his own screw ups land him in personal purgatory, it’s often due to other peoples’ problems, or a version of. Runkle is the easiest to blame for many reasons. He’s bald. That’s one. His last name is Runkle. That’s another.

He’s the guy you know won’t just fall victim to cheating, but he also just has to get caught, too.

He’s the only one on Californication who seems to desire a long, lasting marriage. He also sheds the idea, too.

Hank Moody has almost become so roguish that even his anti-high society appeal is starting to wane in interest. He now appears old and saggy. Like a 20-minute-old bowl of cereal.

Runkle? He was already there, which makes each and every season more about Hank’s agent than it does about Hank, himself. As a 10 per cent-earning agent, he’s extremely boring day-to-day. Except, he’s not built like Clark Kent. He’s not played by Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling. It’s not the agency glitz you see in Entourage. It’s not the Wall Street business scene you’re used to striving for.

It’s the down and dirty realistic life of any employee in America.

He can get fired, he will throw it all away for a temporary life with a porn star, and he’ll have more deviant sexual mishaps than Marv Albert after a Knicks win.

All hail Charlie Runkle. Esquire.