September 17, 2007 at 07:06 PM EDT

A wisecracking LA detective, a globe-trotting archaeologist, and a resourceful secret agent. In a recent survey, more than 1,000 Americans were asked what fictional hero they’d most want around in an emergency situation.  Finishing in third and second place — with 14 and 16 percent of the vote, respectively — were Die Hard’s John McClane (played by Bruce Willis) and Raiders of the Lost Ark’s Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford). And America’s favorite break-glass-in-case-of- emergency hero? MacGyver…Angus MacGyver. That’s right, the Phoenix Foundation operative played by Richard Dean Anderson (pictured) in the long-running ABC series.

Now, I don’t think MacGyver is necessarily a bad choice — he’s perfect for those moments when all you have is an air freshener, a sock, a paper clip, a ballpoint pen, a rubber band, a pair of tweezer, some nasal spray, and a turkey baster. But I think he’s too Boy Scout-ish and thoughtful to deal with scenarios that might require split-second decisions. McClane? Too smug. Indy? Love the guy, but perhaps a bit long in the tooth.  No, if I were in the direst of circumstances, I’d prefer someone ruthless, serious, and young.  Someone like Jason Bourne (who finished in fourth place, ahead of 24’s Jack Bauer and Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft, both tied for fifth). Or my favorite: Mad Max. He’s tough, good in a scrap, and knows a thing or two about heroism and sacrifice. What about you, PopWatch Nation?  What fictional hero (of the non-super-powered variety) would you want next to you when the going gets tough?

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