25 Legendary Pop Culture Captains
Captain Jack Sparrow
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: In addition to bearing a striking resemblance to Johnny Depp, this is the one captain for whom we'd willingly climb aboard the Black Pearl. He's fun, he's got an unorthodox way of getting things done, and he's managed to turn a somewhat lame Disney ride into a multibillion-dollar franchise worldwide. ''The Immortal Captain Jack Sparrow,'' indeed.
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: Uh, because we're not communists, that's why. The comic-book superhero is both protective (he has quite the array of shields) and forceful (that serum really did the trick), all while kicking butts and taking names on behalf of America. And, despite the fact that he's been around since the 1940s, he seems to only be getting younger and more Chris Evans-ly.
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: Because this orange juice isn't going to spruce itself up! Never mind that he's inevitably going to have a fleet full of frat boys around somewhere, nothing will have you singing sea shanties faster than his bottle of spiced rum. Plus, you've gotta admit those "Calling all Captains" commercials can be pretty amusing.
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: Our childhoods, of course. The late Bob Keeshan and his iconic character not only sported unparalleled facial hair, but told stories, taught lessons, and even hung with the Muppets from time to time. We'll forever salute him with a ''Good morning, Captain!''
Captain James T. Kirk
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: He's got a great track record (by age 34 he became the youngest captain in Starfleet history) and a loyal crew. But mostly we'd follow him on the off chance we could get him to yell, "Khaaaan!"
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: While his skills are limited to having a ton of body hair, eating large objects, and occasionally being able to fly, this cartoon caveman is voiced by the legendary Mel Blanc and is accompanied by the far more reliable — and fashionable — Teen Angels.
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: Despite the fact that he sometimes makes the roof of our mouths really scratchy, this always cheerful cereal captain makes it up to us with crunch berries, the occasional toy, and essential vitamins and minerals!
Captain Malcolm Reynolds
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: We'll follow any variation of Nathan Fillion, anytime, anywhere. His classic captain — the strong but silent Mal — still has us reeling over the cancellation of Firefly. Also, he has the single greatest nickname of anyone on the list: Captain Tight Pants.
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: Rarely do we side with villains, particularly of the variety that want to take revenge on Peter Pan. Still, we find his fear of crocodiles more than reasonable, and his crusades in the hook community really helped lead the way for future pop culture handless ''monsters'' like Buster.
Captain Han Solo
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: Because no one, not on this galaxy — or any other galaxy far, far away, for that matter — is cooler than Han Solo. It's an undisputed scientific fact. And lest we forget that, he also rolls with an equally awesome crew (Chewy, C-3PO, R2-D2).
The Captain & Tennille
Why We'd Follow Them Anywhere: Smooth jams, of course. Not only do you get hits like ''Love Will Keep Us Together'' and ''Do That to Me One More Time'' with the Captain, you also get a built-in first mate with Tennille. Plus, you never saw Captain Nemo with a variety show, now, did you?
''O Captain! My Captain''
Why We'd Follow This Walt Whitman Poem Anywhere: That last scene in Dead Poets Society is so damn good, we'd gladly stand on our desks and recite this in its honor. And no, that's not a tear in our eye, those are lots of tears in our eyes.
Captain John Miller
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: Two words: ''Earn this.'' If that's not enough to motivate you, on the battlefield or elsewhere, we don't know what will. Not only did the Saving Private Ryan captain bring us to tears but he also helped Tom Hanks earn his fourth Best Actor Oscar nomination.
Captain Jack from The Office's booze cruise
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: Limbo, dance contests — this captain knows how to bring the party! His boat hosted a rocking get-together for the folks at Dunder Mifflin and even let Dwight "steer" the mighty vessel. Though, we probably wouldn't follow him anywhere he's going with Meredith...
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: While we may not jump aboard the Pequod with him anytime soon (that mission seems way more exhausting than anything on The Deadliest Catch), whenever we need to sink into a great book, Herman Melville's Moby-Dick is about as good as it gets.
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: Much like Captain Ahab, we wouldn't want to hang out with Captain Quint until the bitter end (call us wimps, but we wouldn't want to mess with that shark). But he was a helluva storyteller and a man of his word. His $10,000 fee to ''get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing'' was worth every penny, as his crew slayed the terrorizing Great white. It's just too bad he wasn't there to see it.
Cappie from Greek
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: C'mon, it's Cappie (real name: Captain John Paul Jones), the fearless leader of his slacker frat for years. Only someone with that magnetic a personality could tear Casey, the most popular sorority girl on campus, away from her rich fraternity beau Evan.
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: Who better to take you from St. Potato island to Miami and save you from guerrillas (not gorillas) than Captain Ron (a hilarious Kurt Russell) in the eponymous movie? Sure, he's a little uncouth, but the guy knows how to have a good time and even rocks a sea-captain requisite: an eye patch!
Captain Jonas Grumby, A.K.A. "The Skipper"
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: It's right there in the Gilligan's Island opening theme song: ''If not for the courage of the fearless crew, the Minnow would be lost.'' Not only did the Skipper's heroics efforts save the poor souls who only thought they were getting a three-hour tour but they also gave us three seasons of the sitcom.
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: Every great protagonist needs an equally great antagonist. Barbossa may be cursed and was considered too evil even for hell's standards, but Geoffrey Rush's pirate captain does make for an entertaining sparring partner for Jack Sparrow. We can't wait to see what he does to get to the Fountain of Youth in On Stranger Tides.
Captains Picard, Sisko, Janeway
Why We'd Follow Them Anywhere: Because Kirk wasn't the only Star Trek captain we'd take orders from. Picard, a fan favorite, is the thinking man's hero. We'd also gladly listen to commands from Kathryn Janeway, Star Trek's only female captain, and Benjamin Sisko, for taking care of business on Deep Space Nine.
Captain Marko Ramius
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: The commanding officer of the submarine Red October was a man to be taken seriously, both in Tom Clancy's novel The Hunt for Red October and on the big screen when Sean Connery played him in the 1990 thriller of the same name. Plus, he helped propel the career of Jack Ryan.
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: If anyone besides Al Gore is going to save the Earth, it's Captain Planet. The green-haired (yes, even his hair was green) superhero had a legion of eco-crime fighters and reminded us every Saturday morning that ''The power is yours!'' That's sage advice, kids!
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: 20,000 leagues under the sea is a loooong way to go, but there may be no one more equipped for the travels than the legendary character Captain Nemo from Jules Vernes' classic science fiction novel. Even adorable animated fish still pay homage him in their own way.
The Captain from How I Met Your Mother
Why We'd Follow Him Anywhere: Granted, you can't really tell whether he's happy or about to murder you, but the Captain (played by sixth season guest star Kyle MacLachlan) did try his hardest to be friends with Ted. And anyone willing to be married to the insufferable Zooey is really someone to tip your nautical cap to.