Kate Stone

Kate Stone

Why Aunt Hilda is a Comedy Icon

When it comes to female characters there appears to be an odd belief that there are few examples of them in comedy, specifically examples who could be held up as comedic role models. I seem to have some extra time on my hands right now and rather than rearrange my wardrobe I have decided to dedicate an essay each to the fictional girls and women who deserve more recognition for their comedy.

I am going to say something now that may be controversial but… without Mr Poole and Jennifer Kelley in the cast Aunt Hilda really had to hold the comedy of Sabrina the Teenage Witch single-handed.

Yes Mrs Quick was alright but eurgh, Mr Kraft was just a pain, blocking everything. The only time I found Mr Kraft funny was in the episode where Salem eats Sabrina’s Time Ball (if you know, you know) and takes everyone back to the 70s and Mr Kraft becomes a hippy ‘yes and…’ kinda guy.

With Sabrina suddenly going from science geek to confident and popular A-grade student (nobody likes someone who works hard and plays hard, Sabrina) it really was left to Aunt Hilda to continue to provide the fun in the show. Turns out I feel a lot more strongly about this than I realised when I began writing this.

While you could sum up Hilda as a ditzy airhead with a penchant for animal print, I think she’s actually one of the more nuanced characters in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She’s more available than Zelda, always tries to make the right decision and willing to acknowledge that, even at 642 years old, she is fallible. Aunt Hilda also gets the best back-story, with her broken engagement to the head of the Witches Council Drell, the mysterious man trapped in her ring and her secret Northern accent, she’s the most compelling character of them all.

Aunt Hilda also has the advantage of being played by a comedian, Caroline Rhea, meaning no line wasted and the comic timing is always perfect. This prevents Aunt Hilda from ever being just zany, even when wearing a pair of giant boobs when caught in her sister Zelda’s booby trap.

Considering Aunt Hilda is clearly set up to be the ‘wacky one’ her comedy talent means she actually often has the most normal responses to things, without losing the fun and silliness of a show about witches living in the mortal realm. Which is why Aunt Hilda is this week’s comedy icon.

If you have a character you’d like to suggest for this, then tweet me @funnywomened

Read why Maddy Magellan is a comedy icon here!

Read why Elizabeth Cronin is a comedy icon here!

Read why Jane Lane is a comedy icon here!

Read why Lisa Landry is a comedy icon here!

Read why Dorothy Zbornak is a comedy icon here!

Read why Anne Shirley is a comedy icon here!

Read why Wednesday Addams is a comedy icon here! 

Read why Marmalade Atkins is a comedy icon here! 

Read why Tracy Beaker is a comedy icon here! 

Read why Daria Morgendorffer is a comedy icon here! 

Read why Anastasia Krupnik is a comedy icon here! 

Read why Helga Pataki is a comedy icon here! 

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