Warning: SPOILERS for Our Flag Means Death.
HBO Max’s Our Flag Means Death follows Rhys Darby’s Steve Bonnet, “The Gentleman Pirate,” as he turns his back on the affluent life and becomes the captain of the Revenge.
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Aboard the Revenge are some very funny pirates, even if their instincts aren’t always kind or even remotely logical. Things only get more complicated once Taika Waititi’s Blackbeard boards the ship. Along with being a standout show in terms of representation, Our Flag Means Death features a few characters who can really hit the funny bone.
10 Izzy Hands (Con O’Neill)
Izzy Hands is the right-hand-man to Blackbeard, no pun intended. He’s loyal as a dog, but he’s also starting to seriously doubt his captain’s abilities.
Once things go too far for Hands and Blackbeard ends up off the team, that’s when the character gets funny. He’s a notorious dummy, and his definition of captaining is to berate his crew until they repeat tasks they’ve already completed to perfection. But it’s a story that gets passed around about Hands that sells the humor: he thinks he’s a tough guy, but he’s really about two seconds away from peeing his pants in front of the entire crew.
9 The Badminton Twins (Rory Kinnear)
The first Badminton the audience meets is Bonnet’s childhood bully, Nigel. Neither Badminton is especially nice, but Nigel is the worst. So, when his head ends up getting impaled by a sword, the audience is both shocked and a little relieved. While Nigel himself wasn’t funny, the end result is (the way the show plays it).
Nigel’s twin brother, Chauncey, isn’t much funnier. With that being said, his swift, nasty, and replicative end stands as one of Our Flag Means Death’s funniest scenes.
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8 Spanish Jackie (Leslie Jones)
SNL’s Leslie Jones has a major role in Our Flag Means Death as Spanish Jackie, owner and operator of a tavern in the Republic of Pirates. Jackie had 20 husbands, 19 now courtesy of Jim, and she wants revenge.
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How Spanish Jackie runs her tavern is both intimidating and funny. It’s doubtful that another individual on the face of the planet, even during piracy’s booming years, would keep a jar full of severed noses right on the bar, next to the food and drinks being purchased by patrons. Furthermore, the fact that she has no idea how she got the name “Spanish” Jackie is priceless.
7 Black Pete (Matthew Maher)
Matthew Maher is a likable performer in and of himself, but his Black Pete can be a little cranky. However, he is a supportive partner to Lucius, so he doesn’t have to be the funniest guy on the ship.
However, his illustrious stories of sailing with Blackbeard, looting and pillaging everything in sight, are such malarkey that they’re hysterical. This is especially true once Blackbeard himself boards the Revenge, and some of Black Pete’s heavy fabrications can become reality.
6 Blackbeard (Taika Waititi)
Taika Waititi is one of Our Flag Means Death’s most recognizable cast members and Blackbeard is easily one of his most layered characters.
While Blackbeard himself isn’t a laugh riot, his reactions to foreign situations are. This is particularly true when Bonnet educates him on the subtle art of passive aggression. Blackbeard’s more used to shooting and stabbing, and when Bonnet is explaining how some complements are the opposite, Blackbeard’s eyes light up like he just discovered the newest advancement in deadly weaponry.
5 The Swede (Nat Faxon)
While not exactly one of Our Flag Means Death’s most intelligent characters, The Swede is easily one of the funniest crewmembers on the Revenge.
Nat Faxon has been in excellent comedic projects of the past, including Reno 911!, and he even co-directed The Way Way Back with writing partner Jim Rash. Here, though, Faxon has a much slighter role as The Swede. Fortunately, it’s a funny one, particularly when he ends up with a nasty case of scurvy.
4 Lucius (Nathan Foad)
Lucius is a comeback machine if ever there was one, and he’s consistently one of the brighter spots on the Revenge.
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His interactions with the loathsome Hands are where Lucius shines because, as overbearing and nasty as the former is, the latter has no issue putting him in his place. This is true even when he’s forced to dangle from the side of the ship; Lucius just finds a way to have one of Hands’ own men pull him up. As funny as Lucius’s disrespect of Hands is, it’s a particularly disgusting infection in his finger that stands as the character’s most humorous moment if just for how he looks at it.
3 Frenchie (Joel Fry)
One of Our Flag Means Death’s more quotable crewmembers onboard The Revenge, Frenchie is a master of song. Unfortunately, his songs are horrifying.
Music can be great entertainment when trapped on a single vessel for days and even months on end. However, when the music is about all of the different ways they’re almost certainly going to die it puts a hilarious damper on the proceedings. Frenchie is now forced to be with Blackbeard, who has readopted his evil, murderous persona, so some of his songs may come true sooner rather than later.
2 Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby)
Frequently wearing some of Our Flag Means Death’s best pirate outfits, “The Gentleman Pirate” Stede Bonnet is arguably the best-dressed and most well-spoken individual on the Revenge. However, just because he comes from a passive-aggressive well-to-do person’s life doesn’t mean he lives by that code.
Bonnet’s decision to abandon his family in favor of life on the high seas isn’t likable, but he didn’t like it when a marriage was arranged for him. However, he has no idea what he’s doing, and that perhaps doesn’t always make him so likable to the crew.
1 Buttons (Ewen Bremner)
Buttons is practically the pirate with the eyepatch and parrot on his shoulder. However, he doesn’t wear a patch, and the parrot is a seagull named Karl. What accentuates the humor about Buttons is just how much Bonnet trusts him. Before Blackbeard, Buttons was Bonnet’s right-hand pirate, even though he’s often incomprehensible.
Buttons and Karl appear to have full conversations, and it’s both charming and funny. Having Ewen Bremner onboard the project only means that the scenes will be sold as well as possible. Buttons spends most of his time contemplating cannibalism as if it were a foregone conclusion, and the season’s cliffhanger nearly gives him his wish.
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About The Author
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Ben Hathaway is a Senior Writer (Lists) for Screen Rant. A former Therapeutic Day Treatment counselor, Ben is now a career writer. When not working, he is writing and self-publishing (on Amazon) novels under the name Scott Gray. In his spare time, he’s reading on the porch or watching every film under the sun. Ben can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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