If TV can be blamed for anything, it's making people want mentors. Someone to look up to, to guide and tell you “Yes, you do need to start buying better clothes and working out more” - so here's some of TV's best mentors...

SCRUBS – Doctor Cox

Withering abuse on those around him? Check. Calls you a girl's name and makes fun of everything you do in amazing detail? Check. Secretly thinks you're the bee's knees but can't allow his feelings to show because he's an alpha dog? Check. Coxy is the hard-ass that everyone wishes they had in their corner. He keeps JD in check and only parcels out encouragement when it's looking particularly bleak. Followed up by calling him Shirley. Brilliant.

FRASIER – Marty Crane

Although Frasier was the one doling out advice to his listeners, he often turned to his old pot and pan, Marty Crane. A retired police officer who was shot in the hip – how dark was that for a SITCOM?! – Marty was always there with sage advice and a witty remark. Bonus points if you can remember the name of his pet Jack Russell terrier.

HOUSE, M.D. – Doctor House

It's not lupus. It's never lupus. The role that revitalised Hugh Laurie's career and made him a household name (pun intended), House bore an uncanny resemblance to earlier entry Dr. Cox. They were both brilliant doctors, they both had a razor-sharp wit and they both were damaged beings themselves. Still, who didn't love it when he just turned up and made everything better? It's the cane.


Swanson isn't just the perfect mentor, he's the perfect man. He literally walked out of a 19th-century American folk tale with his moustache and sense of rugged individualism. Not only that, his hair is more glorious than anything we've seen. Swanson even had a chart to turn you into the perfect man, or a Swanson. Check it out:

MAD MEN – Roger Sterling

Don Draper was literally so baller, there's practically nobody he could turn to for advice. Right? Wrong. That man is Roger Sterling. The silver fox traipsed around the elegant offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, doling out advice and one-liners with a fag hanging out of his mouth. What a man.


For many of us, Master Splinter was the first TV mentor. You could argue that he was copied straight out of Star Wars and Yoda, but Splinter doled out some real pearls of wisdom. Plus, he was some sort of ninja master before he was turned into a rat. That git Shredder dunked all that ooze over him. But did he get mad? Was he consumed with revenge? Nope. Splinter being the Zen master simply meditated and carried that stick around him.

 30 ROCK – Jack Donaghy

Everyone should have a Jack Donaghy in their lives. Someone who appears at the right moment from out of nowhere, looking amazing and tells you what you need to hear. Donaghy's put-downs are unparalleled. “Good God, I can see every line and pore in your face. It looks like a YMCA climbing wall.” – “You know what I like about you? Those eyes. You have those black shark's eyes. You know, very intense.”