In honor of April Fool's Day, I thought I'd ask a little about creating characters: what's the most objectively "ridiculous" character you ever created who was nevertheless quite serious within the context of the adventure or campaign in which he appeared? I'm not interested in hearing about characters created specifically to be jokes but rather characters who, when viewed outside the context in which they appeared, look to be purely absurd when they in fact are not.
For example, long ago, I had a recurring NPC in my Gamma World campaign of old who was a mutant chicken called simply The Colonel. He was a military genius and a member of the Ranks of the Fit cryptic alliance, so he terrorized the PCs and indeed the whole area out of which they were operating for some time. But he looked and acted like Foghorn Leghorn from old Warner Brothers cartoons, right down to his Central Virginia accent. The Colonel was a perfectly serious Gamma World character and a dangerous foe of the PCs. To an outsider, though, he'd probably have appeared to be solely a joke. He was humorous in origin, obviously, but I didn't create him just as a gag -- quite the contrary in fact.
So, has anyone else created characters like this? Characters who possess ridiculous elements but aren't themselves ridiculous?