Forbes Ranks 15 Richest Fictional Characters
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
Well, those big lists have spawned smaller, specialized lists, lists of Asian billionaires, companies with female CEOs, the richest people under 30 and so forth. And here is one from Forbes magazine that struck us as especially creative. It's the 2010 edition of the Forbes 15.
F: Gordon Gekko has fallen off this year, as has Uncle Sam. The Forbes 15 lists the 15 wealthiest fictional characters. It's compiled by David Ewalt, who is deputy editor of special projects at the magazine. Welcome to the program. And not just Uncle Sam but Mr. Monopoly both dropped off. What happened last year?
DAVID EWALT: Well, tough year in real estate. Mr. Monopoly went bankrupt after being assessed for street repairs. He tried to mortgage Marvin Gardens, couldn't raise enough cash, fell off the list.
SIEGEL: But there are some interesting fictional characters who are on the list, for example number 12.
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CHRIS LATTA: (As Montgomery Burns) A wealthy man can buy information, information that can be highly damaging to a certain warden.
EWALT: C. Montgomery Burns, who is the evil billionaire on "The Simpsons," owns the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.
SIEGEL: I think my favorite, with three times the worth of Montgomery Burns, $3.9 billion, is in eighth place, wealthy by inheritance.
EWALT: The Tooth Fairy. The Tooth Fairy entered onto the list for the first time this year. Our logic there being that the Tooth Fairy is collecting all these teeth and handing out cash for them, so where is the money coming from? And beyond that, what is she doing with the teeth? She's probably raising some cash off of those. So we had a couple theories from experts, including that she's selling them for stem cell research or perhaps as ingredients in Chiclets.
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SIEGEL: Is she, therefore, the wealthiest female on the fictional planet?
EWALT: Yes, at the moment, the Tooth Fairy is the highest-ranking female on the list.
SIEGEL: Now in first place on the Forbes 15, the wealthiest fictional character in the world, edging out Scrooge McDuck, I might add, is...
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PETER FACINELLI: (As Carlisle Cullen) Dr. Carlisle Cullen.
EWALT: Carlisle Cullen, who is the head of a coven of vampires who appears in the "Twilight" novels and movies. This is the first year that Carlisle has appeared on our list, which is appropriate because as an extremely rich immortal vampire, he has done his best to hide from the world at large, and he doesn't want people to know just how rich he is.
SIEGEL: On the other hand, he's had quite a few lifetimes to accumulate this fortune.
EWALT: We put some real logic and some time into figuring out what people are worth. And with Carlisle, part of the logic is he's 370 years old. He could put a very small amount of money into a bank account 300-some years ago. And just by compound interest alone, he's worth billions and billions of dollars.
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SIEGEL: The power of compound interest and being a vampire.
SIEGEL: Well, David Ewalt of Forbes magazine, thanks a lot for talking with us.
EWALT: Thanks for having me.
SIEGEL: And you can see how Sir Topham Hatt, Lara Croft, Richie Rich and others fared on the Forbes Fictional 15. We have a link to the list at our website, npr.org.
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MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
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