John and Paul
Only the Beatles can truly know what it was like to live with the level of fame they did in their heyday. As the main songwriters of the band, John and Paul were the most responsible for the many different roads the band took. While they certainly had their share of cruel remarks and hurt feelings between them, the fact that they balanced each other out to produce one of the greatest and most diverse catalogs in pop music in history is hard to deny.
Keith and Mick
At times Mick and Keith's contempt for each other is palpable, but they both know that the Rolling Stones would not be the music empire it is without either one of them. It's tempting to be a cynic and think that is all that has kept them together for so long, like an old married couple staying together "for the kids," but considering that they could easily retire on the wealth they have acquired means there's some genuine caring in there somewhere.
Kevin and Dave
Whether in their live shows or on television, the members of the Kids in the Hall often pair up in different combinations, and they all work very well together. However, if I had to pick a pair that had the best chemistry, it would have to be hyper, emotional Kevin McDonald and cool, sarcastic Dave Foley. Whether in the Citizen Kane sketch, the liar and the gullible guy, or Simon and Hecubus, these two long time friends always play off each other perfectly.
Nick and Gatsby
I'd file this one under "star-crossed bromance." What struck me when I read the book in high school was how Nick was the only one who cared about Gatsby as a person rather than as a rich guy who threw amazing parties. In the first movie version, Nick came across as rather dull, and while the TV movie version of Nick (the cute Paul Rudd) was an improvement, there was still no chemistry between him and Gatsby. I haven't seen the most recent version with Tobey Maguire as Nick, but I plan on it and hope they did a better job of capturing that aspect of the story.
Ren and Stimpy
Ok, this may seem like a rather unusual choice, as Ren seemed to pretty much hate the eeeediot Stimpy most of the time (nearly killing him on many occasions), but whenever there was an outside threat, they would always stick up for and take care of each other. And would Ren's psychotic rants be nearly as fun without the clueless Stimpy to play off of?
Dave and Rick
Dave is the one responsible for getting the more introverted Rick on SCTV and launching his career. From the start, they clearly had the best writing and performing chemistry in the cast (Rick was even quoted at the time as saying that he preferred working with Dave to the "politics" of working with all of the other cast members). Of course they are best known as Bob and Doug, but they did so many other great sketches together (Bob Hope and Woody Allen, Dr X -the man with the X-Ray eyes - and the invisible man, the guys with pig faces, Liberace and Elton John...). As an aside, I tried to find a picture of them that was not as Bob and Doug, but there were precious few of them out there, so I settled on my favorite Bob and Doug picture. It's always a treat to see them together and to know they are still friends even though they live on opposite coasts.
Tom and Peter
I liked both Tom and Peter on Bosom Buddies, but Peter was far and away my favorite. After the show ended, it appeared their careers took almost complete opposite trajectories, but fortunately, Peter has had pretty steady work in TV and on stage, and he seems to be happily married. When I read how touched Peter was when Tom gave him a toast at Peter's wedding, I knew this was still a bromance worth including on my list.
John and John
And of course I couldn't leave out my favorite Johns. While other musical partnerships are often fraught with sniping and backbiting, the relationship between these two couldn't appear to be more respectful and mutually admiring. They met in high school one grade apart, with the younger Flans looking up almost in awe to the older Linnell, a dynamic that still seems to be in play today.
And there you have it, my favorite bromances (although I have probably forgotten a few). What are yours?