When it comes to comedy, there are few characters as humorous or as scathingly hilarious as Elka from TV Land's "Hot in Cleveland." For all that she has a sharp tongue, she also has a softer side. We have often been privileged to see some of the men who have felt that she is more than just another pretty face.
Played by the inimitable and always-funny Carl Reiner, Max has emerged as one of Elka's longest-running romances (although they tend to be more friends than anything else). Despite the fact that they can never seem to quite settle down with each other, their relationship does still show that you do not necessarily have to be young to enjoy being romantically involved with another person. Thus, this relationship deserves special commendation and respect.
John Mahoney brings a great deal of warmth to his role of Roy who, like many men before him, takes a liking to Elka. He even goes so far as to concoct some very far-fetched ways of getting closer to her. For all that they are, of course, funny, they also show us just how much he really seems to like Elka. These schemes also show his real depth and motivation as a character. While they are played for laughs, the attraction and affection he feels for Elka is clearly genuine. Perhaps most importantly, these scenes provide a great deal of warmth to this already emotionally resonant series.
Finally, we come to Bob, played by the comedic legend Don Rickles. Far more than just another beau, he is indeed the husband that Elka had thought was dead. Of course, his entry back into her life is the cause of a great deal of confusion. It once again just goes to show how incredibly appealing Elka is as a character, not just to us in the audience (how can you not love Betty White?) but also to the characters within the series itself. Clearly, there is just something about Elka that makes men just have to be with her.
When it comes to "Hot in Cleveland," there can be no doubt that Elka rules the show, and not just because she happens to be the funniest person there. Rather, it has to do with her complexity as a character and that fact that, for all that she happens to be older, she still manages to have as healthy and active a love life as her younger housemates.