3rd Rock from the Sun (1996 - 2001)
Commentary by Joe Mangano, February 2002

I recently viewed episode #134 of 3rd Rock from the Sun titled Glengarry Glen Dick. In the episode, Tommy Solomon, played by Joseph Gordon Levitt, has his height measured by Sally, played by Kristen Johnson. His height is then compared to Harry’s who is played by French Stewart. Sally has them stand back to back and it appears that Harry is about an inch or two smaller that Tommy. According to the Internet Movie Database Joseph Gordon Levitt is 5' 10" in real life. This would make Harry about 5' 8" or 5' 9", near the median height for men in the Unites States.

Tommy turns to Harry and calls him Shortie and Little Man. Harry immediately bursts out crying. Later in the episode, Harry vists an "Enlargement Clinic" and expresses his concern about his height to the doctor. The doctor informs him that his height problem is unsolvable, but that he is of good size in another area, and that seems to strengthen Harry’s self-esteem for the moment.

This is just another example of one of the categories that television and other media forms tend to portray short men, that is, as weak and rejected. 3rd Rock from the Sun is a popular sitcom and it appears that more of these are transferring some of the old prejudices that can no longer be stereotyped to ones that are still socially acceptable — that is — Heightism.