The characters: bipolar, delusional dysfunctional, surreal. There are so many living around us, it's hard to pick a few examples. So here are the ones that really stand out for me:
Bytes (elephant man), Mr. Eddy,
Frank Booth (Blue Velvet), the Cowboy in Mulholland Drive, Henry Spencer, John Merrick (Elephant Man), Marietta Fortune (wild at heart), Lady in The Radiator, Dorothy Vallens (Blue Velvet), Sailor Ripley (Wild at Heart), Bobby Peru (Wild at Heart), The Log Lady (Twin Peaks), Baron Harkonnen (Dune), the baby (eraser head) and many, many more.
And David Lynch was attempting to exaggerate them. I dare say these characters are living all around us today. They're all here.