Thursday, March 21, 2013

The 15 Greatest Sitcom Characters of All Time by Jonathan Russell

Television is one of the great achievements of the modern day. Millions of hours of television have been created, simply for our enjoyment. One of the finest genres of TV is comedy. Or more specifically, sitcom. The magnificence of sitcom, however, is determined by the wonderfulness of its characters.

Here are some of the best:
Disclaimer: Sac Day/Journalism is not supporting the lifestyles of any of these characters. They are TV characters, after all.

15) Arthur Fonzarelli "Happy Days"

The Fonz is an iconic piece of American pop culture. Any bum on the street can recognize a classic "ayyyyyyyy". Funny and charming, A. Fonz most certainly deserves a place on this list.

14) Adrian Monk "Monk"

For 8 straight seasons, Tony Shaloub gave one of the greatest performances of all time as the OCD detective. This lovable, sympathetic character captured the hearts of many, and is to this day of the greats.

13) Ben Chang "Community"

Community is a modern gem. Frankly, every single one of it's characters deserves a spot on this list. Ben Chan is, however, one of the best. Senor Ben Chang is a psychotic Spanish teacher, whose antics border on the mentally insane. This character stands in stark contrast to the show's usually quick and witty humour, yet compliments it greatly.

12) Jack Donaghy "30 Rock"

Alec Baldwin is no stand-up guy, but he sure can act. The pretentious and clever Jack Donaghy is the perfect example of that. Donaghy's off-the-cuff, highbrow attitude makes him one of the most hilarious characters ever filmed.

11) Claire Huxtable "The Cosby Show"

Everybody love Bill Cosby. But the real genius of the show lies with his counterpoint. Claire Huxtable is the independent woman with a heart of gold. She can be fierce at times. But with a husband like Cliff, she almost has to be. Despite this ferocious attitude, she is also a kind and loving mother; making her a brilliant character.

10) Gob Bluth "Arrested Development"

Arrested Development is easily one of the five best sitcoms of all time. This has a lot to do with it's magnificent cast. Gob Bluth is a failed magician. His stupidity coupled with his arrogance make for a wonderfully humourous addition to this already stellar show.

9) Barney Stinson "How I Met Your Mother"

Although this characters life choices are very questionable, he makes for a laugh-out-loud character. Straight forward, and passively-narcissistic are obviously a fantasticlly hilarious combination. 

8) Phoebe Buffay "Friends"

Friends is a dynamically funny show. Phoebe, the lovable vegetarian is a prime example of great comedy. Her presence on this show is subtle, but entirely effective. 

7) Dwight Schrute "The Office"

Even though the Office has been going steadily downhill since the 4th season, in terms of quality, in it's hayday, it was brilliant. Dwight added to the overall awkward tension the show provided in a brilliant way. His brutish passive aggressiveness is delightfully funny. And to this day, Dwight has some of the most quoted lines of any character in history.
Bears. Beets. Battlestar Gallactica.

6) Tobias Funke "Arrested Development"

From his Daisy Dukes to his attempt to join the Blue Man Group, Tobias is just all-around, a misfit. Although he struggles with his marriage, he gets by with a pleasant attitude, and a hilarious naivety. 

5) Barney Fife "The Andy Griffith Show"

Everybody love the Andy Griffith Show, and here's the reason why. Barney is his name, and crazy antics are his game. Fife set the stage for modern day comedy actors, and I salute him.

4) Dean Pelton "Community"

Using his job title as a pun is just one of the many things the Dean does well. He always has something to say, and we're always glad he said it.

3) Chandler Bing "Friends"

Chandler is the epitome of class clown. His clever quips bring a spark of humour to even the most melodramatic situations. He is always the funniest guy in the room.

2) Cosmo Kramer "Seinfeld"

Seinfeld is arguably the most treasured sitcom of all-time. Kramer is the perfect example of why that is. He is notoriously funny, as well as notoriously stupid. 

1) Michael Scott "The Office" 

Steve Carrel is a comedic genius. His ability to ignite an awkward situation is matched only by his ability to diffuse one. It's no question that the (earlier seasons of) Office is one of the best sitcoms ever made. Michael Scott is thusly stands out in a crowd. His naivety and unknowing stupidity are catapulted into comedic genius by his belief that he is a lovable, friendly, wise man. Nothing could be further from the truth. His obnoxious personality drive people away so quickly that one would think Michael would take stock of his personality. He does not, however. And this is the heart of who Michael is as a character.

Feel free to chime in with your personal opinion! (Unless it pertains to the Big Bang Theory or Two and a Half Men.... because those are awful shows.)


  1. Dick Van Dyke, Endora, Lucy Ricardo, Hawkeye Pierce, Alex Keaton, Norm, Frasier...

  2. Oh - I totally agree about Two and a Half Men. It's a horrible show about disgusting people. I have never seen Big Bang Theory. Of course, I've never had time to watch Arrested Development,so I can't agree or disagree about the blue fellow. ~CY