Our Ten Best: Characters in Animated Sitcoms

Over the past 25 years, animated sitcoms have become a staple on television, slowly replacing standard sitcoms as one of the most popular genres in the industry.

During that time, there have been a plethora of crazy characters to hit the small screen. Nevertheless, only a select handful can be called the best characters ever. Here’s Review Fix’s top 10.

10: Coach John McGuirk: If you’ve failed to ever catch “Home Movies,” you have no idea what you’re missing. If Larry David could somehow be fused with Patrick the Starfish from Spongebob Squarepants, you’d have Coach McGuirk, who consistently gets himself in precarious situations, fueling and adding depth to an unsung animated sitcom.

9: Master Shake: The master of the one liner, Master Shake, voiced by Dana Snyder, is cruel, vicious and incredibly stupid. Only a 13-minute show, Shake’s antics are an integral part of the show, which range from putting kitten in microwaves and eating possessed sandwiches.

8: Stan Smith: Love him or hate him, Stan Smith is hilarious. Hearing his thoughts on politics, even if you’re a republican, can make you cringe, or surreptitiously smile. Bringing out the best and worst in his audience, Smith is as zany as they come, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t lovable.

7: Stewart Gilligan Griffin: Part Bart Simpson with a little Eric Cartman with some Monty Python added in for good measure, Stewie Griffin is an animated sitcom commodity with more memorable moments under his belt than many real actors. Able to smarten up a random show the likes of “Family Guy” or just role with the punches, Stewie makes the show something special.

6: Hank Hill: The reason why Hank Hill is on this list is a simple one: he’s as real as they come. Everyone knows someone like him and as funny as he is, he’s also honest and virtuous. A show that would work without the animation with real actors, Hill’s character proves that animated sitcoms don’t have to be childish or overtly hilarious to be great.

5: Bender: More human than robot, Bender is most important character on “Futurama” because he’s stuck between two worlds. Easily in tune with his life as a robot, but able to feel jealousy and lust, as well as deal with addiction and hatred, Bender is one of a kind. His dealings with the Robot Devil and the Robot Mafia have made him a legend, but his nonchalant attitude and willingness to be his own robot make a pop culture icon.

4: Peter Griffin: Even if you don’t watch “Family Guy,” you know who Peter Griffin is. Sure he may at times be a poor man’s Homer Simpson, but with his signature laugh and off the wall antics, Griffin absolutely deserves a place on this list.

3: Bart Simpson: In the late ’80s, everyone and their mother was wearing something Simpsons-related, usually with Bart on it. His catchphrase, “Don’t have a cow, man,” was synonymous with the generation and even though the show has lost some of its luster over the years, Bart is still a character that has endured. Finding comedy in nearly every situation, Bart is the only character in animation that could turn out somewhat normal, with a father like Homer.

2: Eric Cartman: In one of the commentaries on the many South Park DVDs, Trey Parker and Matt Stone said that when the show started, they tried to associate themselves with Stan and Kyle, but as the show progressed, they realized they were both actually Cartman. Evil to the bone, selfish to the core and as selfish as they come, there’s something undeniably adorable about him. He’s not fat people, he’s big-boned.

1: Homer Simpson: No its, ands or buts about it, Homer Simpson is the most important character in animated television history. Making the cartoon cool enough to maintain a home on prime time for over two decades, without Homer’s antics, you can make the argument that many of the other characters featured on this list would have never existed.

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About Patrick Hickey Jr. 9583 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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