Five TV Idiots (And Why We Love Them)
TV is a medium filled with many colorful characters, and often times these characters are not exactly the brightest pennies in the fountain. They’re a little slow, not firing on all cylinders, a few cards short of a deck, and several other clichés. But despite all the time we spend ranting about stupidity in our own lives, we can’t seem to get enough of these TV morons. Perhaps it’s because we can identify with them—even the smartest among us end up in a situation where we feel like idiots sooner or later. Whatever the case, they’re certainly not going anywhere any time soon, and so we here at Weird Worm have decided to provide you with a list of some of the more notable nincompoops TV has to offer.
Brittany S. Pierce (Glee):
In an early episode of the popular musical dramedy Glee, it is mentioned that many of the cheerleaders at the school are functionally illiterate and we’re pretty sure that Brittany was one of them. There’s no reason her knowledge of language should be any greater than her knowledge of, say, holidays (she still believes Santa Claus is real), adultery (she believes this means being guilty of being a dolt), or marine biology (“Did you know dolphins are just gay sharks?”).
But despite the fact that her intelligence level is roughly on par with that of a comatose chicken, Brittany still manages to be a very likable character. Perhaps it’s her innocence. She reminds of a time when we, too, believed in magic and thought anything was possible.
Or perhaps it’s the fact that beneath that empty head is a kind heart. Brittany doesn’t have any prejudice. It is well known that she has slept with every boy—and at least one of the girls—in the school without any regard to their race, culture, creed, or sexual orientation. (Wrap your head around that last one). We should all aspire to be as open-minded as Brittany.
Philip J. Fry (Futurama):
The main character in Simpsons creator Matt Groening’s sci-fi spoof Futurama, Philip J. Fry is a 20th century pizza delivery boy who was accidentally cryogenically frozen to awaken in the year 3,000, where he is able to leave behind his soul-crushing life as a delivery boy and live his dream of becoming an intergalactic… delivery boy.
In case his profession wasn’t enough of a clue, Fry isn’t exactly a brilliant man. This stems from the fact that he lacks the delta brain wave, a condition that resulted from a time travel incident in which he accidentally became his own grandfather. This unique deficiency has occasionally allowed him to save the universe from stupidity-spreading aliens, but mostly it just leads to him getting crushed by automatic doors and outwitted by… pretty much everything.
Still, Fry has a certain charm to him. He has boyish enthusiasm for the marvels of the future that any young geek can identify with, and while he may be crude and awkward at most times, he can be surprisingly heroic when Leela, the mutant woman of his dreams, finds herself in danger.
Ricky (Trailer Park Boys):
Trailer Park Boys is a faux reality series following the lives of three smalltime criminals—Ricky, Julian, and Bubbles—in the fictional Sunnyvale Trailer Park in the Canadian Maritimes.
They’re a very archetypical bunch, and while Julian is the brain and Bubbles the conscience, Ricky is definitely the heart. He’s filled with emotions such as rage, love, and devotion—but mostly rage. Rage and stupidity.
Ricky is perhaps the dumbest member of this list, barely being able to put sentences together. He has a unique way with words that would put George W. to shame, and this has led to an endless string of “Rickyisms” such as “worst case Ontario,” “catch 23,” “fire retarded,” and “I’m not a pessimist; I’m an optometrist.” He even knows a little Latin and can dispense wisdom such as, “tempus f*** it.”
But underneath all his substance abuse, foul language, random gun violence and mind-bending stupidity, Ricky is really a good man at heart. More or less, anyway. All he wants out of life is to live in peace with his girlfriend, Lucy, and his beloved daughter, Trinity - and to consume heroic amounts of alcohol and cannabis, but everyone needs a hobby, right?
Jake Harper (Two and a Half Men):
The “Half” in Two and a Half Men, Jake Harper is as thick as Charlie Sheen is crazy. Which is to say, very. According to his father, he hasn’t gotten an A since naptime in kindergarten, despite the fact that he always ends up in summer school and is thus educated year round. Most agree that his probable future profession will be renting himself out as a speed bump.
In addition to being dumb, Jake is crude, immature, and vulgar. But somehow, we still find ourselves liking him. Maybe it’s how familiar he feels. We’ve all known someone like him at some point—if we ourselves weren’t as crude as he is during our youth.
Like most entries in our list, he also has a certain core of goodness hidden behind all his mindless giggling and flatulence. He’s a romantic at heart, and will usually start hearing wedding bells the moment he meets a girl he likes.
Homer J. Simpson (The Simpsons):
The quintessential TV idiot, Homer Simpson is probably one of most recognizable people on Earth—despite the fact that he is a cartoon. Go to virtually any country anywhere in the world, show the locals a picture of Homer, and be prepared for goofy imitations, jokes about Duff beer and donuts in the native language, pantomime stranglings of invisible children, and shouts of “D’oh!”
No matter how hard other shows try, they can never quite equal the potent cocktail of stupidity that is Homer Simpson. Even after nearly five hundred episodes and over twenty seasons, he still manages to impress us with his utter dumbassery.
In theory, Homer is perhaps the least likable character on this list. He’s a loud, obnoxious, alcoholic child-abuser. At face value, he has very few redeeming features.
But like many others on our list, there is something distinctly likable buried beneath that beer gut. It has been said by some that The Simpsons never would have achieved its level of popularity if it wasn’t clear that Homer truly and deeply loves his wife, Marge, and it may be this level of vulnerability that makes him so popular. There’s also a certain amount of self-sacrifice in Homer—he gave up lofty dreams to work at a job he despises just to make enough money to keep his family afloat.
And as far as the strangling goes, let’s be honest. If Bart was our kid, we’d strangle him, too.Tyler Edwards is a freelance writer. You can visit his blog at SuperiorRealities. Written by Tyler Edwards – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com