I covered a handful of TV jerks yesterday, but one mere article doesn’t have nearly enough pixelated real estate to capture the full force of the various toolbags out there. So, today, we’re widening the scope and looking into a few more jerks-of-all-trades who might just be worthy of the title “TV’s Jerkiest Jerk.”
Bender – Futurama
It’s hard to judge the jerkiness of a nonhuman. I mean, jerkiness, as well as other emotions, are judged on a human scale. Is a shark a jerk when it eats a seal, or it just being a normal ol’ shark?Who can say if sharks aren’t more moral than people are? It’s not like they keep slaves or rob banks.
While it might seem that those same difficulties also apply to humans, that’s not exactly true. Robots were designed by humans, so they are subject to the same jerkiness principles. Maybe Bender’s morality chip never got installed, but he’s one of the biggest douchebags you’ll ever meet.
Redeeming Factor: He can turn pipe cleaners into coat hangers.
Overall Jerkometer: B-
Master Shake – Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Master Shake runs into a few of the same moral problems as Bender. He’s not human, so who’s to say that this type of behavior isn’t normal among the shake species?
Nonetheless, it’s probably safe to say that Master Shake’s behavior comes close to violating the universal code of conduct. Telling your supposed friend to do something that will in all probably get him killed goes pretty far into jerk territory. Master Shake might actually be the dominant a-hole of the century if not for the fact that everyone else in the show is similarly insane. The Mooninites are right on his heels, and just about every other character is murderous, delusional, or selfish beyond reason. It’s hard to shine with all of that competition.
Redeeming Factor: Comes in delicious flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.
Overall Jerkometer: A
Archie Bunker – All in the Family
Women are nothing but baby makers who belong in the kitchen. HA – HA – HA. Puerto Ricans and African Americans are second rate citizens. HAR – HAR – HAR. Gay men are just guys too pathetic to get women. HA – No, wait. That’s not funny, and I’m not sure that it ever was, even back in the 70s when writers could get away with lines like this.
Redeeming Factor: People like Archie Bunker aren’t on TV anymore. They just run for the presidency, instead.
Overall Jerkometer: C
Eric Cartman – South Park
Another animated antihero, Cartman gives Bender a run for his money. What he lacks in hardware, he more than makes up for in vindictive cruelty and concentrated evil. Plus, we’ve got to consider that Cartman’s still in grade school, so he’s got decades to hone his craft. Who else has started at such a young age?
Because Cartman scores high in all categories, and because he has the greatest potential to develop the jerk trade into a flourishing jerkopoly, Cartman is currently holds the record for TV’s biggest jerk.
Redeeming Factor: Because he’s a kid, that makes him sort of cute, I guess?
Overall Jerkometer: A+