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The 7 Greatest Sitcom Villains

We’ve covered the greatest villains in comedies before, so here now are some of the greatest from TV comedies. Sitcom villains are special — they have to last the duration of a show, and therefore tend to be a little more complex, or represent something about society that bugs us all. Here are the seven greatest sitcom villains.

Mr. Burns (The Simpsons)

When it comes to sitcom villains, there are very few held with the same esteem as Mr. Burns, the cruel, cold-hearted millionaire who abuses Springfield like it was his own plaything. So villainous is this character that when he was shot in the infamous Simpsons episode “Who Shot Mr. Burns?”, the real issue at hand is that everyone in town had a motive.

Newman (Seinfeld)

There are some villains who are problems to the entire cast of a sitcom. Then there are character like Newman, personal villains who are a thorn in the side of just one character. No one besides Jerry hates Newman, and while the guy is a repulsive blowhard, there’s something lonely about being in Jerry’s position — the only person who recognizes someone else’s toxicity. Newman has done many cruel things, but mocking Kramer with the final Mackinaw peach might be his most abhorrent.

Devon Banks (30 Rock)

The main characters of 30 Rock had different types of villains — Liz Lemon dealt with corrosive jerks she let get too close to her personally, Tracy’s nemesis was often himself, and Jack Donaghy did battle with manipulators who were as clever and cruel as he was. Devon Banks, played by Will Arnett, was one such character. If you took away Jack Donaghy’s drive, you’d get Banks — a weasel who would do anything to rise up in the corporate world.

Señor Chang (Community)

Señor Chang has more in common with a movie villain than he does sitcom villains. Season three of Community built to an insane storyline where the study group’s former Spanish teacher, Ken Jeong’s Señor Chang, took over the college. And while Señor Chang would go on to become a part of the group in the show’s final years, he was never better than when he was a narcissistic mad man who wanted to rule over a community college (for some reason).

Councilman Jeremy Jamm (Parks and Rec)

Whereas Parks and Rec hero Leslie Knope was a reasonable, hard working, and kind person, Councilman Jeremy Jamm was irresponsible, stupid, and manipulative. Played unbelievably by Jon Glaser, the guy was both revolting and funny, as he had a weird goofy side that fit the broad world of Parks and Rec.

Jimmy Pesto (Bob’s Burgers)

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Jimmy Pesto of Bob’s Burgers is just a jerk who owns the restaurant across the street. Because of the development of his family, Jimmy Pesto Jr and the twins, Jimmy himself has somehow become one of the more well-rounded characters on the show (although I’m sure he’ll be back to being unbelievably awful again very very soon).

Any sitcom bad guys I missed? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter at @AlexFirer!

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Alex Firer
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