There are countless things to love about television: Don Draper’s voice when he takes over a meeting on “Mad Men,” Timothy Olyphant in a cowboy hat on “Justified,” the way Anna Paquin becomes tolerable when she takes her shirt off on “True Blood.” But, as Nancy Grace’s rise to the national spotlight during the Casey Anthony trial proved, TV’s true gift is its ability to showcase the faces of people we hate. For every handsome, lovable scamp like Jeff Winger or Boyd Crowder or Andy Dwyer on TV, there’s a reality show whore or a one-dimensional villain who makes your blood boil with rage every time you see their hated mug onscreen.
What follows is a list of the twenty most punchable faces on TV. In order to keep things relevant, I’ve limited this list to people presently on shows that are still airing, which, sadly, prevents me from including the eminently punchable Glenn Beck or the All-Time Everything Most Punchable Person Ever Chad Rogers, who left Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing” last year. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of hatred to go around. WARNING: try not to crush your mouse out of anger as you click through to see these awful people.
Here’s an excerpt from the new book How to Make People Want to Punch You in Two Easy Steps, by Ty Pennington: “(1) Grow soul patch. (2) Use bullhorn to tell employees to work faster.” (It’s a short book.)
Carson Daly has been a continuous presence on television for 13 years now, a man who has enjoyed nonstop success by being one of the blandest people on TV. Most “Total Request Live” VJs disappeared long ago (anyone remember Quddus?), but Daly has walked through the raindrops: he left “TRL” at the show’s peak; dated Tara Reid at the pinnacle of her fame and beauty, then broke off the engagement before she became a used-up train train wreck; has hosted “Last Call with Carson Daly” for TEN YEARS despite its complete lack of cult following; and is now the host of “The Voice,” the breakout reality hit of 2011. Please, SOMEBODY, punch this man in the face.
Consider a hypothetical talk show about five women arguing. Four of the women are old or fat or grotesquely unattractive; the fifth is a fit, attractive blonde. Surely the blonde is the last one you’d want to see punched in the face, right?
WRONG. Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s willful, vehement ignorance makes her the most punchable person on “The View” by far. And that’s saying a lot, because, dude, Joy Behar.
A determined and pugnacious self-marketer, Bethenny was the runner-up in the 2005 Martha Stewart version of “The Apprentice,” then dropped off the TV radar for a few years before resurfacing on “The Real Housewives of New York City” despite the fact that she had never been married. Since then, Bravo has given her two series, “Bethenny Getting Married?” and “Bethenny Ever After,” even though she has a face only Skeletor could love.
BONUS PUNCHABILITY: In 2010, Beam Global purchased Skinnygirl Margarita — Frankel’s line of putrid alcoholic sugar water — for $120 million.
Although I’ve grown to enjoy the complexity of Davis McAlary, Steve Zahn’s music snob character on “Treme,” his eminent punchability is undeniable. While his love of New Orleans is genuine and admirable, Davis’s lack of self-awareness, rampant snobbery about the city and its music scene, and ability to land the show’s loveliest women despite being an underemployed slob from upper-class roots make viewers long for him to get punched out more often (such as the scene in Season 1 where he casually uses the N-word in a bar full of black people). At least get rid of the soul patch, man.
Yes, TLC still airs “Kate Plus 8″ even though America’s fascination with the Gosselins ended long ago. Kate’s snotty bitchface has remarkable powers: her ex-husband is a lazy, Ed Hardy-wearing, philandering douchebag with no interest in his children, and yet SHE’S the one who comes off as less sympathetic. Impressive.
We expect entertainment “reporters” to have stupid faces and say stupid things, but no one in the field comes close to Billy Bush. At a rainy Golden Globes: “Do you guys have a survival plan tonight? There are puddles everywhere.”
“How I Met Your Mother” is an often excellent, sometimes lazy sitcom loaded with comedic talent: the scene-stealing Neil Patrick Harris, movie star Jason Segel, the adorable and charming Alyson Hannigan and Colbie Smulders… and f**ckin’ Josh Radnor as Ted Mosby, both the show’s central character and its most annoying. Ted is spineless, needy, and supposedly dead-set on getting married, even though his character searches for faults in the parade of beautiful guest stars he dates. He doesn’t need to be punched in the face as much as chucked off the roof of his apartment.
SOMEONE from “Jersey Shore” had to make this list, and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was no easy choice. Snooki, after all, has already showed some expertise at getting clocked in the face, while Ronnie and Sammi’s endless bickering is probably the most irritating aspect of MTV’s reality hit.
But for my money, The Situation’s face is simply the most punchable. Sure, he has a certain oily charm, but the constant mugging over lowered sunglasses and boundless self-confidence despite his “but-his-face” status earns him the nod here.
Gah! I can’t even look at this woman without twisting my face in a horror mask of disgust and anger. Simply the concept of “Millionaire Matchmaker” is enough to make me grind my teeth, but Stanger’s busted mug and self-important attitude send me over the edge. She is 50 years old, has never had kids, and last year broke off her engagement to a real estate executive — and all of that pleases me. May she never find any happiness in her personal life.
Can a voice be punchable? If you’re Rachael Ray it can. Go ahead, listen to her say “EVOO.”
We needn’t go over the pair of late-night screw-jobs Leno gave to Letterman and Conan, and “The Tonight Show” host’s pandering to the lowest common denominator is well-known. What really does it for me is Leno’s working class uniform of denim-on-denim while he drives his fleet of 100 rare and expensive vintage cars (sadly, the blog Jay Leno Loves Denim and Old Cars hasn’t been updated in over a year). Oh, and the chin. Man do I wanna see someone sock that big jutting mass.
Anyone who watches sports has a sportscaster (or several) they hate. For my money, I’d like to take a swing at Joe Buck’s smug douchehole, although I can understand why Chris Berman is the people’s favorite. And the list could go on for pages: Colin Cowherd, Stuart Scott, Dick Vitale, Mel Kiper, Tony Siragusa… but I don’t have all day. All I can do is lump all those punchable faces into one category, lest sports personalities take over this entire list.
Even more punchable than sportcasters: the talking heads of cable news. With the possible exception of Brian Williams, respected and beloved TV journalists like Walter Cronkite are a thing of the past. Today’s newsmen and newswomen have to have opinions — opinions that stand out and catch people’s attention — and in doing so, they alienate people of opposing viewpoints and the level-headed folks who can understand and embrace the middle ground.
The list of punchable faces in cable news is epic: Nancy Grace, Keith Olbermann, Tucker Carlson, Bill O’Reilly, Greta Van Susteren, Bill Maher, Ann Coulter, Joe Scarborough, Rachel Maddow… that barely scratches the surface of the people who’ve contributed to the divisive and poisonous political atmosphere in America. I hate them all.
Can you believe that such a rugged man’s man was born to wealthy parents in the Hamptons? Scott Disick is best known for being a selfish dick to Kourtney Kardashian (AKA the hottest Kardashian). Their relationship stabilized — barely — only when Disick knocked up Kourtney, painfully proving to normal men everywhere that hot women will always, always, always prefer a rich A-hole.
Truly, this cast of well-dressed hobbits deserves some kind of ensemble award for punchability. At first glance, maybe you think that Drama’s dumb face and lack of self-awareness makes him the most punchable, but then Turtle shows up dressed like a wigga and you want to punch HIM more. And then gorgeous women fall all over Vince despite him having the arms of an underdeveloped 16-year-old, and suddenly HE’S the most punchable, but then E gets on the phone with Sloane and it’s like, “SERIOUSLY? Her? With him?” And then Ari calls Lloyd a yellow f**got, and the debate begins anew.
If you can watch twenty seconds of “Flipping Out,” in which supreme OCD A-hole Jeff Lewis treats his employees and all other humans like rancid garbage, you are a more patient and forgiving person than I.
Don’t get me wrong: I love “Mad Men’s” Pete Campbell (played by Vincent Kartheiser). But I can’t deny that everything about him — from his sh*t-eating grin to the wounded look he gets to that bright blue suit to his marriage to Trudy (Alison Brie) to the part in his slicked hair to, oh yeah, that time he raped the neighbor’s maid — makes him one of the most punchable characters on TV. Pete Campbell’s Bitchface is an excellent blog for a reason: Kartheiser makes him Sterling Cooper’s unrivaled VP of Smarm.
Oh man. There isn’t a single character on a scripted television show more infuriating than Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson), the sniveling prince — and then king — whose cruelty is matched only by his cowardice. I don’t know what makes him more punchable: the simpering face he has here when disarmed by a young girl, or the haughty smugness he has when sitting on the Throne of Swords. And although he called for the execution of the beloved (if naive) Ned Stark (Sean Bean), we can at least find some solace in the ten-minute remix of Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) slapping the sh*t out of him set to Led Zeppelin.
Number one with a bullet. Fieri’s success resembles that of Larry of the Cable Guy: I can’t look at the Food Network’s chief douchebag without thinking of the roast of the fat fake-redneck comedian, when a frustrated Greg Giraldo abandoned his string of jokes and blurted, “HOW THE F*CK ARE YOU SO POPULAR?!?” Fieri’s an obnoxious collection of bad trends from 13 years that were annoying back then. He’s a real-life Disco Stu from “The Simpsons,” except immensely successful. And no one on TV needs to get his lights punched out more.