“Douchebag” has come a long way since the 1960s when its meaning was spun-off from vaginal cleaning contraption into the most commonly used pejorative in the English language. Used to describe arrogant, self-obsessed a**holes, douchebags themselves have also taken on a endearing quality in recent years. That is to say: Not all douchebags are created equally: Some are loathsome, some are lovable, and some are just plain funny. 2011 was a great for douchebags, as the following slideshow recounting the biggest d-bags of the year will attest.
The Pointless Douchebag: Gabe Lewis, “The Office” : What does this guy do? What is his function? Why did they bring him back after Dunder Mifflin fired him? Why is he still on the show? Granted, it takes a huge douchebag to make us sympathize with Andy, so maybe that’s why he’s still on the show.
The Self-Obsessed Douchebag: Dennis Reynolds, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”: Arrogant, clueless, and narcissistic, Dennis is a master class douchebag, hilariously demonstrated all season long, especially at his high school reunion in the final two episodes of the year.
Scene-Stealing Douchebag: Noah Werner, “Suburgatory” — Alan Tudyk (Waaaaaaaash) doesn’t appear frequently in the new Jeremy Sisto sitcom, but his gleaming white teeth and fake tan manage to steal every scene he’s in.
Biggest Douchebag Ensemble: Ari Gold and the entire Cast of “Entourage”: After eight years of douchebaggery that provided increasingly small dividends, the show about douchebags for douchebags ended its reign of douchebaggery and trotted off to douchebag heaven, also known as perpetual syndication.
Right-Wing Douchebag: Glenn Beck: Even after leaving Fox News in June, Beck still managed to dominate news cycle after news cycle with his douchebag crackpottery, from the Restoring Courage Tour to his Values Voter Summit. Even without Fox News, he continues to provide a face for conservatism that 80 percent of Republicans do not want.
Guest Star Douchebag: Nick Kroll, “Community” and “Parks and Recreation”: Kroll was everywhere in 2011, including his own television show, “The League,” but also managed to fantastic appearances as a douchey foosball player in “Community” and literally as “The Douche,” a Pawnee radio DJ in “Parks and Recreation.”
Douchebag Redemption: Dane Cook, “Louie”: The guy that many consider the biggest douchebag of the last ten years won the respect of many of his critics by acknowledging some mistakes and gaining some self-awareness, both in 2010’s Marc Maron podcast and in an episode of this year’s “Louie,” where he not only agreed to be on the show to address the controversy surrounding whether he stole Louis C.K.’s jokes, but also agreed to follow the script the Louis wrote for him. Dane Cook may be a douchebag, but in 2011, he showed some class.
The Insufferable Douchebag: Prince Joffrey, “Game of Thrones”: No character was as maddeningly douchey as Prince Joffrey in 2011. His douchebaggery increased with his power; only Tyrion provided a smallest of checks in the year’s most satisfying scene.
Adorable Douchebag: Schmidt, “The New Girl”: The single-best thing about Zooey Deschanel’s new sitcom is the douchetastic Schmidt who not only concedes douchebaggery, he owns it like a champ.
The King of All Douchebags: Joe Buck, Fox Sports Announcer: Joe Buck is a smug, empty-headed, nepotistic cretin who, when he’s not correcting someone’s grammar, is talking out of his ass. He spent the entire World Series discussing the Yankees and his boy crush, Derek Jeter, despite the fact that the Yankees were not in the World Series. He is literally the worst, the precise reason the mute button on television remotes was invented.