The “Ditz” or “Idiot” or “Moron” has always been a staple of television sitcoms, but it seems like they’re growing increasingly dumb in recent years. That may be a function of our own society. After all, in many cases this character archetype exists in order to make the viewer at home feel superior. It’s getting more and more difficult now, however, to create a character dumber than the average Nielsen viewer without adding a functionally retarded person into every sitcom. Remember Ralph and Potsie from “Happy Days,” or Joey from “Friends” or even Screech and Michael Kelso? Compared to modern television’s dumb characters, they seem almost Eisensteinian.
How far has the bar dropped? Here is a ranking of the 10 Most Profoundly Stupid Characters on Current Television Shows (Limit one character per show). The level of intelligence among these characters should speak for itself.
10. Tracy Jordan, “30 Rock”
9. Luke Dunphy, “Modern Family”
8. Randy Jackson, “American Idol”
7. Kevin Malone, “The Office”
6. Butters Stotch, “South Park”
5. Ryan Shay, “Suburgatory”
4. Butthead, “Beavis and Butthead”
3. The Entire Cast of “Jersey Shore”
2. Brittany, “Glee”
1. Ralph Wiggum, “The Simpsons”