Poll: Who Was the Funniest Character on Network TV This Year

Entertainment Features
05.31.12 114 Comments

<The network television season officially wrapped up last week, and unofficially wrapped up on Tuesday with the hour-long season finale of "Cougar Town." Now that it's over, it's time to assess. As bad as networks are typically with drama — you can count the number of watchable ones on one hand — they are still pretty great with sitcoms, even if most of them are low-rated (or at least, the better ones tend to be). All around, it was a solid year with "Parks and Rec," "Community," "Happy Endings," "Cougar Town," the new entry, "New Girl," and the late one, "Don't Trust the B—- in Apt. 23," among the best.

But, if you had to choose — gun to head — who would you pick as the funniest character of the season?

Last year, I’d have given it to Ron Swanson, no questions asked. That was the year of Snake Juice and the Dancing Swanson, but other than a few early highlights (Tammy I), it’s been a relatively low key year for Ron Swanson, as the show shifted its primary focus on Leslie’s city council campaign. Similarly, Jack Donaghy hasn’t been as funny as in years past. Likewise, while Abed Nadir was one of my favorite characters of the season, both he and Troy Barnes spent a lot of time navigating the dark timeline. They were emotionally rich characters, but not always terrifically funny. Meanwhile, I could include five of the six characters from “Happy Endings” on this poll (I only included three) and I’d still have a difficult time picking the funniest.

Ultimately, I think my vote would come down to Laurie Keller, who stole nearly every scene she was in on “Cougar Town” this year, or Andy Dwyer, whose Bert Macklin was the funniest thing, among many, going for “Parks and Rec” in the 2011-2012 season. However, I am but one vote among the many. I am curious to see 1) who Warming Glow’s consensus vote goes to, and 2) whether you can force yourself to narrow it down to just one character.

Here is the poll.

Here’s a TOTALLY OPTIONAL slideshow with various Best of YouTube videos of the characters, if you need a refresher on their talents.

Ron Swanson

Laurie Keller

Max Blum


Troy Barnes

Liz Lemon

Phil Dunphy

Jack Donaghy

Ellie Torres

Brad Williams

Abed Nadir

James Van Der Beek

Andy Dwyer

Jane Kerkovich-Williams

Burt Chance

Sheldon Cooper

Marshall Eriksen

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