Hi, welcome to the article 7 Most Lovable Douchebags In TV And Film, did you gain a bunch of weight recently or did your face just get pregnant? Boom. Right out the gate, let’s come to a consensus for what and what does not constitute a douchebag.
Obviously the opening of this article was just an inquiry from a concerned friend about the maidenhood of your double chin, and should not in any way be construed as an example of exceptional douchebaggery. That being said, the overt smugness of that last sentence might be a good litmus test for what and what doesn’t make one a douchebag. Or does it?
Douchebags aren’t just jerks, idiots or mere assholes. A true douchebag is a sort of perfect storm of terrible personality traits and bad manners. The Urban Dictionary.com, (I researched the hell out of this article) defines a douchebag as follows:
“An individual who has an over inflated sense of self-worth, compounded by a low level of intelligence, behaving ridiculously in front of colleagues with no sense of how moronic he appears.”
The key ingredient here that separates the douchebag and causes them to rise above and distinguish themselves from their inconsiderate ilk is the fact that the douchebag possesses both “an over inflated sense of self-worth” as well as “no sense of how moronic he appears.” Sweet obliviousness. Which means my opening to this article doesn’t really count since I knew how awful and mean it was. It was more full on asshole than douchebag. Which I think is better….somehow.
But what makes some of these ignorant, asinine, and unjustly arrogant reprobates, (at least the fictional ones) so damn charming and likeable? Even lovable, if the title of this article is to be believed. Do we see a bit of ourselves in these characters?
Do we enjoy the freedom fictional douchebags exhibit vicariously because they get to act out all our unsocial, selfish, vitriolic urges? Do we love them simply because they’re created by talented writers and gifted actors who make it their job to make us if not empathize at least enjoy the antics of completely deplorable people?
Maybe a closer look at some of the very best examples of this interesting archetype will get us nearer to figuring out why we care about such careless characters. Besides what else are you doing besides letting your jowls turn into fatcicles? (Sorry, I gained a few pounds over the winter and I’m taking out my own insecurities on you. Forget what I’ve been saying, you look great. You look gaunt! Well, no. Not gaunt. But you look like the appropriate weight for your frame.
Actually, I can’t see you currently. You very well may need to start jogging again and putting down the crumpets. But hey, I’m right there too. At the end of this article you and I are going to make a pact to start eating grapefruit breakfasts and to take up hiking again. No more eating our feelings, we’re going to talk to one another for a change. Oh, the list! We’ll talk later about losing our winter tits.) Now on to the list!
Archer might be the very textbook definition of a douchebag. Or a Bilbo Douchebaggins since the show never shies away from a Lord Of The Rings gag for some reason. Archer is the kind of high ranking douche who is so unaware of how much of a despicable asshat he is that he’s constantly shocked and surprisingly hurt when no one shows up for his birthday, house party, or (insert personal, non-work related event).
And this is part of why we love this son of a bitch, seriously, his mother Malory Archer is one brittle peach but we love her too. We love Archer because we can still feel for this guy. Whenever there’s a flashback to Archer as a kid, left alone in his lacrosse gear waiting for his mother to pick him up it’s always funny but even more importantly it’s always really sad.
It doesn’t justify the guy’s rampant ego or flagrant disregard for all other human beings with the exception of Burt Reynolds, (which is perfectly justifiable) but it does explain how someone can grow up and turn out this bent.
But how can we not love Archer when he meets his first ocelot and he marvels at its tufted ears? Simply put, we can’t. He loves that ocelot an awful lot and we him maybe even more in that moment.
Bruce Campbell has made a career out of playing the loveable douchebag and that aforesaid career begin with his turn as Ash, the one armed, trash talking, lantern-jawed hero of the Evil Dead trilogy. The guy is truly a first class dingus; he awakens the ancient slumbering army of the dead because he forgot the magic words a wizard told him.
How hard is it to remember something a wizard tells you? If you happen to encounter a wizard in your lifetime I’m sure you’ll make it a point to pay attention when he speaks. Because that kind of thing is rare. Though on second thought, I don’t think the guy was actually a wizard. I think they just referred to him as “wiseman.”
Either way, if you get teleported back in time and some wizardly looking old guy in a cloak gives your instructions don’t be a dickhole, listen to the man.
“Come on!” Never has one TV character done so much to legitimize the song “The Final Countdown”. Never has one TV character done so much to establish the Segway as the premiere mode of conveyance for not only one’s person but for one’s own personal sense of powerful inadequacy and misguided and at times frightening sexuality.
We love Gob because he wants so desperately for his own father to love him that he will commit any small felony or hairball scheme his dad comes up with. We also love Gob because he penned a song for his black puppet Franklin to duet with him entitled “It Ain’t Easy Being White.”
The man who uttered the immortal line, “We really shook the pillars of heaven, didn’t we Wang?” He was talking to his friend and co-hero Wang, by the by, not his penis. But you know what ol’ Jack Burton always says at a time like this? Of course you do because Jack Burton runs his goddamn maw off for the entire duration of Big Trouble In Little China and it’s a fucking delight.
Kurt Russell based his particular, slowed down speaking cadence employed for the character of Jack Burton off John Wayne, and not only does it show but it’s also perfect for this movie.
Because BTILC is mainly about how useless Jack Burton is despite all his grandstanding and CB radio soliloquies. He spends most of the film looking baffled and lost and the rest of it making action hero 101 mistakes like shooting his gun above his head and causing debris to topple down and knock him out.
And yet even though he is totally inadequate as a leader or even as backup for a fight, and even though most of the people on his side have very little confidence in his abilities, Jack Burton never loses his bravado. And that is strangely admirable. For some reason this makes him likable. Not even reality can keep Jack down.
Sure he’s a blowhard but he’s also undeniably a scrapper and it all pays off when he finally kills Lo Pan at the end with a knife to the head. This happens of course only after initially screwing up his first throw and almost getting killed.
Dennis Reynolds of Sunny In Philly fame comes from the cad school of douchebaggery. He is a less homicidal kind of Patrick Bateman type of good-looking, inhuman monster and this is especially apparent with his dealings with the opposite sex. Behold his eponymously named acronym for his foolproof method of winning the devotion of any woman. Behold the D.E.N.N.I.S. System:
Here, just watch the video, it’s all there:
Somehow we still like Dennis Reynolds, maybe it’s just because he’s a dreamboat, or at least a dreamschooner. But it probably has something to do with the fact that due to his extreme vanity he is remarkably and surprisingly vulnerable at times. Unless this vulnerability is just a really convincing application of the D.E.N.N.I.S System that he’s using on us, the audience. But no, that’s silly. It different with us, he’s real with us. And he’s going to call us back, any day now.
Kenny Fucking Powers
Kenny Powers from Eastbound and Down sort of transcends the bonds of simple douchebaggage and becomes something more due to the inventiveness of his doucheness as well as the unrelenting, superhuman quality to it. Like how Van Halen transcends butt rock due to David Lee Roth’s self aware, bordering on satirical approach to being a rock frontman, so Kenny Powers ascends beyond the tiny trappings of being a douchebag.
The man is a force of nature, he steals from children, apparently likes to wear the mask from the film Scream while having sex with prostitutes, he spits out racist, homophobic, and just plain ignorant statements nearly without end, and he habitually lets down anyone and everyone who cares about him or believes in him. And we love him.
We want to see him triumph and overcome and rise above the hell he’s put himself in. How can this be? Because underneath his uberdouche hard candy shell there is a soft, delicate, insecure man-child filling. And for some reason this seems to hit home to our generation of prolonged adolescents. Prolonged or perpetual, I see it differently depending on the day.
Kenny Powers, replete with flowing mullet, like a Jheri-curled beaver’s tail hanging off his skull, he is the ugly, self-centered, screaming id in us all that we secretly celebrate. Because it says “fuck you” while tossing out a beer can from the window of a big ass truck. And part of us will never grow up enough to stop thinking that not respecting anything is cool as hell.
I will tell you dear reader what I tell friends when I recommend the fine program The League, it doesn’t matter if you like sports or not. You’re going to love The League. The League isn’t about a fantasy sports league as much as it’s about grown men and a few grown women treating each other cruelly and doing so without quarter. And Ruxin is the ultimate member of The League in that regard. Nick Kroll dominates in this role; Ruxin is a douchebag of the highest possible echelon. He lies constantly, and without purpose at times. He is selfish, manipulative, and usually petty in his man-tantrum throwing.
He actually may break the douchebag bylaws slightly in that he may be aware at times of how reprehensible he is behaving. But he still qualifies for this list for two reasons: The first being simply from sheer force of his personality, witness any scene when Ruxin is fixing himself a treat and he sings an impromptu song describing the ordeal.
The second reason for his inclusion in this list being the plummeting depth of his douchebaggitude which is so deep and abysmal that there is no way he could be fully aware of the magnitude of his own awfulness; therefore making him oblivious and a true douchebag.
For evidence of this, witness the scene which closes the second season of The League when Ruxin wins the Shiva Bowl and after hoisting the trophy in the air an actual solar eclipse occurs to punctuate the complete darkness that is Ruxin in victory.
He later goes on to orgasm in his pants at the sight of the dismayed faces belonging to his friends and losing opponents while holding his trophy up to the blocked out sun. This is black as benthos and twice as terrifying and yet we still love Ruxin.
He performs all of his Machiavellian chicanery with such aplomb and chutzpah that it’s impossible not to delight in his misdeeds. Maybe that’s why we like all of these entries on this list; they might be living their lives as douchebags but at least they’re living their lives to the fullest. The same can’t be said for a lot of polite, conscientious people, who are on the outside nice as ninepence but on the inside dead as doornails.
I confess the reason I have a special affinity for the loveable douchebag might be because I am a douchebag myself, at least at times. If this article hasn’t convinced you of that, fatso, then trust me, there’s a long list of friends, enemies and well-wishers who’ll backup the claim. And not only am I douchebag but I also like to think that I’m fairly loveable. But then I guess true douchebags always do. Don’t you?