In sitcoms, you can’t really have villains. So antagonists take other forms. They can be bullies who like to inflict harm on our main characters (see Newman on Seinfeld, or Louie on Taxi) or they can be rivals who are always bickering but deep down care for each other (Alex and Malory on Family Ties, Will and Carlton on Fresh Prince, Carl and Urkel on Family Matters, Sheldon and…everyone on Big Bang). Or they are just obnoxious people who have no respect for things like privacy, but damn it we love them anyway (Schneider on One Day at a Time, Charlie on Empty Nest, Lenny and Squiggy).
But often these characters are sniveling suck-up’s. They are constantly kissing up to the boss (or whoever the authority figure is) and doing whatever they can to advance their goals, usually at the expense of our main character who of course comes out on top in the end. Usually making our suck up’s suffer at the same time. They are selfish, self-absorbed…and we love them!
Only one rule, these have to all be supporting characters. Lead characters who snivel and bow to the boss are a different category.
#6. Dan Fielding in Night Court
I have this one high because Dan is better known for being a lecherous greedy person. But he was a suck-up. Ok maybe not so much with Harry, but he would suck up to whomever he had to if it meant advancing his career, getting something he wanted, or even sleeping with a hot girl. But unlike others on this list, Dan does have a line he wont cross and we see that he is a good person, deep down. John Larroquette was perfect and we loved to see Dan suffer for his selfish deeds.
#5.C.C.Babcock in The Nanny
For some reason I couldn’t think of too many women examples. The closest I came up with was C.C. And C.C. is a kiss up even if there is only person she kisses up too. Maxwell, of course. Her attempts to get close to him include trying to get close to the kids even though she can’t remember their names, and going on business trips with Maxwell in a vain hope they will turn into more. For most of the series she is constantly locking horns with Fran, and then of course when Fran and Maxwell do get together it sends C.C. into a depression. Lauren Lane was great in the role, and I wont get into what eventually happened with the character. It was stupid, end of story.
#4.Dwight in The Office
There a lot of characters out there who, if we knew in real life, we would hate. Monica on Friends for instance. Actually come to think of it everyone on this list could be that. But I think one of the prime examples has to be Dwight. He is obsessed with rules and order, and is always right at Michael’s side. It’s not wonder Jim picks on him so much. As the series went on he would take over for Michael but for the bulk of the run he dictated how the office as well as he could considering his position. Sometimes I wonder how they put up with him at all. Give Raiin Wilson credit for giving Dwight enough heart we can tolerate him when he is insufferable.
(it is phenomenally hard to find pics for this series)
Benson argued with two people on this show. But while Kraus it was more friendly bickering, he would really but heads with Clayton. Clayton really wasn’t a bad guy, but he enjoyed order and put his goals ahead of everything even at the expense of people. His goal of course is to run the government of the state and advance his career at the same time. His quarrels with Benson come because Benson cares more about people than his career. But he always changing his tune at the whim of the governor and when things went awry he usually took it the hardest. Of course he has a rich bloodline which feels responsible for keeping up, the Endicott’s are apparently a famous family.
#2.Bill McNeil in NewsRadio
Ah, Phil Hartman. He takes a character who would be so annoying and gives him so much charm that we loved him. Bill is of course the newsman who reports over the radio, and he is good at it. But he is a kiss up for sure, especially with Jimmy. Of course, since Dave has no patience for kissing up it leads to some interesting confrontations between the two. He is a lot like Ted Baxter, but Ted was dimwitted where Bill is smart and knows how to get what he wants. Even if he has to drive Dave crazy to get it.
#1.Larry Tate on Bewitched
This is one that seems to have been forgotten, but this character set the standard for butt kissing everyone else on this lists meets. All he cared about was making his clients happy, and would drive Darrin ragged until he did just that. He was always hanging the fact that he would fire Darrin for failing to make the client happy over his head. But the best part was the way he would change his tune, if a client had a change of heart that so did Larry, instantly. It was like flipping a switch! And David White did a great job making this self centered character so likable. And at least two times on the series we see he does have heart and there is a line even he wont cross to make a client happy. The odd thing is this is the one character on thus list who never received any real comeuppance for his selfish ways, at least none i can remember him having, probably thanks to the time this show was on.
I know I left plenty off, feel free to comment and let me know who I missed.