The Best Sitcom Characters with Absolutely No Filter
People who are talented at holding their tongues make great confidants and crappy sitcom characters.
It seems like every great sitcom of the last 40 years has had at least one fan-favorite character whose defining quality is their complete inability to hold their thoughts within their head. Loudmouths make for good television, and conflict arising from an unfiltered insensitive remark is one of the cornerstones of comedy itself. Put simply, we all love to watch a confrontational blabbermouth almost as much as we hate to encounter one when we’re working at any gym, cafe or grocery store in Los Angeles that has the misfortune of being frequented by a certain bald sitcom magnate.
Over in the sitcoms subreddit, comedy fans recently discussed their favorite filterless characters in sitcom history. Here are a few of their top picks…
Everyone From ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’
The entire premise of this show is essentially, “What if the worst people you’ve ever known all ran both a bar and their mouths?” Frank, Charlie, Dee, Mac and Dennis are constantly shouting over each other (and whatever victim gets unwittingly pulled into their schemes), so, oftentimes, the lack of filter in their rhetoric is the result of them needing to scream their own thoughts just to hear them clearly. Not one member of the Paddy’s Pub gang is able to hold their tongues when a damaging thought crosses their mind, which is just one of the many reasons why they so often find themselves losing court cases.
Fred G. Sanford, ‘Sanford and Son’
Getting a classic comeback or wisecrack out of Redd Foxx was as simple as pointing the camera and shouting, “Action!” Foxx modeled the cantankerous widower and junk dealer after his late older brother, Fred Glenn Sanford, Jr., and he brought all of the loving venom and caring clap-backs to the role that can only come from family. Fred had as many ruthless moments as he had heart attacks, and no one suffered from his lack of filter more than that big dummy Lamont.
Barney Stinson, ‘How I Met Your Mother’
Though his mysterious business career, constant womanizing and legen-(you get the picture)-dary catchphrases are arguably the first characteristics that come to mind when describing Barney, his candid wisecracks delivered with Neil Patrick Harris’ impeccable timing are the reason why we (and his friends) suffer all of those other things in the first place. Whether it’s his attacks on Canada, reggae music or whatever rags Ted stole off of a homeless guy when he got dressed that morning, Barney’s burns are not bound by any sense of reasonable restraint.
Larry David, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’
David was an obvious entry on this list, as the entire success of Curb Your Enthusiasm (as well as any George Costanza-focused episode of Seinfeld) hinges on his complete inability to shut the hell up when something completely inconsequential is bothering him. It took Larry all of 30 seconds to start bragging that he knew Alanis Morissette’s secret when she told him who “You Oughta Know” was about, and it takes him less than five to make the absolute least socially acceptable remark to a stranger as soon as he meets them.
Sophia Petrillo, ‘Golden Girls’
Of all the wise-cracking old women on television, the acid-tongued Sicilian Sophia is the sharpest, most uninhibited savage over the age of 70. A stroke in her later years was said to be the partial cause of her brazen bullying and constant criticisms of her family and friends, but it’s clear from the way Sophia snarks that she’s been holding mafia-level vendettas and slinging insults spicier than any meatball since long before her internment at Shady Pines.