7. Cliff Clavin (“Cheers”) — One of “Cheers” resident barflies, Clavin is an unusually endearing jerkass, a know-it-all postal worker and almost winner of “Jeopardy.” Also unlike most jerkasses, Cliff knows he’s an asshole, and even at one point attempted electroshock therapy to help him become a nicer person. It didn’t work.
6. Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) — In my opinion, while Larry David may not be the best jerkass in all of television, he is the biggest jerkass, a thoughtless, egocentric, and unredeemable character. There is almost nothing nice one can say about Larry David, and that’s precisely why he’s such a successful character. He’s unlikable, yet he says and does offensive things with which we can relate, which makes us feel almost too uncomfortable about ourselves to laugh. But we do, all the same.
5. Bill McNeal (“Newsradio”) — McNeal is an unbelievably arrogant jackass, a narcissistic blowhard who doesn’t realize he’s missing huge gaps of knowledge. As a human being, he would’ve been impossible to be around, but as a character on “Newsradio,” he was hilarious, brilliant, and can’t even be mentioned without provoking sadness at the thought of Phil Hartman’s tragic murder.
4. George Costanza (“Seinfeld”) — A more broadly funny, slightly more redeeming version of Larry David (with whom Costanza was modeled), George’s jerk-assness is slightly offset by his own self-pity. Unlike most of the characters on this list, George feels superior to others despite the fact that he knows he’s ultimately a failure as a person. He’s perfectly content, however, to be a failure.