Childhood cartoons burn indelible brands in the collective memory which last well into adulthood. For generations of kids raised on afterschool and Saturday morning cartoons, and for millennials who grew up watching Cartoon Network and Toon Disney, the wacky antics of animated baddies provided hours of laughter, and a touchstone by which to measure all real life villains.
While the villains of animated films tend to menace more than amuse, villains on television skew just the opposite. Ineffectual, silly and at times outright idiotic, the big bads of the small screen offer big laughs for viewers. Of all of them, ten stand out as the most ridiculous, and the most fun.
9 Cobra Commander
Speaking of criminally inept criminals, Cobra Commander, the mirror-masked terrorist head of Cobra on G.I. Joe takes the next spot on this list. Granted, in the 1980s, the head of a terrorist organization bent on taking over the world didn't quite have the same resonance as it does in today's age of ISIS and Al-Qaeda. For that reason alone, Cobra Commander feels more like a buffoon.
8 Professor Coldheart
Who picks a fight with a bunch of magical teddy bears who behave like a cross between superheroes and motivational speakers? Professor Coldheart, nemesis of the Care Bears first comes to mind. Played by Les Lye, who would go on to greater fame as a writer and lone adult actor on You Can't Do That on Television, playing noted characters like Barf and Ross Ewich.
7 Murky & Lurky
Considering they are supposed to hate colors, Murky & Lurky of Rainbow Brite sure have an ironic sense of style. They also have a knack for stupidity!
6 Wile E. Coyote
Dear, hapless Wile! How many times has he run off a cliff, blown himself up or had an anvil fall on his head while chasing after the Roadrunner? Has there ever been a more unfortunate villain?
5 Magica De Spell
She's a vampy-duck sorceress, she lives in a mountain shaped like herself, and she has phenomenal cosmic powers...and still can't manage to steal a dime from an old man. She's Magica De Spell, chief villainess of Ducktales and perpetual pain in the feathered ass to Scrooge McDuck.
4 Dick Dastardly
Dick Dastardly, along with his snickering dog sidekick, Muttley, hail from the animated world of Hanna-Barbera, which also produced shows like The Flintstones and Scooby Doo. A race aficionado, he appears in several classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons including Wacky Races, and Dastardly and Muttley in their Flying Machines. Regardless of the appearance, Dastardly always has the same plan: cheat to win the race. Of course, his schemes never quite work out, either.
3 Mojo Jojo
1 Purple Pieman
More properly known as The Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak, (a rat a tat a tat tat, a tat tat CHA!), arch nemesis of Strawberry Shortcake and berry pie culinary specialist, the Purple Pieman might be the outright weirdest villain to ever hit Saturday morning cartoons. Along with his pet crow Captain Cackle, the Pieman's lone purpose in life appears to be spoiling the fun of Strawberry Shortcake and her other food-themed kiddie friends. Known for his Vincent Price-like voice and signature tap dance, he and his feminine consort, Sour Grapes, plot to steal all the berries from Strawberryland thus permanently ruining Strawberry Shortcake's happiness. Perhaps it goes without saying that he never succeeds, though that doesn't ever diminish his relish of evil, or his enthusiastic tap routine (a rat a tat a tat tat, a tat tat CHA!).
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