Is ‘Kevin Can Wait’ the worst TV husband of all time?
It was Leo Tolstoy who wrote, “all happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” in the Russian classic Anna Karenina.
And it was Peter Griffin (Seth MacFarlane) on Family Guy who said, “why do women have boobs? So you got something to look at while you’re talking to ‘em.”
In the television landscape, there is nothing worse than a sitcom husband.
He is a vacuum of talent, charisma, charm, intelligence, passion, beauty; he is like if a neanderthal was raised in a windowless room, with only Axe body spray commercials as an outlet to the outside world. This modern-day Frankenstein is an anomaly; a victim of man’s hubris, capable of communication only through one-sentence catchphrases from beer commercials and spewing hot air from every orifice.
We all know the sitcom husband, even if we don’t watch sitcoms. The monstrosity we just described would be a regular on CBS and have a hot sitcom wife. The sitcom husband never evolves, he just gets a louder laugh track. It is an archetype that forms an unholy trinity made up of Tim Allen, Jim Belushi, and Kevin James.
This is why we are so excited for AMC’s Kevin Can F- Himself.
The show was created by Valerie Armstrong (Lodge 49), executive produced by Rashida Jones and her writing partner Will McCormack, and it is slated to be run by Craig DiGregorio (Shrill).
It references the CBS comedy Kevin Can Wait, which killed off Kevin James’ wife Donna (Erinn Hayes) to make room for Leah Remini as the show’s new love interest.
Schitt’s Creek star Annie Murphy was cast as the lead, and the show will blend multi-camera and single-camera together in a beautiful, dark comedy of what it really means to be a sitcom wife.
In recognition of the horrors that a sitcom wife goes through, we decided to compile a list of the worst TV husbands of all time. Obviously, taste is subjective but this list is final and we will not accept criticism of it in any way (just like a sitcom husband would.)
Kevin really can go f- himself.
In the world of TV husbands, Kevin (Kevin James) is not the worst offender. He’s a recently retired cop, he cares about his family, he seems to have a basic understanding of his loved ones and their interests.
The way the program killed off his wife Donna offscreen to recycle the appeal of CBS’s King of Queen’s relationship between James and Remini was appalling.
During the second season, her death warranted less than a minute of screen time. Kevin received a flyer from her gym and complains since it was “over a year” since her passing. He then adds “But don’t throw that out; on the bottom, there’s a coupon for a kung-fu lesson.”
That is the level of grief and compassion we would expect from the star of Paul Blart: Mall Cop.
Tony (James Gandolfini) from HBO’s The Sopranos murdered people. He murdered and cheated and murdered (not necessarily in that order) in almost every episode.
Meth does not belong in a marriage.
AMC’s Breaking Bad is a key example of this.
Ray Barone (Ray Romano) from Everybody Loves Raymond on CBS is the woooooooooooorst. He is the absolute worst. Coming up with more adjectives to describe him feels superfluous, because 1) he wouldn’t understand them and 2) he is the WORST.
He is useless, and everyone around him is supposed to accept that and find it charming.
Ray does not help out around the house, he never cooks or cleans or makes dinner, there is a toxic relationship between his mother and his wife that he does absolutely nothing to address or correct, and he never takes any responsibility for his actions.
The worst part of the show (which, again, is the worst), is the laugh track that forgives his terrible behavior.
Literally every single male character on AMC’s Mad Men
Everyone. Every single one. It is a race to the bottom for happy marriages on that show.
Cheers on NBC has aged like a fine wine, compared to the rotting, festering milk that is some of these other shows, but Norm (George Wendt) always concerned us.
He really . . . did not like being married. His wife Vera was constantly referenced (as the butt of most of his jokes,) but the viewer never got a glimpse of her for the entire run of the series.
We get it, it would be great to have everyone cheer out your name whenever you enter a bar, but he spent every waking moment of his life there. That cannot be healthy!
Norm and Vera actually separated during the second season, and we kind of wish they had made it permanent. They were the antithetical Sam and Diane: a couple that was much healthier apart than together.
You can never really be sure who the person is that you marry, that’s why the spouses in so many serial killer documentaries are blindsided to what their partner has been doing out in the woodshed.
That being said, sometimes you learn something about a spouse that is extraordinary and wonderful and amazing. For example, Darrin (Dick York/Dick Sargent) learned his wife Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) had god-like magical powers on ABC’s Bewitched, and he proceeded to act like a wet blanket about it.
His wife could alter space and time just by wiggling her nose, and he wanted her to give up that lifestyle to live as a housewife in the suburbs. There is nothing wrong with choosing to remain at home, but why give up the magical powers? Why live as a mortal when you can bend reality through your nostrils? Why stay married to that drip when he complained so much about the magical powers you have had since birth?
What we’re saying is, Samantha and Jeannie (Barbara Eden) from NBC’s I Dream of Jeannie should have run off together and left their disapproving partners behind.