Remember the days when the evil vices that television felt comfortable showing were very different. It used to be that sex and drugs were unheard of on TV shows unless the title of the show began with the words “The Dangers of…” Now that producers and executives have figured out that fucking, fighting, and freebasing is ratings fodder (you love alliteration, don’t you?), the dynamic has changed. But there were those friendly vices that were all-too common on TV back in the day. Everyone smoked and everyone drank. These were the prerequisites for existing on the screen.
Whatever happened to the lovable Alcoholic that casually graced the television screen? They’re alive in our hearts…and in this article.
5. Al Bundy
4. Barney Gumble
It’s essentially common knowledge that The Simpsons has gone down a slippery slope in recent years. It simply isn’t what it used to be; but at the same time, seems to be more successful than ever. One of the elements that the show lost in recent seasons was Barney being drunk! He was loud, obese, and woefully insignificant which was what made his character so endlessly enjoyable. So now, Mr. Gumble is no longer sucking quarters out of the jukebox, but instead advocating the time-honored tradition of quitting.
3. Hillary Norman Peterson
Norm is a real man’s man; a red meat enthusiast and an unapologetic drunk. A man who needed his tab calculated by NASA, Norm is always welcomed into the bar with adoration. You couldn’t help but feel bad for Norm at times. He used his quick wit and sense of humor to deal with the life that has taken a shit in his cereal. He is such an oddly lovable character that you almost forget that he takes up two seats in the bar, insults people, drinks himself stupid, and then manages to get home in time to beat the shit out of his nagging wife.
2. Andy Sipowicz
Born in Brooklyn to an alcoholic, racist father, it’s only natural that the son be absolutely no different. Some people claim that Andy has a “heart of gold,” but I just don’t see it. Even if he’s happy, he looks like he could snap at the drop of a hat and beat the shit out of anything. According to the lore of NYPD Blue, Sipowicz stopped drinking and began to focus more on what it means to be a cop…but I don’t buy it. Does he really look like a man who has quit drinking? And if you weren’t certain, would you want to take the risk and fuck with this guy?
1. Otis Campbell
As epitome of the Town Drunk, Otis found himself in and out of jail more often than all of the Bloods and Crips combined. Why did they ever let him out? It seemed like Mayberry was a pretty fucking safe place unless Otis was on the streets. The only times that crimes are committed are when he’s not chained down. As Barney Fife would say: “Nip it in the bud.” Eventually, they’re going to have to decide what to do about Otis…he has no friends, no family…no one would know if he suddenly “went missing.”
Otis’s crimes were never thoroughly explained, but he had been trusted with the responsability to simply lock himself up when too intoxicated…for his own good. How terrifying is that?!
“Otis, if you can’t make it home without exposing yourself to some children, just crash here for the night.”
If I were living in Mayberry, I’d be extremely unhappy with the idea that the only law enforcement establishment allows the town’s only fucking criminal to just go free-range. In urgent situations, he would even be made an honorary deputy! What?!
“Otis, can you see this badge? Can you see this gun? Take ‘em, and get to work.”
Why is Otis trusted to do things? And if you’re saying “come on, he was just the town drunk…he’s harmless,” consider this: Why were no other criminals ever locked in the cell with Otis?
I’ll tell you why. He would cut off their face and wear it as a mask…and then make his choreographed escape.
In the TV movie, Return to Mayberry, Otis has given up the sauce and taken a job as an Ice Cream Man (of all things). At least this is a career move that distances him from alcohol and puts him in close contact with the fresh young children of Mayberry…
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