The Top Ten Asshole Bosses

Here's a top ten list of my favorite asshole bosses in no particular order. Bill Murray in Scrooged didn't make it because he turned nice, and Yoda could be quite a taskmaster, but I wouldn't call Yoda an asshole.

Franklin Hart, Jr. is called a "Sexist, Egotistical, Lying, Hypocritical Bigot" in the film 9 to 5. Hats off to Dabney Coleman who played it so over-the-top and yet managed to be so believable as a jerk, that I'm still not convinced he's not like that in real life. Unfortunately for Hart, he's ultimately transferred to Brazil to manage Jungle Clearance Operations.

Mr. Spacely was voiced by the one and only Mel Blanc on "The Jetsons". By the way, his wife (and also Rosie the Robot, the maid of the Jetsons) was voiced by Jean Vander Pyl who was also the voice of Wilma Flintstone. And you can't name Mr. Spacely without naming that prick Mr. Slate from "The Flintstones".

Larry Tate: This cotton topped ad-man was the bane of Darrin Stephens' existence. You just couldn't please ol' Tate. In one episode Darrin saves the big account (with the help of Samantha, of course) and is hailed the conquering hero. By the very next episode, Tate is once again telling Darrin his livelihood is on the line. No one in television history had worse job security than Darrin Stephens. I don't feel too sorry for Darrin, however. If he just would let his wife work some magic, his problems go away. Simply tell Larry to take this job and shove it, get Sam to conjure up some greenbacks, and Tate is a distant memory!

Montgomery Burns is so diabolical that he is known to have personal dealings with the Prince of Darkness himself.

His evilness is matched only by his unhealthiness. Burns suffers from "Three Stooges Syndrome" which is described as a state of being where every known disease is trying to invade his body simultaneously, which subsequently causes them to cancel each other out. Mr. Burns takes this as being indestructible, but his doctor told him that the slightest breeze could kill him.

David Brent: One of the greatest TV characters of recent years, Brent is utterly uncaring and chauvinistic, but he's also somehow a sympathetic character. David Brent can turn a carefree gathering to a stunned awkward silence in a matter of seconds. Watch as onlookers go from merriment to mortification with every word from this inept boss. I much, much prefer the BBC version of the show.

J. Jonah Jameson is a ruthless and sleazy newspaper editor who constantly compromises the valiant efforts of Spider-Man. I understand he has papers to sell, but Spidey saved his life, and has saved the lives of his loved ones multiple times. Yet he continues to search for flaws and bring down the city's hero. What an ass.

Tayback played Mel Sharples in the TV show "Alice" and original film version, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. The film was directed by Martin Scorsese and was so serious and depressing that it basically bears no resemblance to the sit-com, "Alice" yet has almost all the same characters and general storyline. Have no fear, the TV show "Taxi" was NOT a spin-off from Scorsese's Taxi Driver.

Bill Lumbergh from Office Space. "Mm' yeah, I'm gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday. If you could just go ahead and do that, it'd be great."

Perhaps no boss on film or television can top Louie De Palma for unabashed tyranny - the diminutive boss with a heart of stone. Nothing is beneath De Palma. He will take advantage of you whenever he sees an opportunity. The character was brilliantly played by Danny DeVito and remains one of the best TV characters of all time.

If you've got another, let's hear it.


  1. I cannot think of anyone to add to your list right now. But an interesting point is about Darren not letting Sam use magic, like Larry Hagman not letting Jeanie use magic. What was up with that? Beautiful women who adore you and with magic powers, but the neurotic guys say no and want to make it through life on their own resources. Does not sound human.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Bill. The Darrin thing has bothered me since I was a child. I'm glad to finally get it off my chest. whew!

    Darrin is an early example of inexplicable magic haters best exemplified by the Dursleys in the Harry Potter series.

    Let the magic happen, folks. Chill out Dursleys and Darrins of the world!

  3. i disagree with the inclusion of mel sharples to this list. he was gruff, but ultimately cared about alice, flo and vera.

    i'd say he's more of a pre-eponymous drama lou grant.

  4. Lefty- I see where you're coming from. He was a big grizzly bear with a heart of gold, right? I dunno... I guess I could learn to overlook Mr. Sharples constantly barking orders and insults, considering he did indeed care. It's a tough sell, but I'm buy'n it.