The ten most obnoxious TV personalities ever
These days, there's no shortage of loud, obnoxious jerks on TV getting paid to basically yell at you, but it wasn't always this way. Until Morton Downey Jr. helped pioneer the new age of television hate in the late '80s, the TV landscape was a much more civil place (with a few exceptions, admittedly.) With Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie, a documentary on Downey's strange career as a toady, in-your-face television asshole, opening at the Sie FilmCenter today, we thought it was a good time to round up the most repulsive television personalities of all time. Although the competition was stiff, when the dust settled we were left with this impressive list of the ten worst perpetrators of history's crimes against televised decency.
10) Gordon Ramsay
We've come to a point in history where "bastard chef" has become a category of television personality. The cream of this awful crop is Gordon Ramsay, the shouting, abusive, hatred-spewing Englishman behind Hell's Kitchen and other shows that feature him being a world-class dickbag to people that (usually) don't really deserve it. Somehow, watching this on television has been classified as entertainment, rather than punishment. Go figure.
9) Howard Stern
The self-proclaimed "King of All Media" made his reputation more on the radio than television, but the truth is his obnoxiousness transcends the medium that delivers it. His juvenile humor, sexist sleaze and grating persona would shine through even if he were painting it on a cave wall. And hey, his cretinous caveman persona would feel right at home there!
8) Joe Pyne
Old Joe Pyne might not be as familiar as most of the names on this list, but they are all his children in a sense. From the early '50s through the '60s, Pyne pioneered the confrontational style -- albeit a relatively tame version compared to what came after -- on which the majority of this list built a career. Anti-gay, anti-feminist and pro-war, Pyne was a real peach of a man who lived to cater to America's worst instincts, giving everyone from the American Nazi Party to Manson's followers a chance to be on TV (and thus probably paving the way for reality TV as a side effect).