They may be terrible, but these are 15 TV characters we love to hate

8 of 16

Jonah Ryan – Veep

What’s his deal: Jonah Ryan is a low-level White House employee who is possibly the most insufferable human ever. He’s the kind of man who will make fun of your weight or your dead grandmother because he’s so desperate to get a laugh, no matter at what expense.

He’s so obnoxious that he is universally disliked, and his contemporaries often will do anything to flee his presence. He’s given the lowliest jobs, and he is often used as a straw man or scapegoat because he was such a people-pleasing social climber.

Why we love him anyway: Jonah and his incredible threshold for humiliation are handy ways for American audiences to satisfy their intense craving for schadenfreude on TV without having to get down into the reality TV gutter.

When I say “love,” what I really mean is “love to mock him relentlessly and receive great joy when other characters do it as well.” He’s a garbage person, and his appeal is solely due to the fact that we are allowed to laugh at him, relentlessly and without inhibition. That’s a gift in itself. We never feel guilty for hating him or seeing him get embarrassed or mocked, and he is an endless resource for all our mean spirited humor.

Where to find him: Jonah is on the HBO show Veep, which has won countless Emmys and Golden Globes. Although we are about to embark on Veep’s last season, you can catch up on HBOGo or on demand.