I’m one episode into Season 5 of Sons of Anarchy. Michael from Lost’s first appearance as Damon Pope. And if Season 5 Episode 1 is any indication, Damon Pope may go down as one of the most evil villains in the history of television. I don’t wanna spoil shit for anyone who hasn’t watched but he sets someone on fire and it is hands down the most intense television scene I’ve ever watched. Maybe even movies included. Just an absolutely jaw dropping, sick to your stomach scene. So this got me to thinking about the greatest TV Villains of all time. As always with my lists I’m gonna pick out some under the radar choices so I’m not like every other internet hack making a slideshow for clicks.

Murdoc – MacGyver

I’m pretty sure MacGyver was the first TV show I ever watched besides cartoons as a kid. To this day I still think its one of the greatest programs of all time. The episode where MacGyver goes back to Medieval times is pure magic on the small screen. But there was never better episodes than Murdoc episodes. MacGyver’s only worthy opponent. Dude was always in disguises and hatching elaborate schemes and was clearly immortal. He died every single episode, screamed “MacGyver!” and then appeared next season with no explanation for how he survived falling off of a mountain. I think one time MacGyver threw Murdoc into a fiery pit of burning oil. When they drained it? No Murdoc. Best villain of the 80s and if you value the nostalgia factor he could be the greatest of all time.

Shredder – Ninja Turtles

The arch-nemesis of Splinter. The leader of the Foot Clan. He has an IQ of 300. And he is voiced by Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Out of all my childhood cartoons, Shredder was the most bad ass villain. Honorable mention to Skeletor, Cobra Commander and Mumra from Thundercats but Shredder takes the cake.

Vince McMahon – WWF

Not many people would consider a WWF superstar in a list like this. But think about it – for over 15 years now Vince McMahon has been the key villain in the middle of some of the most memorable TV story lines we’ve ever watched. Starting with the Bret Hart Screwjob all the way up through his days as the leader of the Corporation, Vince McMahon was easily one of the most hated characters on TV. Best part about him is I don’t even consider him a character. Vince McMahon is just playing himself out there.

King Joffrey – Game of Thrones

I wrote about Joffrey before as one of the Most Hated Characters on TV. Thats the sign of a great villain. I fucking hate this little prick. That time he wanted to kill the dogs? The time he made those 2 sexy birthday prostitutes beat each other with medieval weapons? When he chopped of his girlfriend’s dad’s head and showed it to her on a stick? And the whole time he’s just some whiny little pussy crying to his mom. Cannot wait for the day someone kills this little bitch. Sincerely hoping its at the hands of the Half Man too. Its only right.

Alright, time to get down to business. The first choices were all fun and games to get you thinking. King Joffrey is new on the scene but too much of a cocksucker to get overlooked. But the top 3 villains should really be more like 1, 1A and 1B. You could put these three in any order and I wouldn’t mind. Almost impossible to pick one over the other:

3. Trinity Killer – Dexter

Who would have thought the goofy dude from 3rd Rock From The Sun could have pulled off one of the creepiest characters in the history of TV? The most prolific serial murderer ever. The only guy that ever could rival Dexter’s precise ability to kill. Oh and he called his wife a cunt at the dinner table in that one scene. Some of the most ruthless and heartbreaking kills on TV came at the hands of the Trinity Killer. And that “Hello, Dexter Morgan” moment was classic

2. Gus Fring – Breaking Bad

The best trait of a villain is their intelligence. Always one step ahead, always in control. That was Gus Fring to a T. So calculated. So meticulous. So eerie the way he went about his business. Always in complete control. And right underneath everyone’s nose. A diabolical, methodical business man who also isn’t afraid to slice someone’s throat with a box cutter or murder an entire cartel. Master manipulator, never cocky, always in character, and willing to do anything to get his money. Classic. Sidenote – when its all said and done Heisenberg may end up the best villain in the Breaking Bad series. But as for right now I’m still like kinda rooting for him so I don’t think he’s dethroned Gus for me. I couldn’t wait for the day Walter finally took out Gus.

1. Benjamin Linus – Lost

Since the ending sucked so bad people tend to forget about Lost. But it was still 5 seasons of some of the best TV ever and Ben Linus was probably the most important part behind it all. If you thought Gus Fring was manipulative and diabolical, Ben Linus was 10 times worse. He murdered Henry Gale and pretended to be a balloon man. Murdered his own father with poison gas. Sacrificed his own daughter. Committed genocide and killed a whole tribe of people. Enslaved others. And most importantly he was the driving evil in the show season after season. Trinity and Gus were probably more bad ass and more evil in certain ways but only one season each. For 5 years Ben Linus was the most nefarious motherfucker on TV. Its a shame that he didn’t have some blaze of glory ending like Gus or Trinty or else he’d stand alone at the top.

Honorable mentions – Charles Logan from 24: I remember at the time thinking how much of a backstabbing piece of shit he was but I can’t even really remember the details anymore. Clearly didn’t have the staying power. Dokey from Black Donnellys – The Black Donnellys was a 1-and-done series that I thought was awesome. Has a little bit of a cult following and Dokey was pretty fuckin vicious, but just not enough notoriety to make the list. Clay from Sons of Anarchy – After being introduced to Damon Pope I think Clay is a fucking Boy Scout, so I just can’t put him on this list as the villain representative of SoA. But I wouldn’t be mad at people including him too. The dude wearing that horns mask from the past 2 weeks of Dexter – Ray Spitzer or whatever his name was: That dude was SCARY. He should have been a full season-long villain

NOTE: I watched season 1 of the Wire and didn’t like it so there’s nobody from there. I’m sure you Wire freaks will be pissed about that.