As Merle Dixon, I’m pretty sure Michael Rooker only had to get used to making two faces: the let’s-all-be-great-friends smile and the I’m-gonna-cut-you sneer. And they both work with equal success, with zero diminishing value. He was a ruthless, loud and repugnant dickhead, which is bad, but Rooker’s unencumbered energy sells it all as enjoyable, which is good. Plus, he’s the kind of character constantly getting put in shitty situations, offering poetic justice for his awfulness. Hand cut off? Hilarious. Fixed up that stump with a blade? Awesome. Fingers bitten off? Love it. And while not in contention for this list, Walker Merle’s death led Daryl’s cry-face. Classic.
Fans owe their love of Abraham’s dialogue to Eugene, who saved the man from a grief-stricken fate, and many scenes between the two characters were fuel for the cigar-chomping ginger’s placement here. Admittedly, Abraham worked best as a comedic character when he was nailing one-liners and popping bullets in things, as his emotional inner workings weren’t all that amusing. I believe we can all agree on Abraham’s best moment coming at the very end, when he spent his last breaths telling Negan what part of his genitalia to suck. Crass, sure, but this isn’t a list built on a highbrow foundation.
A fan favorite for many reasons, Daryl Dixon hits upon all the different ways that someone can be funny on The Walking Dead. He can deliver a sarcastic clapback with the force of a crossbow bolt, he can let loose with a mania-induced rant, he can make a villain look like a complete dipshit, and he can spontaneously show up with a rocket launcher to save the day. He’s a shoe phone away from being Maxwell Smart. (Not a precise assessment.) Unlike the miserable folks around him, Daryl is one of few Walking Dead characters who could be completely alone and be ten times more hilarious. Especially with booze.
One one hand, Jerry shouldn’t be here, because The Walking Dead has given Jerry very limited screentime so far. (Still more than Heath, probably.) But on the other hand, Jerry should also be all of the entries on this list. As the Laurel to Ezekiel’s Hardy-with-Messiah-Complex, Jerry is basically batting .1000 when it comes to winning over viewers, and he’s the closest that The Walking Dead has to textbook comic relief. Given his treatment to this point, I assume and hope the show keeps him in this state, which would eventually make him the funniest character, even if he wasn’t already. And so…everyone congratulate Jerry! Somebody see if we have any acorns around, because I feel like having cake.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. Let us know who you think the funniest character is and head to our midseason premiere schedule to see everything heading to the small screen in the future.