In recent decades, television networks have increasingly toed the line of what's suitable for audiences to watch, and it goes without saying there are many profane, violent, and illicit scenes on TV now that wouldn't have flown in most shows of yesteryear. That said, there have always been a few shows on the air that hold back on pushing the envelope just enough to stay on the airwaves, while still being as offensive as humanly (or animatedly) possible.
A new study has been released by Senior Living where those surveyed were asked about the most offensive TV shows and characters of all time. You can check out the results below, which obviously cover a wide span of television history.
5. Married With Children
Married With Children sits lowest on the totem pole on this list, but it deserves an immense amount of credit for its offensive nature primarily because that offensive nature is likely what led to the show's long run and cult popularity. Despite the fact that series was never a massive ratings winner, it did get a long run on television after the episode "Her Cups Runneth Over" caught the attention of Michigan resident Terry Rakolta. Rakolta's crusade to boycott the series for its sexual jokes, references to gay culture, and general raunch was picked up by news outlets and encouraged others to see what the fuss was about. Audiences stuck around for 8 more seasons beyond the boycott, and the series is still in syndication to this day.
4. All In The Family
The oldest show on the list, and arguably the pioneer of offensive television, is All In The Family. That was kind of the point, of course, as All In The Family creator Norman Lear created the series based on the generational gap between he and his father as well as the struggle of being older and living within rapidly changing times. Archie Bunker was lauded as America's "lovable bigot," which isn't a title most people would receive or willingly embrace in this day and age. This show covered racism, prejudice, rape, abortion, and war, and it got massive ratings, awards, and critical acclaim for doing so. It paved the way for the modern offensive shows today, hilariously enough, with a character who longed for the "good old days."