Why Supernatural's Michael Is Allowed To Be Funny, According To Jensen Ackles

supernatural season 4 michael dean the cw jensen ackles
(Image credit: Image courtesy of The CW)

When Supernatural picked up for Season 14, fans didn't get a double dose of the Winchester boys as usual. Although Dean was still around in the first couple of episodes, he spent almost the entire time as the archangel Michael's vessel while Michael murdered people and made deals with monsters. You might think that playing such a despicable character would leave no room for laughs, but Jensen Ackles still managed to deliver some humor, even if it was fairly dark. Here's why Ackles believes Michael is allowed to be funny:

I was originally trying to take the traditional angel approach. I thought I'd take that method of this omniscient being that is essentially humorless. I quickly 180-ed on that after reading through a few things a few times. There wasn't a whole lot of comedy written for the character, so if I was going to filter some in, it was going to have to be between the lines, which is fine, I like doing that and I like finding those moments. But then I realized that there have been a couple of angels that have had humor and that would be Lucifer and Gabriel. And those were two archangels. So I did take a little bit of liberty with that and thought, if they can do it, maybe this guy should have at least a small dose of that, so I do play a little bit of that in there.

It took years for Castiel, a.k.a. everybody's favorite angel and the source of plenty of comic relief, to actually be deliberately funny, as angels are generally lacking in humor. According to Jensen Ackles in comments to EW, he originally intended to play the archangel Michael the same sort of way. Besides, it's not like Michael would fall into the same foibles as Cas did in his early days in a vessel, so we probably wouldn't even laugh at him.

The good news for Jensen Ackles was that Supernatural has featured a couple of angels with genuine senses of humor, although their humor wasn't always on a level humans appreciated. Those couple of angels were archangels themselves, and the precedent was set for archangels to have some humor to them. Lucifer was proof that an archangel didn't have to double as a Trickster to be funny, so Michael was allowed to be funny as a villain as well. Entertaining Michael beats monotone Michael any day, as far as I'm concerned.

Of course, after 13 full seasons of history, there's a precedent for the characters to get weird and funny in plenty of ways. It's always difficult to say when Supernatural is going to reach back into its own history and pull something to the present, whether it's a character or a type of monster or even a case. Dean as Michael isn't even the first time that a Winchester brother has been possessed by an archangel. He's technically the third of John Winchester's sons to become an archangel vessel!

That said, Supernatural could still go in some very new directions with Michael. Unfortunately, the second episode of Season 14 ended with Michael having vacated Dean for some reason. My fingers are very much crossed that this was a temporary twist and the archangel will be back in Dean before too long. It may not be a very kind wish for Dean's sake, but Dean as vessel for such a huge villain is a story with a great deal of potential, and Jensen Ackles could flex his acting muscles.

We'll have to wait and see if Jensen Ackles gets to portray Michael again and deliver some more humor of the archangel variety. New episodes of Supernatural air on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW as part of the fall TV lineup.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).