In honor of UN World Television Day this November 21st, we take a look at three versions of television’s most loved grandparent personality types.
The Meddling, Overbearing Grandmother
“Years ago, I gave birth to two beautiful boys. And I wanted nothing more than to see them grow up, get married, and give me grandchildren. But if you want to take that away from me, by all means you go and tell that to Robert. And I’ll just be back across the street living out the rest of my life…as best I can…with a hole in my heart.”-Marie Barone
When it comes to knowing what’s best for your child, Marie Barone (played by Doris Roberts) takes the cake. Her invasive and guilt-ridden persona riddled with highly effective manipulation tactics underscores her unique contribution to the “Everybody Loves Raymond” TV series. Not only does she smother her son, Raymond, but she also insists on chastising his wife, Deborah (Patricia Heaton), for not smothering him enough.
Marie’s perfectionist tendencies lead her to re-do Deborah’s laundry, home cleaning, and dinners. Her quick tongue is always ready to defend her antics at the drop of a hat while her meddling nature intrudes on the proper upbringing of the grandchildren. Although she can be overbearing and manipulative, we’ve all grown to love this woman with a golden heart.
The Rambling, Senile Grandfather
“Alright, ya got me. The story of the Simpson family began in the Old Country. I forget which one exactly. My dad would drone on and on about America. He thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Sliced bread having been invented the previous winter.” –Abe Simpson
We all love to be inspired by historical family events and stories, but when it comes to re-telling the facts, Abe Simpson (voiced by Dan Castellaneta), takes it to a whole new level. Abe Simpson is the grandfather in the classic American TV cartoon series “The Simpsons”.
His storytelling always begins with great passion and fervor, but then quickly gets sidetracked by some random factoid which then dovetails into a completely unrelated ramble. If you’re lucky, he’ll fall asleep before he finishes his memoir.
Unfortunately, storytelling is the one thing that he loves more than napping. And rambling on and on about nothingness is what makes this grandfather one of the most enjoyable characters to watch on the show.
He enjoys writing complaint letters to advertisers and letting them know exactly where he stands on issues that affect him directly. Spending time in a retirement home only adds to his senile characteristics. As a world war veteran, he endured much for his country. Though his mind is no longer as sharp as a tack, we love his quirky honesty.
The Sensible and Fun-Loving Grandparents
Cliff: “Your grandson pierced his ear.”
Russell: “On purpose?”
Russell (Earle Hyman) and Anna Huxtable (Clarice Taylor) are best remembered for providing solidarity and unity in marriage. Their characters played on “The Cosby Show” in the ‘80s depict how going through tough times together makes a family unit stronger.
Serving as an inspiration to their kids and grandkids, these grandparents are lifelong civil rights activists who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 and have a deep love for the Roaring ‘20s. In addition to showing the best of African-American culture, Russell’s impressive jazz skills are second to none. This loving and kind-hearted couple easily captured our hearts and attention with their generous smiles and hearty laughs.
Which is your favorite TV grandparent persona? Let us know in the comments!