It’s very hard to argue who the funniest character in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is.
Everyone has their favorites between Charlie, Mac, Frank, Dennis, and Dee. Most people you ask will say Charlie or Frank, followed by Dennis, Mac, and Dee (Kaitlyn Olson truly doesn’t get enough credit for Dee, see “insert episode”). You really can’t go wrong with making your pick for the funniest character on the show, but there’s only one person you can pick as the best overall actor. That actor would be the one and only Glenn Howerton, otherwise known as Dennis Reynolds/The Golden God.
You’re probably thinking “But wait, Danny DeVito is an Emmy/Golden Globe winning actor whose career spans almost 50 years! He’s the best actor”.
Now, I would agree that he has had the best acting career out of the cast (obviously) but in the show’s 12 seasons, I’m going to give it to Glenn.
Charlie Day, who has extended his career to the big screen with Horrible Bosses and Fist Fight, would be in second place for me.
Kaitlyn Olson’s portrayal of Dee would be third in my opinion. Her acting performances of being annoyed and upset at the rest of the Gang are always great.
After that, Danny DeVito’s Frank would definitely be fourth with Rob McElhenney’s Mac being last. He’s not the best actor but he gets a pass since he brought this gang of misfits together.
Let’s talk about Glenn…
With that being said, let’s talk about Glenn Howerton. Glenn has not only had the most improved acting skills, but also has had some of the most amazing acting performances I’ve seen on TV in my life. That’s why I’m not only calling him the best actor on the show, but also The Greatest Actor of this Generation.
Glenn has put out some demented, perverted and hilariously shocking performances in recent seasons. He has really made the most insane and psychotic TV character of all-time, with even the other members of the Gang thinking Dennis should calm it down sometimes. This results in tremendous acting from Glenn when the Gang and the viewers actually gets a special peak into the mind of a true psychopath.
You see this in his two most famous episodes, “The D.E.N.N.I.S System” and “The Gang Buys a Boat”. In the “D.E.N.N.I.S” episode, possibly the most famous episode of the entire series, Dennis illustrates to the Gang his “full-proof” system of winning a girl’s heart. This is the perfect peak into how insane Dennis is, but the best way to see how insane he really is inside his brain, all you have to do is watch this scene from “The Gang Buys a Boat”.
Amazing. Love when he clenches his jaw like a lunatic during his final explanation.
But, to really see how well Glenn has developed as an actor, you have to watch his performances in the later seasons of this show. In these performances he truly loses his mind. You could even say that in these scenes, he is “untethered and his rage knows no bounds”!
There are early instances of these rages of course, in “The Gang Reignites the Rivalry” and “Dee Gives Birth”, but Glenn really brings his “A” game in the later seasons’ freak-outs.
The example I showed above from “The Gang Misses the Boat” is from season 10. A couple other instances of Dennis’ meltdowns include his “5-star man” montage from “The Gang Group Dates” (Season 10) and his “tools” scene in “The High School Reunion Part II” (Season 7). Both are shown below, with the “tools” scene also showing Glenn’s knack for portraying a possible serial killer.
5 Star Man
Although all of these scenes showcase my point for Glenn Howerton being the greatest actor of this generation, I believe his magnum opus comes in season 11 in “Mac and Dennis Move to the Suburbs”.
This whole episode showcases Dennis’ downright insanity, which is brought out by the unbearable living situation him and Mac find themselves in in the suburbs (the episode also shows Rob McElhenney’s great chemistry with Glenn, seen in many other episodes). This scene below however is the crowning jewel of the episode, when Dennis finally loses it on their “nosey” neighbor, Wally.
These amazing late season performances come at an awkward time for the cast. Rumors have been flying around about some of the main members of the Gang leaving the show for other opportunities, most notably with Glenn Howerton getting his own series on NBC’s new upcoming comedy “A.P. Bio”.
The most recent season’s finale (season 12, unbelievable) even had a sort of vague, “send-off” for Glenn’s character Dennis. The cast mates have all reaffirmed they plan to make more episodes (they’re under contract for a 13th and 14th season), but Rob and Glenn have mentioned it might be a while before we get them. Let’s just hope they all come back on top of their game, because Glenn and the rest of the Gang haven’t showed any signs of slowing down.