What’s the deal with Ted? There’s something about the name “Ted” that’s always surprising. Maybe it’s that Ted is short for Teddy which is short for Theodore, which will never not be a funny name for anything? But some Teds are better than others. Also a lot of them killed people? Hmm.

Buckle Up, We’re Ranking the Teds

11. Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy
If one man could teach a master class on getting a head as a charming but stupid white guy, it’s Ted Bundy. The “Brad Leone” of serial killers, Ted Bundy’s the lowest on this list considering he has the highest confirmed kill count and did very gross stuff to them. Think of him every time you fake a limp to seem interesting at a dive bar. Did you catch the head joke earlier?

10. TED (the organization)

Ken Robinson Presenting the Worst TED Talk
The year is 2013. The smartest people you know are all sharing TED talks on Facebook. Looking back on it, they weren’t that smart. TED talks are the airport books of infotainment – bite-size ideas presented by overconfident Dudes that have failed to actually change anyone’s life. Raise your hand if you’ve had a financial quarter ruined because your boss believed the “time multiplication” TED talk. They’re single-handedly responsible for convincing people that Simon Sinek is a leadership expert, despite writing sentences like “What is your Why.” Remember when Ken Robinson nerfed a decade of education funding with his TED talk about how schools kill creativity? My man you could’ve made it a blog post and not empowered separatist homeschoolers.

9. (Tie) Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent in Concert
The mediocre musician to reactionary conservative pipeline is real, it’s dangerous, and it’s Ted Nugent. Does anyone actually know a Ted Nugent song? I can only ever remember the one about committing statuatory rape. Huh. Something something conservative family values. Anyway, fuck that guy. Extreme hateful rhetoric against women, LGBTQ+, and racial minorities kills people, albeit indirectly. He’s tied with the next entry, who directly killed people.

9. (Tie) Ted Kaczynski

Ted Kaczynski mugshot
The second murderer to make this list, Ted Kaczynski’s ranks higher than Ted Bundy by virtue of putting in the work. Firmly a bad guy, Kaczynski served as inspiration for many a Reagan-era eco-terrorism thriller. One might argue that because his identity was hidden while his crimes were committed he doesn’t belong on this list, but I’d say the Big Ted Energy is undeniable.

7. Ted Mosby (How I Met Your Mother)

Ted Mosby from How I Met Your Mother
Many words have been spilled about why Ted Mosby is the worst. On this list, however, that only gets you to a 7. Ted Mosby is an incel in the How I Met Your Mother reboot that would’ve been greenlit in 2019 had the finale not tanked so hard. He’s an objectively bad storyteller, a self-obsessed chastity pervert, and he’s a New York City architect in a sitcom. Bad Ted!

6. Ted Lasso (Ted Lasso)

Ted Lasso from Ted Lasso
Headlining the premiere program for Disney Adults, Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso, is lovable, modest, and extremely divorced. The “Brad Leone” of sports fiction, perhaps. He’s worth giving Apple 6 bucks once a year to catch up on the latest season. “I do love a locker room. It smells like potential” is an all-time quote though it plays better in a different context.

5. Ted Crisp (Better Off Ted)

Ted Crisp from Better Off Ted
I’ve never watched Better Off Ted, but it seems OK, so we’re putting him at the middle of the pack. If I ever get around to it maybe we’ll change the order. A Google search didn’t reveal any instances where he killed someone.

4. Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy
If we were ranking Kennedys, Ted’s might be near the top, even with the Chappaquiddick stuff thrown in. Ranking Kennedys is a rough business. In the Ted rankings, Edward Moore Kennedy gets positive marks for key votes on CHIP, Americans with Disabilities Act, opposing the Iraq war, and Apartheid Sanctions, but loses ground for drafting No Child Left Behind, sneaking into law school on Daddy’s pedigree, and manslaughter. All that puts him at 4, and number one among Teds that actually killed somebody.

3. Ted Turner

Ted Turner in the 70s
What do we make of the person who kick-started the 24-hour news industry? That’s the question at the heart of Ted Turner’s legacy. When it comes to ‘takes’ the record is mixed, with a blend of calling out terrorism (good), giving the UN one billion dollars (slight good), cannibalistic hyperbole around global warming (neutral), showing up in James Brown’s gospel magazine (slight negative but deeply funny), and overpopulation panic (dumb and bad). But when it comes to his life’s work, while Turner Classic Movies was great, I’m not sure we can call the CNN/MSNBC/ABC/Fox News 24-hour news cycle “good” in any sense of the word. The AOL-Time Warner merger has gone down in history as maybe the worst corporate merger of all time. But he didn’t kill anyone! Right?

2. Ted (from the movie Ted)

Ted from the 2012 movie Ted
Mark Wahlberg was kind of cool for a bit, remember that? Leaning into the comedy classic of “thing for kids swears a bunch,” the foul-mouthed Ted as the center of this movie became an icon for the kind of people who buy “adulting”-themed home decor and couplets about Rosé. I think we can all agree our worst roomates would have been better if they’d been just a little more like Ted. I guess he killed some people in the movies? I didn’t remember that but it’s on the List of Deaths Fandom wiki. He earns the number two spot.

1. Ted Danson

Ted Danson in 1990
Ted Danson doesn’t miss. With appearances in Cheers, The Good Place, Three Men and a Baby, Fargo, and disposable police procedurals, Danson brings the charm and the swagger. The “Brad Leone” of primetime television, if you will. Debate has emerged over whether his role as Michael in The Good Place is an allegory for charismatic cult leaders, but no debate exists over whether he is smokin’. The whole Whoopi Goldberg affair/blackface saga was weird. He’s a legend in Hollywood and we’re almost certain hasn’t killed anyone, earning him the number one spot in this list.