Character Sundays: Dogbert

Via: Panels on Pages

Way, way back in the late 1990s, I remember the Dilbert animated show being on TV in Ireland. The schedule was erratic and I don’t believe anything after the first season was ever shown. Nonetheless, I found it to be an extremely funny show with a great cast of characters. one of whom we will look at today: Dogbert

Dogbert is Dilbert’s pet dog, but he is so in only the most symbolic sense. Dogbert is driven and power-hungry. He is always up to something and it always seems to involve controlling people. Buying laws in Congress to enact Dogbert Day? Check. Gaining control of Dilbert’s company? Check.

On a basic level, he is an anti-hero. He does what he wants and is willing to let others do the tough work for him. Dilbert is often at the sharp end of this, but Dogbert is shown time and again as looking out for his owner and often helping him in inadvertent ways (such as blasting him with a laser cannon just so that he would put an approved stamp on his own machine).

Within the TV series, Dogbert adds a dose of reality and rationalism to an otherwise crazy universe, even if it is for his own personal gain. He doesn’t display a lot of emotion beyond wagging his tail when happy, but this simply elevates the fun, as everyone else around him engages in hyper-emotional ways.

As a character, Dogbert is not overly complex, but he does act as a catalyst to deepen an otherwise shallow cast of characters who inhabit the rest of the show’s universe.


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