When it comes to television tropes – the everyman, the beer-drinking man, the couch-dwelling man and the larger than life characters with supersonic exuberance, and a combination of sometimes idiocy or stereotype breaking astuteness, have become regular fixtures on our television screen. Over the years they have devolved more than they have evolved and most have learned absolutely nothing from past mistakes. We love these characters because they are exaggerations of real life characters – maybe characters you personally know, or perhaps a character that you see every morning whilst looking in the mirror. The only thing we don’t see on television are the realistic consequences of many of these characters’ unhealthful actions and habits –consequences that affect many of us in real life. For instance, wouldn’t most of these characters be ideal candidates for a sleep apnea diagnosis and a slew of other health conditions? Here is the ultimate list of fictional television characters who would most likely be diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and should definitely be undergoing CPAP treatment.
1. Homer Simpson on The Simpsons
- Advanced air diffusion that is barely audible
- 50% quieter and 50% lighter than the Swift FX mask
- Can fit the QuickFit elastic headgear in less than 30 seconds
The Simpsons currently holds the title for the longest running scripted television show in history. This is a testament to the agelessness of the characters and the willingness for adaptability that belongs to the show’s creator Matt Groening, but the man we owe it all to is the fictional head of the Simpson family: Homer Simpson. Homer is by anyone’s standards – even an idiot’s standards – a complete idiot. The fact that he works at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant is an unmistakable metaphor, but he is also known for his lust for donuts, beer and for the fact that he is supremely lazy and totally ignorant. Over the last 26 years, Homer has had a whopping six heart attacks and even a triple by-pass surgery. Could Homer Simpson also have sleep apnea? – You can probably bet on the fact that he does – he snores, he falls asleep at his job and he is always screwing up – D’oh! When it comes to CPAP masks, we’d like to think that Homer Simpson would benefit from wearing the AirFit P10 Mask System, which is one of the lightest masks on the market that allows for a lot of movement and freedom – something we know Homer will love.
2. Al Bundy on Married With Children
- Swivel design allows the mask to move up and down along the face
- Clear silicone frame fits nicely around the face
- Choice of: clear, silicone, or fabric frame
Every family is dysfunctional, but the Bundys definitely take the cake. The patriarch of the family – Al Bundy – is perhaps the most dysfunctional of them all: a failed high school football star, a disgruntled shoe salesman and a husband to his lazy wife – Peggy Bundy – who refuses to clean, cook or take care of the household. You also have Bud Bundy – a failure with women and a wannabe rapper – and Kelly Bundy – the prototypical “dumb blonde”. The Bundys aren’t so much a classic nuclear family as they are a nuclear meltdown. The show is certainly helmed by its lead character, Al Bundy, who spends most of his non-working life on a couch – hand down the pants – yelling to his wife about dinner or reading “BigUns” magazine. You could say that Al Bundy is not the healthiest of characters, which is why we’d like to assume he has a pretty severe case of sleep apnea. If we were to recommend a CPAP mask to Al Bundy, we’d probably tell him to check out the Wisp Nasal Mask System, which is a nasal mask that offers a versatile CPAP experience and three sizes of cushions, so that you can find the best fit. Al seems like someone that would complain about his CPAP mask, but this mask is by far one of the most comfortable.
3. Peter Griffin on Family Guy
- Simple by design, created to resemble the Swift FX
- Lightweight, easy to fit
- Covers gently over the nose
Family Guy has always been seen as the edgier – and sometimes wittier – competitor to The Simpsons. Even Family Guy’s star patriarch – Peter Griffin – seems like a more dim-witted, and perhaps even legally retarded, version of Homer Simpson. Peter Griffin also seems more flagrantly reckless and damaging to his health – he spends most of his life at the local bar and in one episode he suffered from a severe stroke that paralyzed half his body. It is also pretty unclear as to where Peter Griffin works, because he spends most of each show on the couch or engaging in outlandish activity, like accusing his doctor of rape after a proctology exam, getting in multiple fistfights with a chicken or kidnapping The Pope. Peter Griffin also has a penchant for beer and eating unhealthy food, but you could probably guess that Peter Griffin would blame his sleep apnea on his unfairly ostracized daughter Meg. To cure his sleep apnea, we would probably recommend the Swift FX Nano Nasal Mask, because someone with such a large head may find more comfort from a nasal mask that is easy to use and maintain – not to mention, it also feels great on.
4. Archie Bunker on All in the Family
Mirage Liberty Hybrid Mask System
- Less skin contact and an open field of vision, this unobtrusive mask feels light on the face
- Enhanced comfort and seal, delivering quiet therapy and a good night’s sleep
- Dual-wall Mirage cushion technology
All in the Family is a show that defined the 1970s – the intro theme song of the show is actually where Seth MacFarlane got the idea for the Family Guy intro theme song. All in the Family features a working class, bigoted, World War II veteran – Archibald “Archie” Bunker – his sweet and mild mannered wife – Edith – and their family life in the Queens borough of New York City. All in the Family isn’t just a sit-com – it is a yellow and brown tinted mirror to an entire generation and it covers incredibly important topics of the time, like the Vietnam War, homosexuality, abortion, breast cancer, women’s liberation and more. If anything, Archie Bunker is the the misguided voice of the generation – one of Nixon’s homogenous pipelines – who complains about everything, from “the blacks,” hippies, gays, Jews, and a whole list of other races and social classes. Underneath it all, though, Archie loves his family and his wife – even when he tells Edith to “dummy up,” he still loves her and it is plainly obvious, which is why we love his character, despite all the shortcomings, abrasiveness and blatant racism. Underneath it all, he is not really racist – just confused. It is also the reason why we would have sympathy if Archie Bunker were diagnosed with sleep apnea. When it comes to CPAP masks, Archie Bunker would probably find the Mirage Liberty Hybrid Mask System the most comfortable and tolerable – plus, this mask fits over 90% of users perfectly, so he would have no reason to snarl or complain.
5. Philip Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
- Self-inflating AirPillow™ Seal and minimalist headgear
- One of the lightest nasal pillows masks
- The ultimate CPAP for freedom of movement
Out of all the larger than life characters on television, The Honorable Philip Banks on the classic 1990s television show The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, is the most erudite and perhaps generous. Philip Banks even invites his confused, urban street hustler and baller of a nephew – Will Smith (called “Master William” by the butler) – to live with him and his family in his mansion in Bel Air, and hilarity ensues for the next 148 episodes. Like many other shows, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air defined another generation – a generation of kids that wore backwards pants and unknowingly delighted in a period of relative political and economic calm – some say a calm before the storm. However, the show was beloved by all when it ran on prime time television and it launched Will Smith’s career. Even though Phillip Banks’ character was a supporting one, it was an important role nonetheless, because it shows that black men in America can be smart – he is a graduate of Princeton and Harvard – and he is upwardly mobile – he lives in a giant home in Bel Air, which is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. With Phillip Banks’ size – he is a few inches over six feet and probably weighs around 300 pounds – you can probably assume that he also has sleep apnea, which affects people from all walks of life. If we were to offer a CPAP recommendation, we would would say that the Honorable Philip Banks would seek maximum comfort with the Pilairo Q Mask System, because he works hard and deserves a good night of sleep with a comfortable and intuitive mask that is designed to minimize air leaks – not to mention, he also has to put up with Will Smith’s constant antics.
6. Cameron Tucker on Modern Family
- Offers two different ways to wear the mask, depending on personal style and comfort preference
- Easy and quick to fit with minimal parts for ease of use
- Exceptional softness, simplicity and stability
Set in an ambiguous suburban town – most likely in Southern California – Modern Family is a show that is distinctly post-modern. Depicting the inner lives of three very interconnected families, Modern Family explores second marriages, gay marriages and what it’s like to raise a family in the 21st century. Cameron Tucker, played by actor Eric Stonestreet, is the life partner of Mitchell Dane Pritchett – the son of the show’s patriarch Jay Pritchett. Cameron has a personality that is as large as he is physically large, and he has a penchant for collecting antique fountain pens and Japanese flower arrangements. On the show, Cameron Tucker is gay, but in real life the actor refers to himself as “openly straight.” With Cameron Tucker’s size, it is probably safe to say that sleep apnea may be something that the character could plausibly suffer from. When it comes down to it, Cameron Tucker would probably benefit from the Swift FX Mask System, which is exceptionally soft and simple and tackles many of the issues that people have when they seek CPAP treatment, so that Cameron can get the best night of sleep – being an avid antique pen collector is hard work.
7. Gordon Shumway (ALF) on ALF
Nuance Gel & Pro Gel Pillows Mask System
- Non-slip headgear stays in place throughout the night
- Light-weight, flexible tubing
- Reduces nasal irritation
It is perhaps the strangest television show premise in history – far stranger than the Twilight Zone – mainly because it was so oddly realistic: an alien crash lands in the garage of a middle-class family – the Tanners – living in the San Fernando Valley area of Southern California and he has to blend in just like everyone else. That alien life form is ALF, or Gordon Shumway, who is the last known member of his species from a planet called Melmac that was destroyed in a nuclear holocaust – another metaphorical reference to the destruction of the nuclear family. This time, though, the nuclear family includes 1.5 children and a furry alien with a mid-western accent that has a panoply of abstract likes and interests: he eats cats, he thinks lint is worth more than gold or platinum, he attended high school for 122 years, and on his home planet he was the captain of a a Bouillabaisse ball team that played on ice using shell fish as a ball – and he is a Carolina Panthers fan. ALF can also whistle with his mouth closed, is lazy and apparently has eight stomaches, which makes it pretty hard not to believe that he also has obstructive sleep apnea. If we were to recommend a CPAP mask to ALF, we’d say that the Nuance Gel & Pro Gel Pillows Mask System may be the only CPAP mask that he would seek the most comfort from, because it is non-conforming and it floats over the face – ALF does have a snout after all.
8. Samwell Tarly on Game of Thrones
- Lightest full face mask on the market
- Sleek, lightweight design with only four parts
- Quiet, comfortable seal for uninterrupted sleep
Set on set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos at the tail end of a decade long summer, Game of Thrones is based on a widely ready fantasy novel by the writer George R. R. Martin – a man who looks not unlike a combination of the uni-bomber and Santa Clause. The show uses a Medieval-ish landscape to explore greed, corruption, social hierarchies and sexuality – being on HBO, the show can kind of get away with a lot, including some serious dwarf on prostitute action. In fact, Game of Thrones shows some skin during almost every episode – sex sells, right? However, there is one character’s skin you would rather see less of and that is the rather portly Samwell Tarley, played by British actor John Bradley-West. Samwell Tarly, or “ser piggy” as he is sometimes called, is the oldest son of Lord Randyll Tarly – the patriarch of one of the wealthiest noble families. Being the first born, Samwell Tarly was assumed to inherit his father’s title, but because of his weight is unfortunately disinherited. Samwell Tarly also feels more comfortable cuddled up in front of a fire with his face in a book than he is fighting in some unnecessary territorial war. Perhaps, though, if Samwell were to be diagnosed with sleep apnea and then underwent CPAP treatment, his life would be much different. When it comes to CPAP masks, Samwell would probably get the most comfort from the Quattro Air Mask System, which is perhaps the lightest weight CPAP mask on the market – perfect for a nobleman and a non-nobleman alike.
9. Carl Brutananadilewski on Aqua Teen Hunger Force
- Simple one-click cushion
- Small, light and easy to use
- 20% lighter and 60% less parts than the leading full face mask brands
Sort of like the combination of an psilocybin mushroom trip and a fever dream, Aqua Teen Hunger Force is an animated series that features three characters that you would more realistically find on the dollar menu at a fast food restaurant: Master Shake (an anthropomorphized milkshake), Frylock (an anthropomorphized extra large order of French fries) and Meatwad (an anthropomorphized meatball). For some reason, the show has had 130 episodes thus far and is still going strong. One of the only human stars of the show is the next door neighbor – named Carl Brutananadilewski. Carl is bald, wears a big gold chain and a wife-beater tank top, and has all sorts of strands of body hair – including arm hair, chest hair and a cheesy, dirtbag Mario and Luigi mustache. Carl, in essence, is the prototype of the American male – someone who you would find in your basement fixing your plumbing or hitting on your daughter. Carl also has a penchant for pornography and the bands Boston and Journey. Based on Carl’s lifestyle, you could probably make an educated guess that he has obstructive sleep apnea. When it comes to CPAP masks, Carl would probably use the Amara Full Face Mask, which is a full face mask system that has exception fit and comfort, because getting treatment should be as low-fuss as possible, especially for a guy like Carl.
10. Hank Hill on King of the Hill
- Unobtrusive, lightweight design offers an open field of vision
- Soft and stable cushion and quiet performance
- Compact size with fewer parts
Set in the fictional town of Arlen, Texas, King of the Hill is basically a spin-off of the classic 1990s generation X slacker cartoon comedy Beavis and Butthead – Hank Hill is their crotchety neighbor that they often berate and harass. It would only be a matter of time before Hank Hill would become the star of his own show. The show revolves around Hank – who is famously a propane salesman – and his wife Peggy Hill. In one Economist article, the columnist calls Hank Hill “one of the wisest” characters on television. Hank Hill is a man struggling to cope with the ways of the modern world – he would rather smoke his cigarettes and drink beer instead of, well, doing anything else. In fact, a beer seems to be permanently affixed to his right hand. However, if he won’t change his ways, the modern world may soon force him too, because with his lifestyle, he is the perfect candidate for sleep apnea. When it comes to CPAP masks, we’d probably recommend that Hank Hill use the Quattro FX Full Face Mask, which offers an open field of vision. Hank Hill seems like the kind of guy that would have the hardest time adjusting to CPAP therapy, but this is the perfect starter mask.