7. Kent Brockman
Springfield's hard-nosed but soft-shelled TV news anchor Kent Brockman speaks with the sort of confidence and reassurance the city needs in times of crisis, at least until he himself caves ("I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords"). But it's the matter-of-fact way in which Shearer can deliver an absurd Brockman line like, "I've said it before and I'll say it again, democracy simply doesn't work," or – after the newsman wins the lottery and decides to stay on the air – "I'm a journalist!" that gives The Simpsons a unique dry humor that elevated it above other sitcoms.