Merriam-Webster defines playboy as: “a man who lives a life devoted chiefly to the pursuit of pleasure.” And in today’s modern world, this word has taken on a more specific colloquial meaning, thanks to the so-titled popular magazine and its originator.
The only place we find men more worthy of this skirt-chasing title than the venerable Mr. Hefner is in the fictional world of television. So who are the most illustrious playboys currently wooing women on the TV screen? I’m so glad you asked.
For this exercise I have developed my own very specific and highly appropriate ranking system. Each character can receive anywhere from 1 to 5 notches on his bedpost depending on his looks, pick-up prowess, relationship history and all around lifestyle. So without further ado, TV’s top playboys:
Yes, he’s a fictional character, but everybody knows that Charlie Harper’s actions are loosely based on Charlie Sheen’s real-life debauchery. If we were going by sheer numbers, both Charlies would get the full five notches. But in my humble opinion, the minute prostitutes get involved is the minute you get demoted to two-notch status. After all, if you have to pay money to be a playboy then maybe you don’t have that much game to begin with.
Mark Sloan – Grey’s Anatomy
First of all, we know him as McSteamy–that earns him two notches off the bat. And if he were still the same devilishly handsome doctor who stole Addison from the original McDreamy then he could have scored up to four notches. Alas, lately he’s been a little too whipped by little Lexie Grey qualify for that kind of playboy status. But he did just get his lesbian best friend pregnant during a major rebound session, so we’ll get ready to carve another notch in his bedpost if he keeps it up.
Chuck Bass – Gossip Girl
There is no doubt that Chuck Bass is a five-notch man in the making, but for now I’m giving him four. He’s the best kind of bad boy–rich, powerful and scheming. It’s no wonder that his partner in crime/arch-nemesis, Blair, couldn’t resist spending more than a little time in the back of his limo. His travels have made him a man of the world, and his bad boy allure can only get better with age.
Barney Stinson – How I Met Your Mother
The writer of the official Bro Code handbook deserves no less than 4 notches. Barney Stinson’s countless conquests have been impressive, elaborate and legen…wait for it…dary. With moves like “The Mrs. Stintsfire,” “The SNASA,” and “The Ted Mosby: Architect,” Barney Stinson will one day be a TV playboy hall-of-famer.
Don Draper – Mad Men
In my opinion, Don Draper is the TV playboy of our time. But not in the “Hugh Hefner,” showy kind of way, but in the silent, smoldering, cigarette-smoking kind of way. Don Draper doesn’t try because he doesn’t have to. Women simply present themselves to him, and he takes advantage of them in the most basic way while keeping his feelings, and true identity, to himself. Sure he’s a terrible person, but I kind of love him.
So there you have it. A round-up of the top playboys on TV, from the thanks-but-no-thanks to the yes, please.
If you think I missed any, let me know in the comments–but I should warn you that I won’t budge on the Don Draper ranking.