Hacks is arguably one of the funniest TV shows currently available to stream on HBO Max. Led by Jean Smart, the show follows the hilarious working relationship between veteran comedian Deborah Vance (Smart) and up-and-coming comedy writer Ava Daniels (Hannah Einbinder). Despite differing, and sometimes contentious, perspectives, the two eventually form a strong connection that takes their respective careers to new heights.
Earlier this summer, Hacks was renewed for a third season, which follows its immensely successful and award-winning first two seasons. For the last two consecutive years, in fact, Smart has won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Of course, she isn’t the only funny person in the cast. In addition to Deborah and Ava, Hacks boasts an ensemble of some of the most hilarious and ridiculously heartwarming characters on TV. Here’s how the best of them rank.
7/7 Jimmy LuSaque
Jimmy LuSaque, played by Paul W. Downs, is Deborah and Ava’s manager, who has taken over the job from his father and is very stressed by the situation due to his encounters with Kayla and the unpredictable nature of Deborah. Jimmy is more of a supporting character, and one of the more straight-laced ones no less, but his interactions with Kayla are inherently special. Downs also gets credit for being one of the creators of Hacks.
Kiki is played by Poppy Liu in Hacks. She works as Deborah’s blackjack dealer, who develops a strong friendship with Ava across the first two seasons. She is a single mother who is working to support her daughter, and we see that she is also unapologetic and cutting, which results in some hilariously sharp remarks. She is honest with Deborah and Ava, especially, when they need to hear it, and is one of the most likable characters in the series.
5/7 DJ Vance
DJ is Deborah Vance’s daughter, and is played by Kaitlin Olson. DJ has personal struggles due to her chaotic upbringing with Deborah. She struggled with being thrust into spotlight and feels second-best to Deborah’s career. DJ is desperately trying to make her career as a jewelry designer work. She is funny in a way where we root for her, being oblivious to certain aspects of real life and making quick remarks back to her mother.
Marcus is a hard worker who prioritizes his career working for Deborah over his personal life. Throughout the first two seasons of Hacks, we gain an insight into his relationship that failed because of his career that he is still struggling with. His character has some funny lines due to his stern nature, and a sequence in the first seasons, in particular, where he lets loose when Deborah is out of town, is especially entertaining, offering us more of an insight into his character. Played by Carl Clemons-Hopkins, is a character we are excited to see develop in future seasons.
3/7 Ava Daniels
Ava Daniels is one of the main characters in Hacks, who works the closest with Deborah to create new stand-up material from a different perspective. Their relationship is complicated and one of the best women friendships that has been depicted on-screen in a long time. Ava is brash, but we get to understand her deeply throughout the first two seasons. Her sequences with Deborah are highly entertaining and her jokes always land perfectly.
Kayla is played by Megan Stalter, who has found herself in a job as Jimmy’s assistant due to her father’s position in the company, which means that she is unable to be fired no matter how severe a mistake she makes. Kayla is hilarious and constantly makes ridiculous mistakes and says inappropriate things. Her character has some of the funniest scenes in the entire season.
1/7 Deborah Vance
The funniest character on Hacks is undoubtedly Deborah Vance. Smart’s performance is excellent and has been described as one of the best TV performances of recent memory. Deborah is a complicated character that seems reminiscent of several women comedians in our world. She makes crude jokes that are clever and land perfectly. She is well-deserving of the top spot on our list.