In a television landscape bloated with bland reality shows, it’s easy to forget just how groundbreaking the COPS really was for its time, back when the show premiered in March of 1989. For those who not in the know (if not, crawl out from under that rock), the long-running Fox series follows police officers through various cities and states as they deal with everything from run-of-the-mill house calls to full-blown car chases down crowded freeways. Over the years, COPS has become a staple of every local bar and college dorm in the country; people love crowding around TVs just to watch hobos, heroine addicts, and their peers eat the pavement courtesy of the law's strong-arm.
Throughout the show’s run, the American public has been given a realistic, and sometimes even hilarious, look at the drug-addled minds of average criminals. Taking place in mostly rural areas, COPS has been criticized for focusing too much on crimes involving the poor; however, the show wouldn’t have the same sense of trashy fun if it was focused on rich white-collar crimes.
To celebrate the premiere of the program's 24th season, tonight at 8pm EST, we’re counting down the 10 Stupidest Criminals In The History Of COPS. Remember, these people are criminals, so it’s perfectly acceptable to laugh at their misfortunes. Note: For maximum enjoyment, keep the show's classic theme song on loop as you click through.