9. Uncle Vernon
Vernon Dursley was not a pleasant man. His treatment of Harry was nothing short of abusive, and he certainly wasn’t a consistent source of comedy. Nevertheless, given that the early entries of the Harry Potter series were aimed at children, Rowling deliberately merged Uncle Vernon’s nastiness with dashes of cartoon-like humour.
Due to his short temper, Vernon Dursley’s rage frequently blurred into moments of madness. After receiving a storm of letters from Hogwarts, he abandoned his comfortable home in Surrey and took his family to a small hut in the middle of the sea.
His unhinged behaviour continued into The Chamber of Secrets when he locked his nephew in his room after losing out on an important business deal. Whilst this was more sinister than funny, it did lead to him falling from the upper floor of his house and into the front garden as he tried to prevent Harry from escaping.
There were also a number of moments that were exclusive to the books that exemplified Uncle Vernon’s funnier side. In The Goblet of Fire, he and his wife’s reaction to the destruction of their living room (curtesy of the Weasleys) made for an amusing scene, and his complete lack of knowledge or self-awareness following Dudley’s attack from a dementor in The Order of the Phoenix was also funny.
Despite his general cruelty, therefore, Uncle Vernon still offered a degree of comedy to Harry’s life at Privet Drive.