The top ten FUNNIEST TV shows (in my opinion).

I don’t find a lot of things funny. I can watch funny movies, funny shows, even stand up comics…and not laugh at the majority of things they say. I laugh, in real life, very rarely. Friends and family of mine know that if I’M LAUGHING at something…then it MUST be pretty damn funny. A lot of people who have known me (in real life) for years swear they’ve never heard or seen me laugh before.

It does happen, though…but like I said, it has to be something REALLY, really funny.
Also, it being black or dark or fucked-up humor helps. I find the extremely morbid sometimes funny. Awkward humor is also sometimes very funny. I also really like clever, subtle, and witty humor…rather than just PUNNY, corny, slapstick stuff (which is not as funny).

So…to reiterate: Black humor. Subtle humor. Fucked up humor. All good.

That all being said…here are the very few shows that I’ve seen that have actually made me laugh out loud…
…put in order of those who have made me laugh out loud less so…to those who make me laugh out loud REGULARLY (maybe even once an episode, at least). Again, those who know me and who know my rarity at laughing aloud would tell you that these shows MUST be pretty freaking hilarious if they’re able to make me laugh…so strongly consider them, possibly, some of the funniest shows in existence (if you haven’t yet ever seen any of them).

  1. I Love Lucy (currently on: Done with series; seen every episode)
    I don’t like many shows from before 1988. IMO, very rarely are ANY shows before this year truly funny. But there are some exceptions…and I Love Lucy might be the strongest one. I Love Lucy is the ONLY black and white TV show that can make me still laugh out loud and that I still find funny even to this day.

  2. Scrubs (currently on: S4, E2)
    Scrubs I started out finding EXTREMELY hilarious…but over time, it’s seemed to mellow out a bit. I like how it can keep humor even in the more dramatic and sad parts of life, though.

  3. Married With Children (currently on: S8, E9)
    I’ve seen most all of this show over the years, especially when it was originally on TV…but I had missed a bunch back then, so am now rewatching it, from the beginning and in order. Still funny, even today.

  4. Roseanne (currently on: Done with series; seen every episode)
    Let me be clear on something: I hate the actress. Hate the person, but LOVE the sitcom. Roseanne herself, as a person, is unfunny, shrill, and extremely annoying…
    …but in THIS show, she shone brighter than anything. This show was the show I thought was the FUNNIEST OF ALL TIME; nay, my top, favorite show…for YEARS (at least ten)…
    …at least until I first saw That 70s Show, which then dethroned it.
    Still, I can watch this show over and over and still laugh at least once every three or four episodes. Only reason why it’s not higher on this list is because of the last season…which was the only season of this show I didn’t find funny (at all).

  5. Pushing Daisies (currently on: S1, E4)
    I have VERY high expectations for this one. I haven’t even gotten three episodes in yet and ALREADY I’m LOVING it. It’s sad that there only seems to be two seasons of it, if it stays at its current humor level then I will be PUZZLED at why it was canceled. It’s just…so good. This one might actually rise a bit in this list in the future.

  6. That 70s Show (currently on: S7, E11)
    Now we’re getting into the shows that can make me laugh AT LEAST ONCE each episode. Usually just once…but at least that. This one is hilarious and it’s the one that become the show I thought was the FUNNIEST I had ever seen at the time, knocking Roseanne out of that spot. It remained in that spot for the next seven years or so…
    …until How I Met Your Mother then knocked IT out of the top spot, respectively.
    Anyway, I’m still watching through this one and haven’t seen all of them yet, but I’m nearing the end since it only had eight seasons. As with Roseanne, however, I have HEARD that two main cast members leave and that the majority of the last season just isn’t as good. Well, that will remain to be seen.

  7. Weeds (currently on: S7, E7)
    I can find very little wrong with this show. It is extremely done, extremely well made, extremely hilarious. This isn’t just one of my favorite funny shows of all time, it’s one of my favorite shows of all time PERIOD, in general (also number four on that list, with Dexter being number 3, Lost being number 2, and Breaking Bad being number 1…just, FYI).
    It just does dark/black humor SO well. Great, great show. This is one of the rare shows that I don’t think ever jumped the shark. Now, it’s TRUE that I might think that eventually since I haven’t reached the last season yet…but I doubt it.

  8. The Big Bang Theory (currently on: S3, E18)
    THIS one is the newest and most recent addition to the list and it’s climbing it with a BULLET. I can see this show POSSIBLY becoming number 2 or number 1 soon. It has the potential, certainly. I’m still early on in its run, though…but so far, this makes me laugh a LOT every episode.
    It hasn’t YET reached my finding it funnier than HIMYM or The Office yet, but it may…it just may…

  9. How I Met Your Mother (currently on: S8, E10)
    This is the show that knocked That 70s Show out of the number one spot for “TV SHOW I THINK IS THE FUNNIEST I’VE EVER SEEN” (which, in turn, knocked Roseanne out of that spot itself, back in the day)…and it would remain in that top spot for about one or two years, until I started watching The Office (just last year) and it became the new leader.
    But this show is just…AMAZINGLY funny. Hilariously funny. It is funny almost like no other…with the exception of number one.
    As you can see, I’m almost done with it. It had nine seasons and I’m on season eight. And so far, it has NOT FAILED to miss a step yet. Been consistently and uproarously funny from the start and all the way through. Unless the last season is a huge stinker, I can’t foresee this one dropping out of this spot.
    But as I said, this USED to be number one–the show I thought was the funniest of all time…
    …until a show came along that finally knocked even this one out of that top spot…that being…

  10. The Office (currently on: S7, E3)
    This is the current show that, IN MY OPINION, is the funniest show I’ve ever seen… although HIMYM is a VERY close second (it’s almost tied, in fact) and TBBT MIGHT, someday, surpass both of them.
    But until I get farther in TBBT, this one takes the cake. I have laughed more than once at this show in pretty much EVERY SINGLE EPISODE. It’s the show that’s made me laugh the hardest, the longest, and the most often… by far. I’m talking about the US version, of course.
    Anyway, I’ve still got two more seasons to go with The Office AFTER this one (which I just started)…although I know that Steve Carell leaves the show and that might make the funny factor go down considerably. I guess we’ll see. Still, even without Carell and the Michael character, I feel that it has ALREADY been funny ENOUGH (consistently) that it still has earned this number one spot.

SHOWS THAT I WANTED TO LIKE, but just couldn’t.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a show I thought I’d like and, for a while there, I did like a bit. It certainly is my brand of humor, after all. The dark, controversial, fucked up kind…
…but I disliked how random the episodes were. I like my shows with a bit of CONTINUITY and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia didn’t seem to have any. Every episode was about something different. There were never any references or callbacks to previous episodes. Not in TWO SEASONS there weren’t. I finally said “screw it” and just abandoned it. If I wanted to watch a show that was completely different every single episode, I’d watch Seinfeld (which is a show I consistently and always have found EXTREMELY…UNfunny)

Archer I have never seen before, but it’s animated and I don’t like animated shows, I’m sorry. Pity, though, because I’ve heard from many people that this show is EXTREMELY funny and hilarious. It’s automatically disqualified for me, though, on being animated.


Parks and Recreation I’ve heard is a lot like The Office…and-in fact-I have already watched the first three episodes of this show…
…and yes, I like it. I like it a lot and find it very funny. But 1. I’ve only seen three episodes so far, which is not near enough to put on the top ten list at this time and 2. I don’t plan to start this show any time soon, regularly, because I still have most of my top ten list to catch up on/finish.

30 Rock is a show I’ve also seen three episodes of, and REALLY LIKED and THOUGHT VERY FUNNY…but, again, I put aside because I’m already watching too many shows at the moment. I WILL be coming back to this one, though, and–throughout its many season run–it might have the potential to eventually appear on the list somewhere.

Community is a show I have never ever seen before, not one episode of…
…but I have HEARD a lot of good things about it and have heard it’s a show that I would probably love based on what I’ve already loved on this list. I plan to start it someday.

Newsradio I have heard is an extremely funny show and I will someday start it as well.

Friends is a weird case. I’ve never ever seen an episode of Friends and I’m not sure I would like it…but many of my friends tell me I should try it out, so one day, I shall. I predict I will not like it, though.


Seinfeld. Ugh.

Everybody Loves Raymond. I don’t.

King of Queens. Next.

Taxi. Not funny.

All in the Family. Not funny.

Dharma and Greg. REALLY not funny.

Cheers. Not funny.

Fraiser. See Cheers.

I know…I know… a lot of you are going to now automatically discount my opinion because I’m saying shows like “All in the Family” aren’t funny.
But see, I’m just not a fan of the typical, usual “joke/punchline…laugh…joke/punchline…laugh…joke/punchline…laugh…joke/punchline…laugh…joke/punchline…laugh…” pattern, which…80 percent of these shows are. They follow a systematic formula again and again. They don’t have anything special about them. The Cosby Show? Just not funny, IMO. The Facts of Life? Not funny. Family Ties? You guessed it. Not funny.

No, a show has to actually be different or have one of the above traits I’ve listed (black, fucked up, dark, clever, witty, subtle…humor) for it to be funny to me.
Your recommendations?

If you have a show you think I’d like based on my list and likes and dislikes here, feel free to tell me about it and I will try it (someday, although possibly not right away).

My pick for funniest show is Night Court - hard to say if you’d like it, because I like some that are on your “like” list, but also some of those on your “dislike” list. But I find it hilarious.

I assume this list is meant to be limited to live-action comedies. My all-time favorite comedy show is the animated Futurama, and of course the Simpsons is classic.

Yeah, I like Night Court. I also like the Drew Carey Show. It had some great episodes. But my all-time greatest laugh-out-loud comedy of all time is Becker. It’s kind of like a lighter version of House, but John Becker is clearly a more compassionate doctor when the situation calls for it, although he still acts like an ass to most people.

All-American (assuming that The Office is the American version)?

How about the British classics, such as Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, Yes minister?

My own* selected* 10 (hard to do a* top* 10, and as it turns out I’ve chosen 11)

Blackadder 2/3/4 (no point splitting them up)
Fawlty Towers
Big Train
Peep Show/Mitchell and Webb ( I’m cheating here)
Fry and Laurie
Alan Partridge (in all various guises)
The day today/Brass eye (lumped together so I can shoehorn in the next one)
The IT crowd
The thick of it
Brass eye
The (UK) Office (that’s 11 so I really am cheating now)

All are worthy of repeat reviewing. UK-centric of course, the only USA comedies pushing for inclusion are Parks and Recreation and the Larry Sanders show

ETA - just thought of a nice coincidence with my list, Jeffrey Tambor is also involved in Armando Ianucci’s newest film “The Death of Stalin” along with a cast of acting and comedy greats. Looks like fun.

Recommendations for funny British stuff not on Bobble’s list:
Black Books
and the panel shows:
Mock the Week
8 Out Of Ten Cats
Would I Lie To You?
…to name a few.

I note that I mentioned Brass Eye twice, That was an error although I do like Brass Eye.

One of the funniest series I’ve ever seen is The Games. It’s a mockumentary set among the organizers of the Sydney Olympics. It’s similar to The Office, but also distinctly Australian. Here’s a clip. You might recognize a couple of the actors.

And would you consider a radio show? I recently discovered a BBC show called Cabin Pressure. It takes place at the world’s smallest airline, a charter operation with one plane. The main characters are the owner, Carolyn, who got the plane in her divorce settlement, Martin and Douglas, the two pilots, and Arthur, Carolyn’s son and the in-flight steward. There’s been a thread on it before. It is, in a word, brilliant!

I would direct you toward Barney Miller.

Another option worth considering: Raising Hope.

Well, if you watched the first two seasons, I’d recommend you start again from the third.

The first season was kind of “we’re trying to push this format and not sure how far we can go”. While it has it’s moments, it’s too dark at the dark bits and loses the comedic element.

The second season meant they had to think about direction and future. Some continuity is there, establishing a plot arc, and Danny Devito being in there added a lot, but they didn’t quite know what to do with him. He was also limited in time, so they had to film all his scenes across all the episode at once, which left to it feeling disjointed too…

The third season is where it starts to flower. There is some continuity there now (Rickity Cricket, but not the season 2 overreliance on the McPoyles), starts forming running jokes, has great episodes (first one I would call that would “Sweet Dee’s dating a retarded person”, which also has first appearance of the idea of the Nightman).

For anyone starting it now, I suggest they start from season 3, and watch season 1 and 2 later…

Rick and Morty.

The funniest show currently in production today is The Good Place, especially when you rewatch it. It’s ahead of everything because it’s even funnier the second time around.

All-time, I’ll add.
*Arrested Development
The Dick van Dyke Show
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Simpsons
Monty Python
Bob’s Burgers

Note that several of these deteriorated over time, but we’re great at their peak.

In no particular order:

My Name Is Earl
6 Feet Under
The Simpsons (up to season 9 or so)
Married With Children
Better Call Saul
Breaking Bad
All In The Family
Sanford and Son
Game of Thrones
King of the Hill

And also:

Dave Gorman’s Modern Life Is Good-ish
The Detectorists

The presence of “I Love Lucy” on your list renders your opinions on humor meaningless.
Sorry. :smiley:

Both the Bob Newhart series are Top Ten material.

The American version of Who’s Line is It Anyway? has some of the funniest moments in TV, ever. The episode with Richard Simmons had me literally in tears. The show is all over YouTube - do a search on “who’s line is it anyway scenes from a hat” and be prepared to wet yourself laughing.


Others have mentioned it, but I really have to agree on The Dick van Dyke Show, which was a tremendous ensemble show with superior writing (and an ahead-of-its-time social conscience).

I also have to put in a vote of second City/SCTV, which is woefully unappreciated , brought attention to a slew of comedians, and had some of the funniest moments I’ve ever seen on TV (John Candy playing Judah Ben Hur as if acted by Curly Howard of the Three Stooges – “My mothers and sister are WHAT? Leopards?” Followed later by Andrea Martin and Catherine O’Hara coming out dressed in – yes – leopard outfits.)

Arrested Development is the funniest (and perhaps smartest) modern comedy. I enjoy several others, but nothing else really compares.

Prior to that, it was Fawlty Towers. John Cleese was smart to make only two short “seasons” and stop before the quality dropped. I wish others did the same.

I’d have to search for a cite, but I seem to recall the makers of Cheers were inspired by FT. Rather than having a show set in a family like Soap or All In the Family, as was common at the time, putting it in a public setting was ideal. The writers didn’t have to go to great lengths to create plot. On FT a guest would literally walk in off the street, and there’s your tension / problem / weirdo! Cheers moved it into a bar.

Gotta agree with Shodan here. Both sets. I have a particular moment of Whose Line bookmarked on my computer at home that is just Wayne Brady saying “Not a damn thing.”

It’s not as if Cheers was the first show set in a bar. Jackie Gleason had a regular Joe the Bartender sequence on his TV show.

Ex-Dead End Kid/Bowery Boy Ganriel Dell had a show called The Corner Bar , where he played barkeep Harry Grant (of Grant’s Toomb). It lasted a year, 1972-3

Archie Bunker’s Place, the All in the Family spinoff, lasted four years (1979-1983)

Cheers started in 1982.

For those who have made or are making lists, is Corner Gas in the top 20?