What’s the Best TV Comedy?

Denisa and I recently decided to rewatch all of Arrested Development (well, I decided to do it. Denisa was kind enough to agree). And after the first five episodes, I’m reminded just why I loved this show so much.

It was always on. The jokes are all over the place, from sight gags to inside jokes to pop culture to self-referential to existential. Denisa and I debated for a while which recent show has been the best best comedy on TV. The candidates? 30 Rock, Modern Family, and Arrested Development. (Yes, you could make arguments for some others–particularly The Office, but realize at the same time that this was just a private conversation between Denisa and me, and neither of us are 100% behind The Office. I like the show, and I’ve binged watched it now and then, but in the end I never could stick with it. I just don’t derive enough pleasure just from watching a man be a complete and utter idiot–probably because I relate to the character too much.)

Anyway, for me, Arrested Development still wins. 30 Rock has some hi-larious moments, as does Modern Family, but they both also have their share of so-so episodes that I could take or leave. Arrested Development is like a bullet train that never stops. Often I have to pause the show just so I can finish laughing and make sure I don’t miss any more jokes.

It’s extremely quotable, it has a good blend of characters without going overboard on them (allowing the writers to explore those characters more fully), the writing itself is rapid fire (something I’ve always preferred my comedy to be) . . .

It just wins.

But I got to thinking that maybe some of you would beg to differ. I love me my drama TV, but every now and then I want to just laugh and not be bogged down with Mad Men or 24 or Lost or whatever. So what are your all time favorite comedies and why? They can be from any time period–but they have to be as funny as possible. (Denisa and I keep going back to The Dick Van Dyke Show, which we also find highly entertaining.) Ideally, the show should be available to stream via Netflix, because I’d like some more Ol’ Reliable shows to fall back on after I’m through with AD.


6 thoughts on “What’s the Best TV Comedy?”

  1. The Bob Newhart Show/Newhart are ones I go back to all the time. A newer favorite is Big Bang Theory, but it isn’t Newhart. I also loved (LOVED!)the short lived Chappelle’s Show.

  2. I definitely agree with The Dick van Dyke Show–it’s so smartly hilarious. I tried Arrested Development and I just can’t see what’s so funny about it. I didn’t find it funny at all. But I only watched an episode. Should I try again and get farther?

    My favorites: anything by the Hong Sisters, most of which stream on Hulu, and all of which stream on DramaFever, which is a legal site for Korean dramas. You’re Beautiful, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (a Nine-Tailed Fox), Best Love, Couple Fantasy (a Korean retelling of Overboard), etc.

  3. I would be a big advocate of the Big Bang Theory as well. My recent guilty pleasure is another British Comedy called the IT Crowd. The episode when Aunt Irma visits is priceless and I couldn’t stop laughing. Well worth streaming on Netflix if you have it.

  4. The Big Bang Theory!! Oh my heck, I don’t know if it is because I have a strong science background or because I know the real life versions of the characters, but I can’t stop laughing sometimes!!
    Also, How I Met Your Mother has a lot of the same qualities you described for AD for me…


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