20 Funniest Shows….Ever

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A few weeks ago, my friend Kim and I went to see a live performance of Tituss Burgess (“Titus” from “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”). While waiting in line, Kim mentioned that one of her friends had asked why she and I would go to something like that, considering that “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” isn’t one of the 20 funniest shows ever. I don’t disagree with the unnamed critic, at least as far as rankings go (though, as long as it’s a show that I enjoy, why wouldn’t I pay to see Tituss (and Jane Krakowski) live?). But of course, it got me thinking about what shows actually are the 20 funniest ever.

A few caveats: 1) I purposefully did not count talk shows, so you won’t see shows like Late Night with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, or the Daily Show with Jon Stewart on here. 2) Shows get dinged for going on past their natural expiration date. For instance, I have “How I Met Your Mother” off of the top 20 – had it ended after, say, season 4, it easily would have sailed into my top 20. 3) This is a list about funny shows. I know there are good shows, especially on cable, that are categorized as comedies (“Transparent,” “Shameless,” etc.). These are not funny shows. They are purposefully not included. No show has ever been more liberally described as a comedy than “Girls.” Yet there’s not one laugh in any of the episodes I watched. 4) My (long) list of Honorable Mentions is beneath the Top 20, presented in alphabetical order.  5) This endeavor is wholly personal. Please feel free to disagree with me in the comments below. Without further ado, my top 20:

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Joey before Joey?

Here’s a clip of Matt LeBlanc from a “Married…with Children” spin-off called “Top of the Heap.” I love seeing actors who we associate with specific roles (LeBlanc = Joey, Jason Alexander = George, etc.) in projects before their big break. This one is so over-the-top sitcom-y, I can’t believe it didn’t run for 15 seasons.

How to Ruin Your Main Character

Haaaaaave you met a main character that's been ruined?

Haaaaaave you met a main character that’s been ruined?

I was watching a rerun of “How I Met Your Mother” the other day, and I realized something: There is a rampant symptom of sitcoms ruining their main characters. By “ruining” I mean making them whiny, effeminate caricatures rather than the original romantic, idealistic people we as an audience enjoyed in the first place. The three biggest offenders: “How I Met Your Mother,” “Scrubs” and “Friends.” Continue reading

“Oh, my nose!”

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As many of you know, last weekend I broke my nose in a car accident. So, of course this got me thinking of the great moments in broken nose/face moments in pop culture history. The following list is by no means definitive, so please leave your best suggestions in the comments! Continue reading

March (TV) Madness

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In honor of March Madness, I thought I’d take a look to determine, bracket-style, what really is the best TV theme song ever. Rather than a full 64-song bracket, I started with a top 32. A few caveats: Obviously, I’m biased more on recent shows, although the art of the great TV theme song is vanishing. Also, I tend to favor songs with words (plural), so no Batman, Parks and Recreation (even with Star Wars references), or The Office (US version). Lastly, these had to be opening theme songs, so the chung-chung from Law & Order doesn’t count. (And I was torn whether to include the Jeopardy! music as well).

To me, the ideal theme song conveys enough of what the show is about to catch up casual viewers (i.e. blatantly spelling out the plot, like in The Brady Bunch or Green Acres). But it also has to be a good song; that’s crucial. Catchy, but also good enough that you won’t mind hearing it, say, 400 times. Continue reading