Best American Comedy of the 21st Century
1822 6.9 7.918. My Name Is Earl (2005)
While this show did begin to teeter out in its final season, it managed to remain entertaining and bring on a slew of guest stars.
If it could have broken its characters out of their two dimensional molds--then it would have been really great.
139 7.3 8.217. Better Off Ted (2009)
A show that was under-loved for its time, it ran for only two seasons. Similar to 30 rock in its willingness to go to the absurd, the characters also exhibited heart that could have kept the show going much longer--had it not been prematurely canceled.
and you've got to love the Veridian Dynamics commercials.
125 6.3 716. The Sarah Silverman Program. (2007)
Another show put down before its time, the SSP featured Sarah's unique blend of farts, bed-wetting, race and religion jokes. Did i mention that it's a little dirty?
882 7.8 8.715. Modern Family (2009)
The show that swept the emmy's in its first season, followed up with a nearly-as-good second season. Although it relies a little too much on sit-com cliche's to ever be too surprising, it's always entertaining.
While it wasn't the best new comedy to come out of 2009 (and hence didn't deserve 3 emmys) it is a consistently entertaining mockumentary style sit com.
428 7.9 8.614. Parks and Recreation (2009)
While P&R hasn't exactly carved itself a unique identity from the Office, it takes all of the good elements from that show and applies them to an equally talented cast (that expanded in season 3 to include Rob Lowe and Adam Scott). This is a show with the potential to drop significantly on this list if it continues to improve.
EDIT: actually it does have a uniqueness, and its name is Ron Swanson.
2493 7.9 8.613. How I Met Your Mother (2005)
The only show on this list that includes a laugh track, ironically this show might do the most to subvert typical narratives and sit-com conventions.
This show revels in narrative gimmicks that allow stories to be told in alternate ways.
Plus, Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson may be the greatest portrayal of a misogynistic ladies man ever.
133 7.9 8.312. Party Down (2009)
This little watched gem of a show on Starz (who knew they had shows?) was one of the best shows around while it was airing. Too bad hardly anyone saw it and it was gone after only two seasons.
This is probably the greatest show ever about a group of people who failed to reach their dreams. EDIT: come to think of it, that's probably community.
416 8 8.811. The Flight of the Conchords (2007)
The only musical show on the list (yeah, fuck you Glee) is one of the most entertaining. It only aired for two seasons because the band said it took up too much of their time, and it's easy to see why with each episode having multiple songs that somehow manage to, at least loosely, tie into the story of the week featuring the kiwi duo and their manager Murrey.
1316 7.5 8.210. Weeds (2005)
Some might call this a dramedy, but it gets consistent enough laughs from me that I'm not a part of that crowd.
Some might also say that after season 3 (when the gang leaves aggrestic) the show goes downhill. Those people would be wrong. It definitely switches gears, but it manages to reinvent itself as a new show those seasons, and I'm as excited as ever for it to return for season 7.
Plus Nancy is HOT!
252 8.1 8.79. Louie (2010)
Definitly the most auteur driven show on the list (TSSP is the only other one that comes close), Louie is written directed and starring... you guessed it, Louie C.K.
Unlike his previous show Lucky Louie that took a conventional sit-com set and threw the word "Fuck" at it alot, Louie leaves the studio and mixes short comedy vignettes (some of them pretty personal) with short standup sets in the vein of seinfeld.
Here's hoping that he's able to return to FX for a season two (crosses fingers).
271 7.2 88. Bored to Death (2009)
Bored to Death is a show about a guy (Jason Schwartzmen) who gets dumped and decides to put an ad on craigslist as an unlicensed private investigator. He's joined by Zack Galifanakis and Ten Danson in second banana roles that compliment Schwartzmen's earnest straight man perfectly.
I love the way that Ted Danson's character dissects sexuality. No other show has ever done it quite like this.
124 7.7 8.37. Eastbound & Down (2009)
The Bad Boy you love to hate--Kenny Powers is superbly entertaining and completely despicable.
I could watch kenny abuse Stevie and chase after April all year, too bad the seasons are shorter than a LOTR movie.
oh well, at least it's been renewed for season 3.
573 7.3 8.86. Curb Your Enthusiasm (1999)
Larry David goes above and beyond the show that TV guide once called the greatest Television show ever in this neurotic vision of living in LA as a minor celebrity.
996 7.4 8.35. 30 Rock (2006)
Although the show stumbled a bit during its mid-run, the show that started its first season as one of the freshest comedies ever has regained its footing and continues to produce some of the best television comedy anywhere.
The credit could go to the superb cast or the smart writers that insert layers of jokes, or you could just accept that it's a great show and stop trying to find a reason. Gawd.
2262 7.5 8.94. The Office (US) (2005)
To those who say this isn't as good as the original, I say "rewatch them". A week later when they return after having rewatched the UK version and then the american version, they can no longer remember the UK version, because after 12 episodes of it, they watched 150 EPISODES OF THE AMERICAN VERSION.
in other words, comparing this to the original is like comparing apples to a truckload of oranges.
639 7.8 8.93. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005)
When I said that Kenny Powers was the bad boy you love to hate, I was telling the truth. This gang however are the bad boys you love to love, because they're just so damn funny.
Whether tormenting Dee, stalking the waitress, or getting into other hi jinks (always at someone else's expense), the gang is always worth watching.
1603 8 9.22. Arrested Development (2003)
One of the most original comedies ever made, this show had a fantastic ensemble cast (even launching Michael Cera's career), featured layers upon layers of jokes with fantastic wordplay (30 rock was taking notes), and ended before it's time.
there have been rumors of a movie for years now, but one has to wonder, are an adult maybe and george michael really as interesting?
769 8.2 8.71. Community (2009)
A show that hasn't even finished its second season being proclaimed the greatest Television comedy of the 21st century? Yes, because it really is the best television comedy in the last decade.
Its willingness to subvert expectations, to reinvent itself as a new show week after week, its genre bending, sharp jokes and fantastic ensemble cast that blends physical humor with wordplay are the reasons this show is as high as I've put it.
Anyone who can't, at least, entertain the thought that it's the best comedy of the 21st century, simply hasn't watched the show.
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