The Funniest TV Comedy Series


The laughDB database is dedicated to the funniest comedy movies, stand-up comedy and TV series.

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TV Comedy Series sorted by Recently reviewed (descending) / page 1 of 3

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The Big Bang Theory posterThe Big Bang Theory
      2007 | USA | Laughs: 8.2 (Laugh Out Loud) | imdb: 8.1
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

Two young physics geeks live across the hall from an attractive but resolutely non-geeky young woman. This series was recommended to me several times but somehow the description never grabbed me, perhaps because of the idiotic way in which Hollywood tends to portray "geniuses"—you know, the guys who crack the code at the door with a few keystrokes.

My lady companion more or less forced me to start watching it a few days ago, and… so far, two episodes into season one, it's excellent. It's very funny, there's lots to laugh at, and at this stage the episodes are self-contained, free of the "will they / won't they get together" junk they feed viewers when the writers run out of inspiration.

Visually, the show has a late-eighties or early-nineties quality, perhaps designed to remind us of the good old days of Seinfeld, or perhaps Friends, two shows that also spend a lot of time with friends walking in and out of an apartment. Indeed the boys' pad in The Big Bang Theory has an insisting resemblance to the girls' pad in Friends.

• Seasons 1 and 2 were excellent pretty much across the board.
• Season 3 was much weaker, with some very poor episodes thrown in (13, 14, 17).
• At the start of Season 4, it feels like the show is back.

Much looking forward to watching more of this show. (Last viewed: December 2013)

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Parks and Recreation posterParks and Recreation
      2009 | USA | Laughs: 8.6 (Laugh Out Loud) | imdb: 8.6
      wikipedia | who was involved?

This show is a small-government version of The Office in olden days when it was funny, but without the cliff-hangers and dramatic tension that bring viewers back but do little for comedy. There may be some office romance in this Parks Department of a small Indiana town, but will they get together, or won't they? We don't care. Like in Seinfeld, there is no profanity (it is NBC), and as in Seinfeld each episode is self-contained, with two or three strands that get resolved by the end: the only hook is that you want to watch another one to laugh and smile some more.

Here is my assessment as I was nearing the end of season two: "So far, the show is terrific. Each episode makes me laugh. Some TV series in the history of television have delivered more laughs, but few have been more consistent." As if to prove me wrong, the show then hit a rough patch but recovered early in season.

In season 4, there was a noticeable drop in quality. Season 5 was even worse, with the honorable exception of the character of April, who carries much of the show's comedic weight—what little is left of it.

It seems a typical case of a good thing having run its course, the writers having run out of inspiration, and the network wanting to stretch it out as long as the ad revenues flow in.

We'll see if Season 6 does any better. (Last viewed: September 2013)

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Party Down posterParty Down
      2009 | USA | Laughs: 6.5 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 8.2
      wikipedia | who was involved?

A solid, short-and-sweet (twenty-episode) series about Hollywood caterers who would rather be pursuing their acting careers than dishing out appetizers. Loses a few points for several over-the-top characters whose overacting annoys more (much more) than it amuses—or amuses the actors more than it does the audience. This was one of these shows that improves over time: it hit a winning streak near the end of the second and last season, starting with episode 2x07. (Last viewed: August 2013)

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Twitch City DVDTwitch City
      1998 | Canada | Laughs: 4.0 | imdb: 8.1
      wikipedia | who was involved?

This is one of these rare series that gets better with each episode (there are only thirteen of them, spread over two seasons). It focuses on the life of a recluse who watches TV for much of the day, and the people who come through his flat. It's not laugh-out-loud material, but it's funny and made me smile a lot. It's also original and clever in a way I've never seen before. As we moved towards the end of season two, I was surprised at how attached I had become to Curtis, the show's main character. Highly recommended. (Last viewed: January 2013)

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Look Around You DVDLook Around You
      2002 | U.K. | Laughs: 8.0 | imdb: 8.4
      wikipedia | who was involved?

This two-season BBC series is a mock science show that imitates the pedagogic style of the early 1980s.

The first three episodes (calcium, maths and water) had me roaring, and I thought this was going to be love forever. However, the next episodes started to lose their focus, with over-the-top gags that drifted from the premise of credible science experiments. As a result, I lost interest and haven't yet finished the first season, but will probably return to it someday.

Whatever you do, don't miss the first two episodes. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Russell Coight's All Aussie Adventures DVDRussell Coight's All Aussie Adventures
      2001 | Australia | Laughs: 7.2 | imdb: 8.1
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

As my review of Bush Mechanics may suggest, I have a soft spot for the Australian outback, so I was ready to love this show, which purports to follow an ungifted TV adventurer as he tries to educate his audience about survival in the red-and-green expanses.

After three or four episodes of the first season I started to find the humor overly repetitive—how many times can Russell trip before it becomes boring? The narrative is also laced with the same few comical devices used over and over—as in "a land as ancient as it is old".

The second season is much stronger, particularly the last two episodes. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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The Extras DVDExtras
      2005 | U.K. | Laughs: 6.0 | imdb: 8.3
      wikipedia | who was involved?

In the first season, this series follows a man who works in films as an extra. In the second season, it follows him when he has become a minor celebrity as the star of a comedy sitcom. I don't recall that any of the episodes made me laugh out loud, but the series is quirky, full of humor and well worth a watch. (Last viewed: October 2012)

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Cheers DVDCheers
      1982 | USA | Laughs: 6.6 | imdb: 7.8
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

I'm not sure if this series set in a Boston bar is aging so well, but I've used IMDB to select episodes rating higher than 8.3 from the DVD set at our public library, and I've found those episodes very watchable, each able to deliver a laugh or two. If you've never seen the series and your "to watch" list is empty that's not a bad way to proceed, but if you've seen it before, you may not want to go out of your way. (Last viewed: September 2012)

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Curb Your Enthusiasm DVDCurb Your Enthusiasm (a.k.a CURB)
      2000 | USA | Laughs: 8.0 | imdb: 8.7
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

I haven't watched the entire series. These episodes made me laugh:
Krazee-Eyez Killa (Season 3, Episode 8)
The Seder (Season 5, Episode 7)
The Anonymous Donor (Season 6, Episode 2)
The Tivo Guy (Season 6, Episode 7)
The Reunion (Season 7, Episode 3)
The Hot Towel (Season 7, Episode 4)
Denise Handicapped (Season 7, Episode 5)

Season 8 was also excellent overall (it might be the best) and probably deserves watching from start to end.

The Special Section wasn't particularly funny, but of all the episodes I saw it was the best for psychological case study.
(Last viewed: August 2012)

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Chappelle's Show DVDChappelle's Show
      2003 | USA | Laughs: 6.9 (Watch Once) | imdb: 8.8
      wikipedia | who was involved?

In the first episode of the first season, there was a brilliant skit taking place in a photocopy business. I was ready to become a fan, but over the next few episodes, I found the show to be unequal.

In fact, the good hasn't outweighed the mediocre (or crass) enough to motivate me to persevere beyond the fifth episode. I might get there someday.

I haven't loved Dave's stand-up comedy concerts so far either. But I really enjoyed him in the movie half-baked. (Last viewed: May 2012)

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I'm Alan Partridge DVDI'm Alan Partridge
      1997 | U.K. | Laughs: 6.9 | imdb: 8.5
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

A midnight radio host who has known better days aches to get a second chance at a show on BBC television. The first season follows him as he lives in a suburban hotel. The second sees him living in a caravan.

Like Larry in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Alan seems to specialize in making you cringe, but not to the point where you need to turn off the screen. The show is not full of eye candy (the English suburbs don't seem to make great scenery), but it's full of humor, and it delivers smiles consistently, if not laughs. If the production budget was as small as it looks, the show is good value. Well worth watching once. (Last viewed: May 2012)

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Corner Gas DVDCorner Gas
      2004 | Canada | Laughs: 6.7 | imdb: 8.0
      wikipedia | who was involved?

I became aware of this series thanks to someone who sent a note in the comment form! The series follows life around a diner and a gas station in a small Canadian town. The cast is small, the pace is slow, the talent is moderate. But if you pick episodes that rated higher than 8 on IMDB (as I did), you will be rewarded with several hours of pleasant of entertainment, to be digested one episode at a time, and with very few duds.

Here is a short list of episodes I might watch again someday.

05x12 The J Word
05x14 Contagious Fortune
06x07 American Resolution
06x10 Shirt Disturber
06x12 Super Sensitive
06x13 TV Free Dog River
06x14 Queasy Rider
06x15 R2 Bee Too

I also started watching from the top. Seasons 1 and 2 were good, but season 3 lost me.
(Last viewed: May 2012)

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Miranda DVDMiranda
      2009 | U.K. | Laughs: 7.0 (Watch Once) | imdb: 8.2
      wikipedia | who was involved?

If you dislike shows where the humor often hinges on situations designed to make you cringe, you'll want to skip Miranda. The show follows a youngish Londoner in need of romance. It often made me laugh, but it also often annoyed me—to the point that I probably won't want to watch it again.

For what it's worth, episodes 1 and 4 of season 1 and episode 3 of season 2 were probably the weakest.
(Last viewed: March 2012)

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The Vicar of Dibley DVDThe Vicar of Dibley
      1994 | U.K. | Laughs: 7.0 (Watch Once) | imdb: 8.0
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

This popular series follows a female priest in a small English village. It may be unequal and at times annoying, but it features a rich cast of characters, all interesting in their own right. That, and the laughs to be found in the better episodes, makes the whole series well worth watching once. (Last viewed: March 2012)

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Hiccups DVDHiccups
      2010 | Canada | Laughs: 5.6 | imdb: 4.5
      wikipedia | who was involved?

I came to Hiccups via Corner Gas, a series by the same writer, Brent Butt. The show follows a life coach, his only client (a wacky children's book author), her publisher and her agent. Brent's real-world wife, who had done a good job in a supporting role in Corner Gas, was probably not the best choice for a lead character. The show is unequal, somewhat slow-paced for a US audience, and it features a couple of annoying characters (such as the life coach's wife) but it has good moments if you hang in there. I watched all of the first season.

If you're not ready to sign up, you may want to jump to episode 5 of the first season, Hot Luv, which features a hot pepper eating contest. It is the funniest of all by a long shot.

Here are other episodes I might watch again:
(Last viewed: February 2012)

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