Monday, September 14, 2015

Top 10 Comedy TV Shows of All Time

10. Trailer Park Boys

This was a very difficult decision, but the Canadian comedy TV show is the one that had to be chosen. It follows around 3 trailer park trash guys as they get into silly situations which pit them up against the trailer park supervisor and his pot bellied assistant. 

It is crude, rude and the same jokes are repeated over and over. The cast failed with other projects, but struck a comedic classic with this one. There are 9 seasons so far and more to come. Plus there are been a few spin off movies too. 

Here are a few of the excellent shows they beat to get into my top 10 comedy TV shows of all time list: the Peep Show, Young Ones, Flight of the Conchords, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry Sanders Show, Porridge, The IT Crowd, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, Reeves and Mortimer, The League of Gentlemen, The Office US, Legit...

oh shit I forgot Fawlty Towers (well worth being in the top 5- I will add it onto Monty Python)

9. Monty Python and Fawlty Towers

Obviously these old guys were going to make the list. Monty Python started the sketch show craze which inspired lots of today's outlandish characters and comedy bits. The show was too raw to be considered higher in the list. But there are lots of slices of comedic gold within their large bank of material.

Classic sketches include the prancing army dancers, the fish slapping in the face sketch, and the cross dressing lumberjack. Perhaps more importantly the TV series led to the greatest comedy movie of all time; the Life Of Brian. A movie which was revolutionary for it's time because of the way it made fun of religion. Monty Python are the most important men in comedy history.

Fawlty Towers deserves it's own spot in this list (but I am too lazy to re-write it). It was created by just one of the Monty Python group- John Cleese. The two seasons are compact and jam packed with non stop hilarity. An essential part of any self respecting comedy lovers' collection!

8. The Simpsons

Usually I would place this much higher up in the list. Really the Simpsons deserves to be in the top 3 most funny comedies of all time. But after 21 or 22 seasons I have grown a little too familiar with the show to get excited when I see new episodes. Nevertheless, the amount of fun to be had watching this clever cartoon is almost endless. 

We have all seen it. We all love it. The show has made impeccable observations. After Brass Eye it is the most important show in this list, largely thanks to Lisa's morals and Homer's deep down good heart. The greatest cartoon of all time and the greatest family show of all time.

7. Arrested Development (Seasons 1 and 2)

This was a 10/10 comedy show for the many years it was left at 2 seasons. But public demand led to a recent 3rd season. It all got a bit too messy and hopefully they re-gain the classic humor which originally made the show great in the planned future seasons.

The show follows a dysfunctional grown up family who are rich, but not really anymore. There is the drunk old mother who doesn't care, the criminal father who has a twin (who is in love with the mother). The show is narrated by Ron Howard. The lead character is played by Jason Bateman, the one family member who seems fairly normal. The rest are a potty bunch and all hilarious. Fingers crossed for future seasons.

6. Brass Eye

Chris Morris struck comedy gold with On The Hour- a radio show taking the piss out of modern day media. It led to the amazing TV series The Day Today (which is just as good as Brass Eye really but I can't mention both as they are part of the same concept).

Brass Eye used ridiculous Fox News like graphics and media manipulation to hilarious effect. This is probably the most important of all the great comedy TV shows here, as it actually made many people realise just how much mis-guided power the media has. Important and hilarious!

5. The Office UK

This is the show that launched the behemoth Ricky Gervais into super stardom. It led to the often excellent US version of The Office too. There were only 2 seasons of the original UK version and they were comedy brilliance throughout. From the twisted Gareth to the cringeable David Brent.

Gervais will be creating a film for David Brent next year, which will certainly be a treat. He has been very busy creating other good series including Extras and Derek. Plus his brilliant podcasts with co-writer Stephen Merchant have led to the fascinatingly tediously stupidly brilliant Karl Pilkington being launched upon the world. Alright :)

4. Workaholics

I am going out on a limb with this one. Workaholics has bordered on being childish many times over the initial 4 seasons. They have really got into their stride though. This is still a work in progress, but the humor is wonderfully gross and on the edge. 

The moment I realised this show was worthy of being on the top 5 is when Jack Black guest starred in an episode in the most recent season- it worked beautifully and I can only hope the guys do some kind of collaboration with the Its Always Sunny gang in the future. Noice!

3. Seinfeld

No other comedy series has produced so many shows with such consistency. There are many seasons of Seinfeld and many episodes in each season. It is often more chuckle comedy than side splitting stuff, but it is consistently great.

This is a series created by Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David (who went on to make the awesome Curb Your Enthusiasm in more recent years). Seinfeld footage looks a bit dated now, but it is still worthy of a full watch. 

2. Alan Partridge

It All began with stints on the amazing The Day Today for Steve Coogan's most celebrated character. Alan Partridge then got his own faux TV show which showed the potential of the character.

Things really got good when we followed him around in I'm Alan Partridge, which was followed years later by an almost as good second season in the same format. Many years later we were treated to the 11 minute shorts series just showing Alan as a disc jockey, which was as good as anything previously done. It was all topped off more recently with a decent movie for the character. Classic comedy!

1. Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia

An amazing TV series with 10 seasons under their belt, so far. The gang of 3 mid thirties bar owners, their bullied waitress Dee and the amazing Danny DeVito, are a match made in heaven. 

Its Always Sunny watches the gang get into schemes, arguments and clashes in a non stop barrage of hilarious and often borderline "non PC" humor. They always seem to manage to stay just inches on the right side of tasteless. The best comedy show there has ever been or will ever be!