This list is only comprised of TV shows from my lifetime so anything pre-90s was not considered.
Just Missing the Cut
How I Met Your Mother – I just started watching this show recently and it’s pretty hilarious. You always hear about how great Neil Patrick Harris is in this show, and he lives up to the hype. It also features Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan, two of the most likeable people in Hollywood. Too much of a generic sitcom to make the top 10, but it definitely stands out from most of the crap on CBS.
Flight of the Conchords – You have to be in the right frame of mind to watch this show because it is incredibly quirky. It can be pretty slow, but anytime the band manager Murray is on screen, you have to watch. He is one of the all time great characters. It has very creative writing and subtle humor that keep you coming back even when you start to drift off during the songs.
Family Guy – When you understand the pop culture references, it is hilarious. When you don’t, it’s just confusing noise.
10. 30 Rock – Before the writers’ strike, I would have had this in the top 5. I have been very disappointed with the show’s progression this season. That said, when they focus on Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan, the show is unbelievably smart and funny.
9.The Office – I have to turn away sometimes because of all the uncomfortable moments (Michael’s toast at Phyllis’ wedding comes to mind), but the show usually strikes the right balance between awkward and humorous. The minor characters are what really stand out in this show. Michael, Jim and Dwight are great, but the great use of Oscar, Creed, and Kevin makes this show great.
8. Curb Your Enthusiasm – This show is pret-ty, pret-ty good.
7.The Simpsons – I haven’t watched this in several years, but no has done it for longer (or, for a few seasons, better) than The Simpsons.
6. Scrubs – Even though Scrubs had dropped in quality in the last season, it was still very sad to see it end last night. No show better combined comedy and emotional drama. The bromance between JD and Turk, the sheer insanity of the Janitor (Tony?), and everything Dr. Cox related will be greatly missed on television. Or maybe not since Scrubs reruns are on 24/7.
5. Chappelle’s Show – The highest comedy peak of any show. “Black White Supremacist”, “Mad Real World”, and “The N-gger Family” are three of the greatest sketches in comedy history. The show is only #5 because it was only on for 2 years (I don’t count the Lost Episodes) and everyone started over-using “I’m Rick James, bitch!”
4. South Park – Although I’ve been moderately disappointed by this season (even with the legendary Economy episode), the show remains required viewing every Wednesday for the 13th straight season. Family Guy could learn how to properly integrate comedic music into their show from South Park.
3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – The best show on TV right now. If you are not watching this yet, I strongly recommend you get off your ass and watch the first season online. For those who do watch it, the who is funnier Dennis vs. Charlie debate is one that will rage for centuries, but I will boldly make a stand and proclaim Charlie slightly funnier. (Charlie’s best episode is probably “The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis” and Dennis’s best is “The Gang Finds a Dead Guy”)
2. Arrested Development – The smartest show, comedy or otherwise, in television history. There are jokes that are slyly placed into episodes that reference events in future episodes. The show was brilliantly planned out and gets better with every viewing. Continuing on my bold statements, GOB is better than Dr. Tobias Funke.
1. Seinfeld – I struggled with this decision for several years. I know Dr. Funke will strongly disagree with AD not being #1, but Seinfeld is the greatest of all comedies. It has provided us with so many phrases that we all use in everyday conversations that it’s only comparison is Shakespeare. And this isn’t really a bold statement, but if you don’t think George is the best character, then you don’t deserve to watch the show.