The Lazy Genius Collective

Be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don't.

Be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don't.

It's Time to Rank Your Favorite TV Comedies


Sometimes you need to waste time on something stupid and fun, so today we're making a list of our favorite TV comedies. 

There are no rules. You decide what's a comedy. List as many or as few as you want. I recommend putting them in order because it forces you to make the hard decision, but it's your list. You're a lazy genius, so simply do just enough work to get the best results. 

You'll be surprised at how much fun you'll have making your list and then how much fun you'll have referencing it later. (May I suggest putting it in the Notes app of your phone? That's where all unimportant things go to become friends, and then they hang out until I need to access them at that cookout when a new friend asks me if I have any favorite shows. Boom.)

Here's mine, and I can't wait to read yours. 

15. New Girl

I haven't watched past season four yet, but despite a season three lull, this show is fantastic, especially the first season. Comedy gold. We all need more Schmidt in our lives; this is a fact.

Episode I love: "Jess and Julia." My absolute favorite. I watch it every few weeks.
Quote I love: "Pine has no place in this loft! It's the wood of poor people and outhouses!"

14. Modern Family

Pilots are never good, especially comedy ones; they're the awkward teenager of television episodes. But Modern Family's pilot was that one girl in 7th grade who got her braces off super early, who got on the ProActiv train before anyone had ever heard of it, and was generally perfect while everyone else tried crimped hair and weird denim. Modern Family was perfect out of the gate and hasn't turned awkward yet.

Episode I love: "The Pilot." It's too perfect to ignore.
Quote I love: "Leave it to the gays to raise the only underachieving Asian in America."

13. The Mighty Boosh

The Mighty Boosh is a British television show based on a comedy troupe of the same name, and they are bizarre, ridiculous, and subversively funny. I love to laugh at things I don't expect, and there is absolutely nothing predictable about this show. It's a rare bird of comedy genius, and if you don't like it within a few minutes, you won't like it all. And that's okay. I, however, adore Howard and Vince and can't in good conscience hide this show behind a bushel out of shame.

Episode I love: "The Nightmare of Milky Joe"
Quote I love: "It's impossible to be unhappy in a poncho."

12. Friends

I mean. It's Friends. Is there anything really to say? It's the golden standard of shows about single people and probably will be until our world is run by robots. 

Episode I love: "The One With Ross's Tan"
Quote I love: "I'm not so good with advice... can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?"

11. Ben and Kate

Yes, that's the girl in Fifty Shades of Grey who's also the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. She plays Kate, an eager-to-please and stuck-in-a-rut single mom who pulled a Lorelai and got pregnant super early. Nat Faxon, the brilliant mind behind The Descendents and The Way Way Back, plays Ben, her live-in childish brother who tries to fix everything and always makes it worse. 

Ben and Kate isn't exactly a newly spun tale; it's basically a sibling version of The Odd Couple. But it's brilliantly written, has so much heart without being Full House-y, and the supporting characters - as supporting characters should be - are absurd. When the network shut down production before the first season was even done, my husband and I TV cried. We looked forward to few shows the way we did Ben and Kate. Sad face.

Episode I love: "The Fox Hunt"
Quote I love: "Get out of here, and stay away from my sister before you find out what six years of Krav Maga mean."

10. Seinfeld

It never gets old. A dozen episodes a day in syndication, and I'll watch every single one. I tend to get bored with shows that have no one to really root for; Seinfeld is different. They're all pretty terrible people, but I adore them. No show will ever do what Seinfeld did. It was magic in a bottle. Amen.

Episode I love: "The Soup Nazi" because it's a classic for a reason.
Quote I love: "This woman is different, she's incredible, she's just like me. She talks like me, she acts like me. She even ordered cereal at a restaurant. We even have the same initials. Wait a minute, I just realized what's going on! Now I know what I've been looking for all these years... myself! I've been waiting for me to come along, and now I've swept myself off my feet!"

9. Everybody Loves Raymond

Ray Barone and his ridiculous family are pure genius. Raymond lasted for nine seasons. NINE. Most comedies start out well and then fizzle, barely making it past four or five seasons. Not these guys. They were winning Best Comedy Emmys in the second half of their run. The same five characters drove every story, and there weren't weird plot twists or love triangles or deaths. It was relevant and funny real-life comedy, day in and day out. Mad respect for Everybody Loves Raymond.

Episode I love: "Marie's Sculpture." It's in my top tier of best television episodes of any kind ever.
Quote I love: "I tried being nice once; didn't care for it."

8. The Office (the British version)

The American version has almost an identical pilot, yet these shows couldn't be more different. There's a British Jim and Pam; their names are Tim and Dawn. There's a Michael Scott named David Brent who's just as socially inept but more gross. There's a Dwight named Gareth, but he's a nerdy horndog who is horribly racist. It's the same but not at all the same, and I love every second.

Episode I love: "Training" and "The Christmas Special"
Quote I love: "What are you thinking, Gareth?" // "I was thinking will there ever be a boy born who can swim faster than a shark?"

7. The Mindy Project

Mindy's views on women and snacks are second only to Liz Lemon. Danny's crotchety hot man with his red reading glasses is one of the best characters on TV. And Nurse Morgan might actually be the best character on TV. I will be forever indebted to Hulu for picking up its fourth season after FOX gave it the ax. 

Episode I love: "My Cool Christian Boyfriend" where we first meet Pastor Casey. Magical.
Quote I love: "Best friend is not a person; it's a tier." And "I fear the ocean out of respect."

6. Bob's Burgers

In the world of adult cartoon families, Family Guy is whiskey - harsh, dangerous in large doses, and awesome but not for everyone. The Simpsons is soda - deliciously cheap, has no nutritional value, but still is one of your favorite drinks if you're being honest. Bob's Burgers is like hot chocolate - practically good for you compared to soda and whiskey, comforting and happy, and just the thing for when you're feeling wonky. The Belchers are absurd enough to make you laugh and have enough heart to make you smile.

Episode I love: "Moody Foodie." Also all of them.
Quote I love: "Ugh, my heart just pooped its pants."

5. Parks and Recreation 

Leslie is unparalleled in her eagerness, Ron is a cranky dreamboat, Chris is literally hilarious, Andy and April are the Jim and Pam we always wanted, and Tom's lack of self-awareness but obsession with self couldn't be more perfect. Every character could carry a spinoff (if spinoffs actually worked), and that's when you know you have a goldmine cast. Pawnee forever.

Episode I love: "Soulmates" when Leslie and Tom are matched on a dating site and Ron and Chris have a hamburger cookoff. But really all of them. It's impossible to choose.
Quote I love: "Dear frozen yogurt, you are the celery of desserts. Be ice cream, or be nothing. Zero stars."

4. Brooklyn Nine Nine

I don't even know how to tell you how much I love this show. The final three choices were obvious, so that means Brooklyn is my Champion of The Rest. It's about a police squad - the Brooklyn Nine Nine (of course) - and the characters are hilarious and fleshed out and absurd. And the chemistry? Sublime. It's from the minds behind Parks and Rec, so you know it has to be good.

Episode I love: All of them, but "The Vulture" gets the nod because Dean Winters, aka Dennis Duffy aka the Allstate Havoc Guy, is in it and he wins all the things.
Quote I love: "The Drop House. Perfect name for a port-a-potty company. As soon as we get out of here I'm taking that straight to Shark Tank."

3. The Office

I think little information is needed. The Office is practically perfect, and I miss it terribly.

Episode I love: "Dwight's Speech" "Casino Night" "Gay Witch Hunt" "The Initiation" I can't stop
Quote I love: "I'm not superstitious. But I am a little stitious."

2. Arrested Development

I suspect that if you haven't seen it by now, you never will. It's niche-y and cringe-y and brilliant. I have watched every episode at least five times, and I always laugh at something new.

Episode I love: I refuse to choose. Okay fine I choose "Sad Sack." But don't make me do it again.
Quote I love: "I mean, it's one banana, Michael. What could it cost, $10?"

1. 30 Rock

All hail my favorite. No show will ever make me happier than 30 Rock does. I'm not embarrassed to say that I'm actually a little teary thinking about how happy it makes me. Yep. Actual tears. Let's not make it weird. 

Episode I love: "The Bubble" where Jon Hamm plays Liz's boyfriend who lives in a bubble of lies because of how hot he is.
A favorite quote: "What is this, Horseville? Because I'm surrounding by naysayers. Wordplay!" and "I'm gonna go talk to some food about this."

Current considerations: Veep, The Grinder, and Happy Endings.

Now go create your own list, and come back and tell me what's on it!