Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top 5 Funniest Sitcoms of 2011 (on Network TV)

People have said this is a golden age for television.  I don't know if that's true, or if it just seems that way now that we aren't drowning under a deluge of reality "stars" clogging prime time with inane eating challenges or bizarre love triangles.  For what it's worth, based on the difficulty of putting this list together, I think it might just be true (and think--this is only network television!).

5: How I Met Your Mother (CBS) - A bunch of twenty-somethings living in NYC, except it isn't Friends.  This show has spawned so many clever, memorable quotes; created a bunch of memorable characters; and made us laugh, cry, and everything in between.  Plus, it re-reintroduced us to Neil Patrick Harris (Harold & Kumar brought him back first), gave Jason Segel some exposure and the actor cred to make movies, and gave Alyson Hannigan something to do now that her band camp flute days are behind her.

4: The Office (NBC) - The mundane happenings of co-workers in an office of a paper company.  This was never as good as the U.K.original, but it's still funny.  It has also accomplished a rarity for a sitcom--it has created characters we care about.  Now that Steve Carell is gone, the show has gotten even funnier, allowing the ensemble to shine more.

3: Happy Endings (ABC) - Pretty sure this is the same general premise as How I Met Your Mother, except in Chicago.  I've only caught a few episodes, but every one I've seen has had me laughing out loud.  This is one of the funniest new shows on television.  Who knew that Jack Bauer's daughter could be so funny!

2: Community (NBC) - A mis-matched study group attending a bizarre community college.  This show just has such a great cast.  How can you not like a show with Chevy Chase, Joel McHale, and the guy who butt dials his girlfriend or chooses several Snack Wraps in old commercials?  Plus, the show is really creative--it's constantly busting into animation, claymation, and a variety of clever and completely bizarre plot twists.

1: Modern Family (ABC) - A "modern" family with a step-mom who's younger than the daughter, a gay couple, and even an adopted Asian baby.  This is the perfect show.  The cast (which features Happy Gilmore's love interest and Al Bundy) is great, and the focus is on the cast as an ensemble.  What's crazy is this show shouldn't be as funny as it is--nothing really stands out about it--but it has had me convulsing with laughter on numerous occasions.  It's also developed the characters so well, we can all relate to them.  It has tearjerker moments, but I always come away from this show smiling.

In the future we will have a top 5 cable t.v. sitcoms, so yes, I have heard of It's Always Sunny or whatever your cable show of choice is.  What shows am I missing?  Make your case for your favorite in the comments below.

(While you're here, check out some of the crappiest 80s sitcoms.)


  1. Love the machine gun banter on "Happy Endings." Have to hit the tivo rewind to catch some I missed on occasion. "New Girl" has really picked it up the last few episodes as the cast has begun to gel. Not on right now, but returning soon is "Cougar Town." A lot better than you might think with a great ensemble and slightly twisted sense of humor.

    -Jim in LA

  2. I might change around the order but I think I agree. Maybe I would throw Rules of Engagement on here too.
    And what's the deal with the promo photos for these shows? Weird.

  3. I forgot about Man Up...I think it is likely underwatched and should be given a shot.

  4. You forgot parks and recreation!!!!!!..

  5. @2b182ff1c04de65a5b07d1dc6f2c3e41 Yeah, Parks and Rec is a good show.  I watch it regularly.  I just thought these 5 were funnier.  Parks and Rec would be in a top 10, no doubt.

    @95154f3e017fad5ccf0d1ef05e61fe00 Rules of Engagement is a good show and I enjoy it, but I think its best days are behind it.  I haven't seen enough Man Up to agree (yet).

    @3cb42db01b5edab948a576e1bf94a281 (Jim in LA) Yeah, the writing for Happy Endings is witty and clever, and I dig the resulting banter too.  New Girl is probably pretty good--I've heard it's only getting better.  I haven't fallen for it yet though.  I haven't liked Cougar Town, but maybe that's just me...

    I'm surprised nobody complained about Two and a Half Men or The Big Bang theory not being included...