Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

Best sitcoms of all time

1/
Everett Collection // Shutterstock

Best Sitcoms of All Time

Amidst a volatile and rapidly changing television landscape, the sitcom not only survives, it thrives. That’s thanks in no small part to a number of shows challenging, satirizing, and occasionally upending the genre’s conventions. Since the ‘90s there have been animated sitcoms, one-camera sitcoms, and a slew of sitcoms that ditched the laugh track and live audience. Meanwhile, peppered throughout are shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Mom,” which offer strikingly modern takes on the traditional formula and keep the laughs coming strong. “Fresh off the Boat” and “Modern Family” similarly shake up the “Leave it to Beaver” formula and use their diverse casts to tell powerful new stories about being a family in America.

In the age of prestige TV dramas, “situational comedy” has grown to mean so much more than three cameras, one stage setting, a bunch of goofy characters, and a laugh track. Thanks to Netflix and other streaming services, it's easier than ever for these shows to convert new fans or find a network willing to take a risk on a funny new idea. With all the inspiration and new resources, what will those crafty, underpaid TV writers think up next

Being that the sitcom is essentially as old as TV itself, there’s no shortage of winners and stinkers alike. Today, Stacker is singling out the winners. Specifically, Stacker has listed out the highest-rated sitcoms of all time, according to the people who’ve watched them: IMDb users. To qualify, the show had to be considered a situational comedy in the broader sense (meaning non-traditional sitcoms and comedy-dramas), and have at least 5,000 IMDb votes. For any rating ties, the show with more votes won. Will your favorite sitcoms of all time make an appearance on this list? Read on to find out.

You may also like: The 100 best TV shows of all time

2/
MTM Enterprises

#50: Mary Tyler Moore Show

Year: 1970-1977
IMDb Rating: 8.2
Votes: 5,251

Co-created by James L. Brooks, who would go on to direct popular movies and co-create The Simpsons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show centered around a woman who moves to Minneapolis on the heels of a bad break up. There she lands a job at a local news station, suddenly single and struggling in a male-dominated world. The show remains an acclaimed and vital sitcom to this day, primarily for the skillful and humorous way it handled such poignant themes. It was plenty acclaimed in its time as well, with the most Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series in history to show for it.  

3/
FX Productions

#49: Legit

Year: 2013–2014
IMDb Rating: 8.2
Votes: 7,072

Between his observational prowess and acerbic delivery (and, of course, his huge fan base), it was only natural that comedian Jim Jeffries would get a series of his own. That series was called Legit and it ran for just two seasons, first on FX and then on FXX. Each episode of Legit dealt with Jim and his motley crew of friends learning how to be good people in the modern world. The laughs and acclaim were high, but the ratings were too low to warrant a third season.  

4/
Soup2Nuts

#48: Home Movies

Year: 1999–2004
IMDb Rating: 8.2
Votes: 8,028

True to its name, Home Movies was about an eight-year-old wannabe director who casts his friends in thousands of homemade films. Featuring kids but aimed squarely at teenagers and adults, the animated series ran for six episodes on the (now-defunct) UPN network before being abruptly dropped. Thankfully Cartoon Network swooped in to save the day, buying the rights to the show and making it the first ever to premiere on their Adult Swim block, where it found a much wider and more receptive audience.

5/
Danger Goldberg Productions

#47: Big Mouth

Year: 2017 – present
IMDb Rating: 8.2
Votes: 11,642

Puberty has long been the stuff of comedy gold, and it certainly has no reason to stop now. Accordingly, the Netflix animated series Big Mouth mines the awkward phase in every growing boy or girl’s life for all the explicit laughs it can find. Co-created by comedian Nick Kroll, and featuring voices from fellow comics like Jordan Peele, Maya Rudolph, and John Mulaney, the show delivers the raunchy goods at hyperkinetic speed, with genuinely endearing undertones.  

6/
Adam F. Goldberg Productions

#46: The Goldbergs

Year: 2013 – present
IMDb Rating: 8.2
Votes: 20,252

Set in the simpler era of the 1980s, ABC’s The Goldbergs is a semi-autobiographical show based on Adam Goldberg’s experiences as a nerdy 11-year-old. Armed with a video camera, young Adam captures the endlessly zany antics of his hilarious family one home movie at a time. While the show takes some liberties as far the family is concerned, it also goes to great lengths to authentically re-create Adam’s childhood. For instance, nearly all the posters in young Adam’s bedroom on the show were the same ones he had in his bedroom in real life as a kid.  

7/
Garfield Grove Productions

#45: Better Off Ted

Year: 2009–2010
IMDb Rating: 8.2
Votes: 22,695

Sometimes a great show slips through the cracks and doesn’t get the shelf life it deserves. Such was the case with ABC’s Better Off Ted, an absolutely bonkers workplace comedy that poked fun at the sitcom format and frequently broke the fourth wall. The backdrop for the series was Veridian Dynamics, a ruthless corporation that performs experiments on its own employees, among other terrible things. Meanwhile, protagonist Ted Crisp must do his best to retain a semblance of morality (and keep his job) while flanked by evil on nearly all sides.

8/
5th Year Productions

#44: Workaholics

Year: 2011–2017
IMDb Rating: 8.2
Votes: 40,144

“Ya gotta be fresh.” So went the theme song for Comedy Central’s Workaholics, which did indeed offer a fresh take on your standard office sitcom. Detailing the exploits of three workplace stoners with bad ideas and even worse follow-through, the work environment itself was at best a distraction from each hairbrained scheme. Proving that the antics were just as wild behind the scenes, two of the show’s stars spent the first season living in the same house as they’re characters, just to save a few bucks in rent money.

9/
Broadway Video

#43: 30 Rock

Year: 2006–2013
IMDb Rating: 8.2
Votes: 97,930

Speaking of crazy workplace comedies, it didn’t get much crazier than 30 Rock. Created by and starring SNL alumna Tina Fey, the series took place behind the scenes at an SNL-like sketch comedy show. Between the off-the-wall characters and rapid-fire pacing, the show earned a reputation for squeezing jokes out of jokes and then layering those jokes with even more jokes. It’s no wonder that 30 Rock earned a whopping 22 Emmy nominations in 2009, the most nominations ever received by a comedy show in a single year.

10/
20th Century Fox Television

#42: Family Guy

Year: 1998– 
IMDb Rating: 8.2
Votes: 261,219

Hit animated series Family Guy opens every episode asking, “Where are those good old fashioned values?” The answer might very well be, “Everywhere but Family Guy.” Co-created by Seth MacFarlane, the long-running series is as raunchy as primetime TV can possibly get. The fact that the show is so ubiquitous these days is somewhat of a miracle, and not just because the FCC hasn’t pulled it from the air. For starters, it was cancelled by Fox not once, but twice, before being brought back due to overwhelming demand from the fans. Furthermore, MacFarlane himself had a near brush with death after missing a famously ill-fated flight from Boston to Los Angeles on the morning of September 11, 2001.

11/
Imagine Television

#41: Sports Night

Year: 1998–2000
IMDb Rating: 8.3
Votes: 6,242

Even when iconic screenwriter Aaron Sorkin isn’t churning out Oscar-winning movies like The Social Network or acclaimed shows like The West Wing, he still puts up a downright formidable effort. For proof of that fact, look no further than Sports Night, a short-lived comedy that failed to score big numbers during its run, but has nevertheless retained a loyal following over the years. In the series, viewers went behind the scenes at a bustling sports news show. The dialogue was sharp and the laughs were dry, but hard-earned. Apparently Sorkin could have kept the show alive if he’d so desired, but he chose instead to focus his energy on The West Wing.

12/
Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS)

#40: The Andy Griffith Show

Year: 1960–1968
IMDb Rating: 8.3
Votes: 9,398

Just hearing the words “Andy Griffith Show” conjure up a melodic, hunky-dory whistle in your mind (assuming you’ve heard the theme song before). Living up to that laid-back vibe was the series itself, about a small-town sheriff who rarely encountered any crime. The show was one of just three to end its run while still at or near the height of its popularity. Among its actors was a young Ron Howard, who would go on to star in Happy Days before launching his career as an A-list director.

13/
Tandem Productions

#39: All in the Family

Year: 1971–1979
IMDb Rating: 8.3
Votes: 11,569

Before Married with Children’s Al Bundy or Family Guy’s Peter Griffin, there was All in the Family’s Archie Bunker. The original foul-mouthed, racist, sexist TV dad somehow remained likeable in spite of his many flaws. Thanks to Bunker’s overtly offensive antics, the show itself was considered hugely groundbreaking for its time. Some might say TV only went downhill from there — others would argue the series kicked off a new wave of comedy. No matter which side you’re on, it’s hard to dismiss the symbolic value of All in the Family being the first show to feature the sound of a toilet flushing on TV.

14/
Slaverats

#38: Party Down

Year: 2009–2010
IMDb Rating: 8.3
Votes: 24,697

The story of aspiring actors who work for a catering company to pay their bills doesn’t necessarily sound like the stuff of quality television, but Party Down milked some legitimate comedy out of its relatively unexciting premise. Created by Rob Thomas (who would go on to create Veronica Mars and iZombie), the Starz show demonstrated a unique sensibility and earned a healthy cult following as a result. Unfortunately cult followings don’t amount to much in TV land, and the series was cancelled after two seasons. Watch it for a slew of cool cameos and some genuinely original situational comedy.

 

15/
New World Television

#37: The Wonder Years

Year: 1988–1993
IMDb Rating: 8.3
Votes: 30,110

Some shows might technically be comedies, and yet they inspire feelings of melancholy when you think about them. The Wonder Years is one of those shows. Set during the turbulent late ‘60s and early ‘70s, the series detailed the misadventures of Kevin Arnold as he navigated his way through adolescence. It made for touching, unforgettable television that still lingers in the hearts of viewers who watched it when it first aired. And just in case there’s anyone out there still wondering: no, Marilyn Manson did not play the role of Kevin’s best friend Paul Pfeiffer (who was played by Josh Saviano).

16/
FX Network

#36: The League

Year: (2009–2015)
IMDb Rating: 8.3
Votes: 39,099

Odds are you or someone you know is involved in a fantasy football competition this very minute. Well, they made a show just for you. Dubbed The League, the FX comedy featured characters taking their passion for fantasy football to ridiculous extremes. The series was awash with unique catchphrases like “Yobagoya” and NFL star cameos, allowing each viewer to truly feel like part of the team.

17/
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

#35: Extras

Year: 2005–2007
IMDb Rating: 8.3
Votes: 44,618

Co-created by and starring Ricky Gervais, Extras followed Andy Millman on his frequently disastrous quest for stardom. The series expertly walked the line between British and American comedy, and earned a loyal following as a result. Included throughout its brief run are tons of celebrity cameos and insider jokes.

 

18/
Enemy MIGs Productions

#34: Eastbound & Down

Year: 2009–2013
IMDb Rating: 8.3
Votes: 44,732

What happens when retired baseball legend Kenny Powers returns to his hometown to become a gym teacher? Eastbound & Down, that’s what. The outrageous protagonist brought his larger-than-life personality to every situation and scene in the HBO series, frequently offending characters and viewers alike. Subsisting in a comedic class all its own, Eastbound & Down is perhaps the quintessential cult TV show.

19/
Fremulon

#33: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Year: 2013 – present 
IMDb Rating: 8.3
Votes: 88,134

 

Starring Andy Samberg as a naive, but skilled NYPD detective frequently at odds with his commander, Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine duly makes good on its tagline: “Law. Without the order.” Unwilling to take itself too seriously, the show constantly veers off the rails from the investigation at hand, focusing instead on inter-office squabbles. That said, the actors still underwent firearms training before tackling their respective roles.

 

20/
Chuck Lorre Productions

#32: The Big Bang Theory

Year: 2007 – present
IMDb Rating: 8.3
Votes: 584,601

If nothing else, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory proves that great writing and great characters can keep the traditional sitcom format alive for ages to come. Co-created by sitcom mastermind Chuck Lorre, the show details the exploits of a group of twentysomething geniuses and their relatively normal, attractive female neighbor. No matter how much you might resist, it’s hard not to fall in love with Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, and everyone else, which is in no small part why the series continues to succeed in a spectacular way.  

 

21/
Calvada Productions

#31: The Dick Van Dyke Show

Year: 1961–1966
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Votes: 6,968

Another classic from the annals of television history, The Dick Van Dyke Show was the last sitcom to be shot in black and white. The series about the exploits of a popular TV writer paired Van Dyke himself with comedian Mary Tyler Moore so convincingly that viewers thought the two were married in real life. Moore, of course, would go on to take the lead in her own hit show soon after.

22/
Sony Pictures Television

#30: Atypical

Year: 2017 – present
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Votes: 14,325

Netflix series Atypical is about 18-year-old Sam, a young man on the autism spectrum who’s looking for love in the modern world, or at least hoping to see a pair of boobs before he dies. The series handles themes of exclusion, social norms, and awkward behavior with a dexterous comedic hand. It has earned itself swaths of acclaim among critics and audiences alike.

23/
Desilu Productions

#29: I Love Lucy

Year: 1951–1957
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Votes: 18,933

One of the best sitcoms of all time, I Love Lucy is also among the most important. There’s really no way to overstate how impactful and durable the misadventures of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo (played by real life couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz) have remained over time. Lucille Ball in particular was a genius of physical comedy, and the episodes themselves were master classes in plotting and timing. In addition to paving the way for sitcoms to come, I Love Lucy was also influential in other regards. For example, it was one of the first major shows to employ the three-camera filming system. Furthermore, Arnaz is credited with creating the rerun, after he re-edited and then re-played old episodes while wife Lucille Ball took care of their newborn son.

 

 

24/
3 Arts Entertainment

#28: Broad City

Year: 2014 – present
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Votes: 19,768

Based upon a web series of the same name, Broad City was created by Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson as an ongoing love letter to their wild experiences in New York City. The show features frequent guest appearances from comedian Hannibal Buress and thrives on unpredictability. To put it another way, Broad City is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get. But you do know it’ll be funny.

25/
Cartoon Network Studios

#27: Regular Show

Year: 2009–2017
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Votes: 21,891

A short film about two gas station clerks who take hallucinogens and turn into cartoon characters soon became Cartoon Network’s The Regular Show. In the fully animated series, a blue jay and raccoon tend the grounds of a local park while getting into all sorts of surreal adventures. Between the hilarious gags, the engaging characters, and the killer soundtrack filled with ‘80s music, there’s no reason not to watch.

26/
Adelaide Productions

#26: The Boondocks

Year: 2005–2014
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Votes: 22,892

Just because a show is funny, that doesn’t mean it can’t feature copious amounts of social commentary. The Boondocks did just that, taking a black family called the Freemans and moving them into an all-white neighborhood. The controversial Adult Swim cartoon was based on an equally controversial comic strip of the same name, both of which liberally dropped the N-word among other things. Yet no amount of public outcry prevented the series from enjoying a long, healthy, and important run.  

27/
20th Century Fox Television

#25: M*A*S*H

Year: 1972–1983
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Votes: 42,174

Yes, even war can be funny on occasion. In fact, the hospital staff in MASH discovered comedy was the best way to deal with all the turmoil surrounding them. Based on a successful movie of the same name, the show took place during the Korean War, yet resonated with people from all walks of life. For stars Jamie Farr and Alan Alda, the premise hit close to home, as both men served in the Korean War after the 1953 cease fire.

28/
Blue Mountain State Productions

#24: Blue Mountain State

Year: 2010–2011
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Votes: 42,625

Developed by the Spike Channel for their particular demographic, Blue Mountain State offered a brief glimpse into the life of college freshman football players. Naturally there was no shortage of hazing, gratuitous sexuality, and other testosterone-fueled antics. Fans were disappointed when the show ended after an all-too-brief run, so they put their money to work and crowd-funded a movie that went straight to Netflix.

29/
Tornante Company

#23: BoJack Horseman

Year: 2014 – present
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Votes: 44,882

Does Netflix’s BoJack Horseman really deserve to outrank I Love Lucy on a list of the highest rated sitcoms of all time? Probably not. Nevertheless, the people have spoken. Thankfully the animated story of a washed up TV actor (who happens to be a horse) only improves with each passing season, managing to find a lot of heart in some traditionally comedic places.  

 

30/
3 Arts Entertainment

#22: Master of None

Year: 2015 – present
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Votes: 45,503

Comedian Aziz Ansari had starred in Parks and Recreation, written a best-selling book, and performed sold-out shows to huge audiences before landing his own gig at Netflix. That gig was Master of None and it’s ironically a pretty masterful endeavor. In the show, Ansari explores a range of human experiences like dating and family through a strictly modern lens. Call it the voice of the millennial generation if you must, but you can’t deny it makes for some genuinely entertaining television.

 

 

31/
GEP Productions

#21: Psych

Year: 2006–2014
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Votes: 71,550

USA Network struck comedy gold when it aired Psych, a show about an aspiring sleuth who tricks the police into thinking he has psychic powers, and then drags his co-worker along for the ride. The duo’s exploits are always great for a laugh, as are a slew of inside jokes like the inclusion of a pineapple in every single episode. While the series technically ended its run in 2014, it was brought back to life this year as an equally acclaimed feature film.

 

32/
Doozer

#20: Scrubs

Year: 2001–2010
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Votes: 210,117

Another show culling laughs from the unlikeliest of places, Scrubs managed to authentically capture the experience of working in a hospital without making even the smallest comedic sacrifices. It all went down at Sacred Heart Hospital, where the staff was never out of either jokes or emergencies. Star Zach Braff suggested using the song “Superman” for the show’s main theme, which was fitting given the later success of the soundtrack for his film Garden State.

33/
20th Century Fox Television

#19: How I Met Your Mother

Year: 2005–2014
IMDb Rating: 8.4
Votes: 496,113

Brilliantly walking the line between orthodox and unorthodox was CBS’ How I Met Your Mother. The show was told through a series of flashbacks, as an unseen father explains to his unseen children how he first met their unseen mother. For the most part, however, the comedy involved the ongoing shenanigans of a group of close, highly likeable friends. While the chemistry between each character was very much what made the show so great, married couple Marshall and Lily rarely kissed, reportedly because Alyson Hannigan wasn’t a fan of Jason Segel’s cigarette breath.

34/
Paramount Television

#18: Police Squad!

Year: 1982
IMDb Rating: 8.5
Votes: 11,800

Most people today have fond memories of the 1988 comedy hit The Naked Gun, but only a few of those people remember the show that preceded it. Called Police Squad!, the series saw Detective Frank Drebin (played by Leslie Nielsen) bungling his way to through a series of sight gags in search of a clue. If you’ve seen any of the Naked Gun movies — or any of Nielsen’s work from the last three decades for that matter — you know exactly what to expect from this short-lived spoof.

 

35/
Home Box Office (HBO)

#17: Entourage

Year: 2004–2011
IMDb Rating: 8.5
Votes: 144,487

Straight out modern man’s wildest dreams came HBO’s Entourage. The show followed movie star Vincent Chase as he navigated the labyrinths of Hollywood, his brother and two closest friends by his side at all times. Known for its rotating door of celebrity cameos and an over-the-top performance by Jeremy Piven as super-agent Ari Gold, Entourage was a perennial homage to the perks of being famous, or at least being close friends with someone who is.  

36/
Krasnoff Foster Productions

#16: Community

Year: 2009–2015
IMDb Rating: 8.5
Votes: 159,995

Created by Dan Harmon, and loosely based on his own exploits, NBC’s Community was about a former lawyer who’s forced to enroll in community college where he and some zany friends form an inner community of their own. The series was constantly pushing boundaries from a creative perspective, and yet it never really found the broader audience it deserved. Lukewarm ratings and behind-the-scenes drama prompted Sony Pictures Television to fire Harmon after the third season. When the fourth season fared even worse, Harmon was rehired and his replacements were fired.  

 

37/
Curiosity Company

#15: Futurama

Year: 1999–2013
IMDb Rating: 8.5
Votes: 175,023

Matt Groening was still riding high off the wild success of The Simpsons when he co-created Futurama. It was about a twentysomething pizza delivery boy named Frye who wakes up 1000 years in the future. Frye quickly discovers that the more things change, the more they stay the same — an alcoholic robot named Bender being a prime example. The series originally ran on Fox (30th Century Fox, that is) from 1999 to 2003, and then enjoyed a second life on Comedy Central from 2008 to 2013.

 

38/
20th Century Fox Television

#14: Modern Family

Year: 2009 – present
IMDb Rating: 8.5
Votes: 279,584

Exploring relationships and romance in the age of smartphones and gay marriage, ABC’s Modern Family was an instant smash hit upon its debut in 2009. The show uses a mockumentary format to tell the story of three interconnected families who support one another through a never-ending string of comedic debacles. Proving that Modern Family’s success is truly a team effort, all the actors and actresses agreed to only submit themselves to award ceremonies in supporting (and never leading) roles.  

 

39/
Dakota Pictures

#13: Flight of the Conchords

Year: 2007–2009
IMDb Rating: 8.6
Votes: 46,965

Comedy duo Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement originally created New Zealand’s “fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-fun-comedy folk duo” for a BBC radio show. Soon enough Flight of the Conchords was an HBO series that followed the duo as they tried and failed to penetrate the U.S. market. In an ironic twist of fate, McKenzie and Clement would earn a 2008 Grammy for Best Comedy Album, while their on-screen counterparts struggled to land gigs at the local aquarium.

 

 

40/
3 Arts Entertainment

#12: Silicon Valley

Year: 2014 – present
IMDb Rating: 8.6
Votes: 84,523

By pairing brilliant satire with empathetic situations, HBO’s Silicon Valley offers a consistently hilarious and engaging glimpse into the world of modern tech. In the show, programmer Richard Hendricks tries to build a company from the ground up, constantly running into various pitfalls that threaten to destroy him. After five seasons one might think the circular premise would run out of steam, but the fleshed-out characters make it work.  

 

41/
Deedle-Dee Productions

#11: Parks and Recreation

Year: 2009–2015
IMDb Rating: 8.6
Votes: 147,146

From The Office alumni Greg Daniels and Michael Shur came Parks and Recreation. It was another mockumentary style show about the exploits of public officials in Pawnee, Indiana (a fictional town that’s an inverted version of Muncie, IN on the map). The cast was a veritable legion of talent consisting of notable actors like Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Rashida Jones, Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari, Adam Scott, Nick Offerman, and Rob Lowe.

 

42/
Kathy Hutchins // Shutterstock

#10: Curb Your Enthusiasm

Year: 2000 – present 
IMDb Rating: 8.7
Votes: 76,026

As the co-creator of Seinfeld, Larry David could have easily played golf for the rest of his life and never worked again. Instead he churned out a classic HBO comedy series that’s in many ways up there with his greatest output, and only slightly less groundbreaking. In Curb Your Enthusiasm, David plays...well, Larry David. Impervious to societal norms, David has a knack for turning any random encounter into an excruciating battle of wills. However, it’s not all bad. After all, there was that one time the show freed an innocent man from a wrongful murder conviction, albeit inadvertently.

43/
Floyd County Productions

#9: Archer

Year: 2009 – present 
IMDb Rating: 8.7
Votes: 108,891

Offering a clever take on classic spy movie and TV show tropes, FX’s Archer follows the animated adventures of a carefree bachelor who also happens to work for a premiere spy agency. When the bullets aren’t flying, Archer is usually seen consuming large quantities of alcohol or sleeping with beautiful women. Oh, who are we kidding? He does all of that even when the bullets are flying.  

 

44/
Comedy Central

#8: South Park

Year: 1997 – present
IMDb Rating: 8.7
Votes: 272,446

Perennial pranksters Trey Parker and Matt Stone made a video Christmas card where Jesus Christ and Santa Claus engaged in deady battle. Featured in the video were four foul-mouthed boys named Kenny, Kyle, Stan, and Cartman. After the video made the rounds in Hollywood, Comedy Central came calling and South Park was born. The rest, as they say, is crude and brilliant history.

45/
Bluebush Productions

#7: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Year: 2005 – present
IMDb Rating: 8.8
Votes: 152,535

It might always be sunny in Philadelphia, but things get pretty dark inside Paddy’s Pub. The mismanaged watering hole and its dysfunctional, sociopathic owners provide endless hours of entertainment on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. To watch the show is to bear witness to mankind’s worst attributes, encapsulated by five main characters so firmly committed to their own deplorable nature that you can’t help but like them. According to legend the pilot was shot for a mere $85, which all went to camera equipment. Meanwhile, the production value remains intentionally (and fittingly) shoddy.  

46/
Kathy Hutchins // Shutterstock

#6: The Office

Year: 2005–2013
IMDb Rating: 8.8
Votes: 236,224

The standing champion of mockumentary-style sitcoms, The Office was originally a British series created by Ricky Gervais before being adopted for the US market. Expanding upon the original template in virtually every conceivable way, the U.S. version struck a massive chord with audiences. Who knew that the everyday exploits at the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company would make for such consistently engaging TV?

 

47/
Gracie Films

#5: The Simpsons

Year: 1989 – present
IMDb Rating: 8.8
Votes: 301,111

It might be number five on the list, but for about ten seasons, Fox’s hit cartoon series The Simpsons transcended the possibilities of television, and covered more ground than any comedy before or since. Accordingly, the show’s best episodes are as prescient today as they ever were. Sure, as the longest running prime-time comedy series in TV history, the jokes and observations have gotten a little stale, but the sheer brilliance of the early seasons more than makes up for it. This is razor-sharp satire at its absolute finest.

 

48/
West-Shapiro

#4: Seinfeld

Year: 1989–1998
IMDb Rating: 8.9
Votes: 197,006

Even with the popularity of edgy shows like All in the Family and Married with Children, the traditional three-camera sitcom was more or less a slave to formula. Then Seinfeld came along and changed the TV landscape for good. The show — about four perennially single friends living and dating in New York — purposefully upended just about every convention the medium could throw at it. The result was comedy so resilient that it hasn’t lost an ounce of its luster after 20 years in syndication. Indeed, there are single episodes of Seinfeld that are as memorable and funny as some other sitcoms’ entire runs. Modern television comedy wouldn’t exist as it does if not for this show. Seinfeld might not be the “highest rated”, but it’s the number one sitcom of all time.

49/
Imagine Entertainment

#3: Arrested Development

Year: 2003 – present
IMDb Rating: 8.9
Votes: 232,354

While Seinfeld certainly got the ball rolling on taking an outside-the-box approach to situational comedy, Arrested Development took that ball and slam dunked it. Created by Mitchell Hurwitz, who cut his teeth writing for sitcoms like The Golden Girls, the show introduced us to the Bluths, a wealthy real estate family thrown into turmoil after their patriarch is sent to prison. Everything from the voice-over narration to the single-camera filming style felt fresh and innovative at the time. And while the comedy series didn’t find the audience it needed to survive past its initial three-season run, a massive following has accumulated over time, earning it a second life on Netflix and plenty of enduring appeal.

 

50/
Warner Bros.

#2: Friends

Year: 1994–2004
IMDb Rating: 8.9
Votes: 561,803

On the direct heels of Seinfeld there came Friends, a show so popular it barely needs an introduction. The writing was top notch, the casting was iconic, and the viewer engagement was virtually unprecedented. If there was ever a show that married sitcom formula with cutting edge dialogue to absolutely masterful effect, it was this “one”. As in “The One with the Embryos” or “The One with Ross’s Wedding” or...well, you get the point.

 

51/
Harmonius Claptrap

#1: Rick and Morty

Year: 2013 – present 
IMDb Rating: 9.3
Votes: 178,771

A young boy named Morty was living a relatively normal life until his alcoholic scientist grandfather Rick showed up. Suddenly Morty’s being dragged on a series of mind-blowing animated adventures to all ends of the galaxy. Needless to say, Morty’s loss is the viewer’s gain, whereas Rick & Morty delivers a truly inspired 23 minutes of television. Far more than a situational comedy, the Adult Swim show is a cult sensation tirelessly pushing its own creative limits. The series is so beloved by its fan base that chaos broke out after McDonald’s didn’t make enough special Rick & Morty themed Szechuan sauce earlier this year. 

2018 All rights reserved.