Worthless Guide to Comedy - Part 1: Top 10 TV
By The Baron
Welcome one and all to part 1 of The Baron’s top 10 of comedy. In this new series of articles I will be revealing the top 10 of comedy in three categories: Television, Movies, and the Internet. Well, technically it will be the 5 BEST in each category, and then the 5 WORST. In this segment I will reveal the top 10 of Television. As the great General Han Solo once said get ready to “Laugh it up, furball!”
Part 1 – Top 10 TV
Part 2 – Top 10 Movies
Part 3 – Real Life Comedy
Top 5 Funniest TV Comedies
- America’s Funniest Home Videos
AFV (as rabid fans like myself call it) was U-Tube before U-Tube ever existed. American families sent in funny happenings or pranks which happened to be caught on video, and these clips were shown on-air with wacky sound effects and music. You would see crazy moments like grandmothers dancing at weddings and falling down (whoops!), cute puppies falling asleep while eating (awwwww), and unfortunate guys falling out of outhouses with their pants down (yikes, gives new meaning to the term full moon!). These videos were classic and had viewers rolling in the aisles every time.
But wait, it gets better! The show was also hosted and commented on by Step-by-Step alumni Bob Saget! Seriously folks, you don’t know funny until you’ve seen one of Saget’s patented bits at the end of each show where he talks into the camera to his wife. “Honey, I’m going to be home a little late tonight, have my dinner ready, or else…” Classic!
- Nickelodeon’s All That!
This was a tough choice, because I had to choose between a number of great (an surprisingly underrated) shows from Nickelodeon such as The Adventures of Pete and Pete or Keenan & Kel. But in the end, All That! won out. For my money you just can’t beat the all-encompassing sense of humor this sketch comedy show had. For anyone who didn’t have the luck to see it, imagine a Mad TV or a Saturday Night Live, except smarter and a heck of a lot more fun! All the performers in the show were kids, which made it all the more amazing when they brought out a sketch like the Frenchman who sat in the bathtub and translated crazy sentences from French with jaw-droppingly funny results: “My pants are made of swiss cheese, haw haw haw!”
This show also made a few of these talented comedians into stars. Keenan Ivory Wayans and Kel Williams went on to star in the feature film Good Burger (awesomely funny and also underrated) and the previously mentioned Nick show Keenan & Kel. It’s a shame that Nickelodeon doesn’t do great shows like this anymore and has instead devolved into a shameless pretty-boy fest. Why they ever cancelled entertainment giants like Double Dare and Guts is beyond me.
Do I even have to explain The Simpsons at this point? The name has become synonymous with funny in the world these days. Look up funny in the dictionary and you are sure to find a picture of animator Matt Graining. That’s what I call success. There was even a second Simpsons film released in theaters at the time I am writing this article revealing that this hilarious show has only gotten better since it first aired on the Tracy Chapman Show almost 20 years ago.
Fortunately for those who plunked their hard-earned 10 dollars down for The Simpsons Movie, the film contained all the modern Simpsons humor we have come to expect from the series, and not the vastly inferior childish and “ironic” humor that the show relied on in its first seven years. Anybody can be sarcastic while trudging through the plot of a dull episode like “Monorail” or the one where Homer loses his job, but you just can’t beat the jaw-dropping special effects and the HILARIOUS Spider Pig sketch from the film (it’s a national phenomenon to say the least, which proves it’s funny for all you doubting Thomases out there).
- Aqua Teen Hungry Force
OK, I realize this will be a controversial choice, but I definitely need to have ATHF on this list. This show stars a sass-talking cheeseburger, a crazy chocolate shake, a saucy French fries, and a childish meatball. If this sounds crazy to you, it is! The characters wander around a topsy-turvy wonderland that would make Alice proud, and they have adventures that would make Jules Vern jealous. The premise of one particularly clever episode has the characters meeting an alien that talks funny. Great stuff.
A lot of people don’t like this show, but I would say that’s just because they don’t “get” it. This show deserves special props because anyone can just do an animated comedy, and they might even take the time to actually animate it instead of just moving the characters across the screen like paper dolls. But that doesn’t make it funny. It takes a special group of people to do humor that actually says something about the world around us, and I think ATHF has done that. Time after time while watching this show I find myself nodding my head and saying to myself (while also cracking up of course) “yeah, yeah, that’s sooo true!” So thanks ATHF, and keep the funny coming.
Hands down, Friends is the #1 funniest show of all time. The antics of Chandler, Monica, Rachel, Joey Lawrence, and especially neighbor Kramer made me do a spit take more times than I can count. I loved this show more than life itself, and there were too many amazing moments to count: The Smelliest Cat song, Joey’s lovable oaf of a character, the way that kooky Kramer always burst in through the door to wild applause and cheers from the audience, and the on-again off-again romance between Chandler and Rachel had me bawling every time (OK, you got me! The Baron’s just an old softie after all..)
Friends was also insanely popular; so much so that after the final episode had aired, all the viewers flushed their toilets at the same time, causing a huge pile-up in America’s sewer systems. Now that’s what I call a CRAPPY show :) But seriously folks, no show had a bigger impact on comedy around the world than Friends, and when it went off the air after 8 glorious seasons we all lost a little piece of ourselves too.
Top 5 Overrated TV Comedies
- Arrested Development
Sigh. How many times do I have to explain to people that this show is NOT FUNNY AT ALL. It tries so hard to be quirky and cute, but it just comes off as forced. A lot of the characters in it are clichéd as well. A brother who performs magic, a mean mother who treats immigrants with disrespect, a boy who wants to have sex with his cousin, real original material there guys. Not to mention gross. How material condoning sex with a family member got past the network censor is beyond me.
This show was cancelled after three seasons which had me breathing a sigh of relief. It isn’t often that the creators of a show realize it is bad and decide to pull the plug. They should at least be commended for knowing when they were beaten.
- The Three Stooges
I know this show is very old, but I still hear people talking about how funny it is and I just can’t let it go. I have seen a bunch of Three Stooges episodes and I haven’t even laughed once. Oh wow, Larry, Moe, and Howard run around knocking each other over the head with frying pans and pipes, I don’t find that funny at all. Not to mention the bad message it sends to kids. I don’t think anybody is going to be laughing when their son hits his baby brother with a wrench after seeing an episode of this show and the baby dies.
There are so many problems with this show. First, the quality of the picture and sound are terrible, and this show is still in black and white! Couldn’t the creators at least have sprung for a quality color camera and a microphone? I realize this might have been hard to come by in the 60s when this show was made, but it would be worth it. Secondly, where is the studio audience? I have a hard time enjoying the show without other people letting me in on what the funniest bits are. At least add in a laugh track. Because of these major problems, I will NEVER watch another episode of the Three Stooges, thank you very much.
- Mystery Science 3000
Oh man! I can’t believe I even have to put this show on this list, it was cancelled years ago and yet people still continue to blabber on about it. I can’t open a top 100 list of TV shows or read the New York Times without coming across some boob who claims to love this “show”. I put show in quotes because I don’t think this gobbledygook even counts as a show. The entire premise is that a man and two robots sit and watch and mock CLASSIC FILMS. Why not throw dung on the Mona Lisa while you’re at it guys? Don’t these people have anything better to do than mock other people’s hard work?
Like I said before, although this show FAILED MISERABLY and was cancelled by the geniuses at the Sci-Fi channel (why they would sully such an amazing network with garbage like this I never understood) people still can’t get over it. Even the editor of this site has put a link to a new project the same people are doing in the links section of this site even though he refuses to accept any of my suggestions for links to some great Star Trek & Furry Fanfic sites, but whatever.
- The Office
You can’t go anywhere today without hearing about The Office. Yeah, way to jump on the popularity bandwagon you unoriginal babies, why don’t you try to think for yourselves for once! The Office just plain stinks. Yes, I’ve seen both the American version and the British version, they are both terrible! One thing I can say for the American version is at least you can understand what the characters are saying. In the British one it just sounds like mumbled gibberish. If you are going to release your show in America you should at least speak AMERICAN.
The idea behind this documentary is flimsy at best. Oh wow, a crew follows around a group of people in an office and films the everyday workings. I thought if you made a documentary you were supposed to choose an interesting subject, like an Air Guitar contest or the History of Nazis, not a boring one. Also, you can completely tell that this “documentary” has scripted moments, or at least that the people are coached on what they should do. The boss David Brent in the British version does things which are almost beyond belief. How is this man not being fired?! In the American version the boss is also an awful person. This show promotes sexism and racism, it is almost as bad as The Real World, and sometimes I doubt if it is even real at all.
- Curb Your Enthusiasm
Curb my enthusiasm, more like curb my appetite! I cannot for the life of me grasp why people find this show funny. The entire premise of this entire series revolves around comedian Larry David, creator of Seinfeld, another friends ripoff, and an overrated turd (sorry for the cussing, but I think it had to be said). Larry walks around complaining about everything and getting in trouble for it, big whoop! I’m sorry, but it’s hard for me to laugh when the main character is insulting black people and speaking about sexual things which should be kept between husband and wife. I’m sorry Larry David but why don’t you try something original for a change. This show has been done a million times before, and better might I add.
Another problem with this show is that they don’t even bother to use a script! Can you believe it?! Someone managed to create a show where they just turn on the camera and do whatever pops into their head. It also doesn’t help that all of the actors have potty mouths. Every other word in this show is F*** this, F*** that, you’re a C***, you’re a B****, you’re a fat piece of S***. I was babysitting my sister’s kids while this show was on, and I hadn’t gotten through 3 episodes before the kids all started calling each other “Fat F***s” and “Bald A**holes”. When my sister came to pick them up, one of the children yelled out “Mommy is a C***” and she was appalled (and rightly so). I don’t think a show with such filthy language should be allowed on television. I rate this show as one of the worst shows ever.
So that's The Baron's top 10 of Comedy Television. If you want to thank me or if you have any comments or questions feel free to send them via the Contact link at the bottom of this page and I will post your question and a repsonse. And remember to keep those TVs on, friends!
I am just sending a quip to you about your list of best and worst shows ever, though I do agree with the simpsons, I do no agree with the three stooges and you must not be very smart or was born anywhere in the 60's neither was I but the point is the three stooges was made in the 30's when it was hi-tech to have voice on film and it blew the people away when they came up with the first sound effect machine. all I am saying is that maybe you should use spell check and do some damn research before you go and blast something you know millions of people love. and by the way that little article is getting blasted on two different message boards for the lack of thought that went into the list.
The Baron Responds:
Hah! You think that telling me about what little message board porridge imps are posting about my article is going to make a bit of difference to me? Pish posh and piffle I say! Unless you are discussing one of the many boards I frequent, the little sassbacks from philistines mean nothing to me.
As for your points, I am glad to see that you can at least form a sentence unlike most of the apes who email me (paging Professer Kong!). First of all I’m glad to see I convinced you to give The Simpsons a chance. I’m always prophesizing about it to people and trying to get them to watch, a lot of people still don’t know about it! In case any of you haven’t heard of it the Simpsons is a sitcom about a family of 4: Homer, Maggie, Lisa, Maggie, and that lovable scamp: Bart. Most viewers tune in each week to see what kind of trouble little Bart is going to get into! Personally I love the episode Bart vs the Space Mutants, which was also made into a great video game. Check it out!
I thank you for your comments about the Three Stooges, but I don’t think you have a real grasp of film and television history. Allow me to school you: Moving pictures with sound in them (also known as “talkers”) came about some time around the 50s and 60s. Actually the first television show to successfully broadcast sound was The Wonderful World of Walt Disney (the famous animator). Viewers who tuned in to see their favorite characters such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Baloo the Bear, and Felix Cat were stunned to find their favorite characters talking during the episode! It truly was a revolutionary time, and women weren't even allowed to vote yet. Funny how a cartoon mouse got a voice before the housewives of our time, eh!? Sorry if any women were offended by that BTW, I"m really a feminist at heart.
As for me using spell check, I hear that all too often from the editor of this very site, who thinks he can censor ME. Spell check is a crutch I neither need nor desire. I challenge anyone to find and point out any grammatical errors in ANY of my articles, and I NEVER use spell check. Looks like I just burned your butt down to China Town, buddy! And P.P.S. millions of people don’t love the 3 stooges, last time I checked that show was off the air 30 years ago.
Can you say Double burn.
Continue To Part 2