Top Ten Comedy TV Shows Of The Decade

by The Comedy Nerds on December 14, 2009

Top Ten TV ShowsOn this week’s episode we reveal our top ten TV shows of the decade. Well, Dan reveals his list and Dustin disagrees with it for the most part. Oh yes, there will be a-fussin’ and a-fightin’ my friend, but don’t worry, it’s all in the name of finding the best comedy shows of the aughts (the zero’s? the naughts? We got like three weeks left people we really have to settle on what we’re calling this decade.) Where do your favorite shows fall? What little seen critical darling will Dan make a snobby elitist case for?

Plus, how did the writers of “Undressed” keep coming up with new ways to keep their characters in their underwear? Learn about possibly the best note ever written. And don’t miss Dan’s mind-blowing assertion that perhaps the internet was an important element to this decade.

And a quick programming note: Dan mentioned that there was a Japanese version of the “The Office”. There isn’t. He was wrong about that. (Yes, he knows there was an SNL sketch, but he thought that was based on a real thing.) There is a number of different versions, including a French and German version, so his point still stands.

Happy Decade of Comedy everyone!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Vagitor December 16, 2009 at 5:58 pm

The list was pretty good, but ‘How I Met Your Mother’ should have kicked Bernie Mac off (especially since it was on CBS! Seriously, has CBS ever done anything funny?). I like the Andy Richter call- I forgot about that show- it was awesome.
Also, please outline what the Chapelle Show did that was groundbreaking, I mean, with examples, ’cause all the really funny stuff I can recall like Rick James, Prince, and Lil’ Jon, was indeed terribly hilarious, but hardly groundbreaking (I am not saying there wasn’t stuff, but I don’t recall what it was).
Oh yeah, there was a little show that you might want to think about having had forgotten… what are those things that doctors and nurses wear? Oh yeah, WTF!

Brad December 16, 2009 at 8:03 pm

I agree though the office was not the first tv show of that it did bring the mocumentary type tv show to the main stream.

My Top 10 – No Particular Order

The Office
Flight of the Conchords (you jackass)
Human Giant
Reno 911
The Colbert Report
Chappelle Show
That 70s Show (I know it techniquely started in the 90s)
Malcolm in the Middle

Dan December 17, 2009 at 12:37 pm

There are two ways a show can be groundbreaking, either content or format. On the surface, Chappelle’s show was no different than any other sketch comedy show. But the content could be unbelievable. Race is a subject we tiptoe around so much in this country, so see it laid bare on TV the way they did was amazing. To think that the first episode featured the blind black KKK member sketch. Talk about throwing down the gauntlet. After seeing that, I was left to think about what if someone was racist, only to find out they were the race they hated, how would that psychologically manifest itself? I love sketch comedy, but it doesn’t usually open up philosophical debates. Like I said on the show, so often things are billed as “in your face” or “takes no prisoners”, like “Mind of Mencia” and it’s not true. It just makes lazy jokes about stereotypes we all know. Chappelle was the first show in a long time that really challenged its audience. Not to say you have to do that, Reno 911 was hilarious in exploring the casual racism of all its characters. But Chappelle went after some real ugly truths we might prefer to ignore. And even the Charlie Murphy stuff, as silly and light as it was, the way they presented it felt new and fresh. “This is a story Charlie told, we thought it was funny, so we wanted to act it out.” It just had a real anything goes feel, as opposed to the fake feel that a lot of others shows have. And on top of all of that, it was really funny! I mean, this was a show that could make me respect Wayne Brady! You can’t deny power like that.

Oh, and I was never a fan of Scrubs. It bugged me. (Sorry!)

Vagitor December 19, 2009 at 3:12 pm

The KKK sketch was good, but hardly groundbreaking. I’m sure you’ve seen “The Jerk” or “Hear No Evil, See No Evil” which made the same joke in equally good ways.

Lou December 21, 2009 at 9:28 am

Andy Richter Controls the Universe had one fatal flaw. That was Andy Richter. While he is a funny guy he doesn’t have the charisma to carry a show that was basically pre-family guy flashback jokes and not likable characters. I find that people who like that show REALLY like Andy for no particular reason and give him a lot of credit just for being himself. What are his credits? Cabin Boy? Sidekick? Random cameo? All hilarious…. ahem.

However, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has had 5 seasons of pretty awesome hilariousness. Sure, in its 5th season its getting beyond super crazy but its still solidly funny. At first I thought that Danny DeVito’s addition was going to be a negative but he’s proven to be some great on that show. Sure, it’s a “blue” show but they do it really really well. If you haven’t seen the Christmas Special, which is DVD only, see it. It’s Awesome. Your dismissal of it has earned you an enemy for life. LIFE!

Also, another reason 30 Rock is so great is that they put all these super below the radar jokes in the script that are ONLY for internet nerds like myself. When Buck Henry, co-creator of Get Smart, said “You can’t have a lemon party with out old dick!” I almost spit out my dinner. If you don’t know that reference then be glad. It’s gross.

Ian MacIntyre January 14, 2010 at 3:18 pm

The Venture Bros!? Thank you so much for shouting out that show. I honestly think it’s one of the funniest shows on TV today – live or animated.

Chappelle, isn’t it amazing how much this show has already been forgotten about?

PS. Only just discovered your site – great stuff.

Dan January 15, 2010 at 11:52 am

Thanks Ian! Always good to hear from a fellow Venture fan. Go Team Venture!

Mike Blejer February 1, 2010 at 10:10 am

Scrubs was good for the first three seasons, then it became a sloppy caricature of itself and the genuineness of the ending lessons became more cloying than funny.

I think as a general comedy rule, the easier it is to turn your characters into heroes (even relatable, flawed ones) the more it should be avoided. A villain who accidentally becomes a hero then has to figure out whether to continue being a villain or bask in society’s adulation? – Funny. A schlub who becomes a hero in spite of himself? – reasonably funny (and the plot to most Judd Apatow movies) A Doctor or fireman is depicted as callous and uncaring? – funny for a while, then creepy, then funny again. But a doctor who really saves people and cares and gets frustrated and is a worn out hero? ‘Tis a good episode of ER, but ’tis no comedy.

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