Monday, April 27, 2009

The Best Comedy on Television

Last time, I shared with you my choice for best drama on television. Now it is time to reveal the best comedy (among the ones I watch) on TV. The candidates: King of the Hill, The Simpsons, Scrubs, My Name is Earl, The Office, 30 Rock, Best Week Ever, Entourage, and Everybody Hates Chris.

The winner is The Office. But the competition is tight. So much so, that I’ve decided to say a few words about each of the shows:

The Office: Boss Michael Scott, both buffoonish and brilliant, keeps me cracking up and cringing (often at the same time). Indeed everyone at Dunder Mifflin has their eccentricities and personality quirks. Yet the goals they pursue and the problems they face are relatable. The workplace interactions among these office colleagues (and often rivals) are consistently hilarious. Strong writing has kept the storylines interesting through five seasons now. My Dwight Schrute bobblehead is nodding in agreement.

30 Rock: I didn’t like this show at first, but now it is among my favorites. The humor is quick and sharp. Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin are comedy geniuses. Kenneth the Page is one of the funniest characters on TV.

Everybody Hates Chris: Easy to overlook because of its Friday night time slot, this show is one of the best comedies going today. I love Chris Rock’s narration and the contrasting yet complimentary personalities of the parents (Terry Crews and Tichina Arnold). There have been some great episodes this season as Chris faces “older” teenage issues.

The Simpsons: Debuting in the Bush administration (the first Bush administration), this is one of the greatest comedies of all time. The show is not as strong today as it was in the early 1990s, but Springfield remains a very funny place.

King of the Hill: Another animated legend. Now in its final season, Hank and company show that there is still much humor to be found in propane, drinking beer, and a boy who just “ain’t right.”

Scrubs: Perhaps the best comedy on TV in its early years. Fell into a couple of so-so seasons, before regaining its punch this year. Janitor rules. Wonder if we will ever learn his name.

My Name is Earl: Another show that started strong (it too was once my favorite), then lost momentum, and now is back on track.

Entourage: Comedy, thy name is drama. Johnny Drama.

Best Week Ever: I like the new format with Paul F. Tompkins as host, though the show is hit or miss with its pop culture commentaries. And why is it so rare for an actual person to have the best week ever?

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