Comedy is a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humour. These films are designed to make the audience laugh through amusement and most often work by exaggerating characteristics for humorous effect.
If you’re a die-hard fan of comedy TV shows, check below some of the best comedy series that you should be watching right now.
Donald Glover is a modern Renaissance man: Since launching a comedy career via skits circulated on YouTube, he has since branched into rapping, acting, and even showrunning, with the remarkable, surreal comedy-drama Atlanta. The show follows a dogged college dropout named Earn (Glover), who sleeps at his on/off again girlfriend’s place and struggles to provide for their child. When he learns that his cousin Alfred is starting to achieve success as a rapper — stage name: Paper Boi — Earn becomes his manager. There is not much of an overarching plot to Atlanta. Most episodes play out like short films, and the show experiments with a variety of stories and formats — one standout episode is presented entirely as an episode of a local interview show, complete with fake commercials. Daring and frequently poignant, Atlanta is one of the most exciting shows on TV today.
2. Better Things
The age of the subversive sitcom continues with Better Things, a dark, caustic comedy about growing older and raising kids. The show follows Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon), a struggling actress raising three kids by herself in Los Angeles. Sam juggles her attempts to advance her career and have fun with her responsibility to her daughters, each of whom presents their own unique difficulties. Adlon and co-creator Louis C.K. previously worked on the surreal comedy-drama Louie, and Better Things shows a similar mean streak, narrowing in on the grimy, depressing aspects of parenthood that other sitcoms gloss over.
3. The Last Man on Earth
Most people probably don’t consider the end of the world to be a hilarious scenario; thankfully, the creators of The Last Man on Earth were not deterred. The show finds humor in the apocalypse, following a man named Phil Miller (Will Forte), who wanders the ghost town of Tuscon after a viral outbreak destroys civilization. He eventually finds a companion, Carol Pilbasian (Kristen Schaal), but their personality quirks make life together problematic, to say the least. The Last Man on Earth is a strange show, and also a sharply written one, rendering it the kind of ambitious sitcom that only rarely comes along.
4. Key & Peele
Great sketch shows have been in short supply for a while now, which makes it all the easier to appreciate the short but brilliant life of Key & Peele. Starring by former MADtv members Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, the show is an adventurous collection of sketches that blend absurdist humor and social commentary. See, for example, a skit in which white news anchors complain about the dangers of “black ice” on the streets at night, to the indignation of their black colleagues. Not every sketch is political, however; sometimes they just freak out about the latest Liam Neeson film. Both hosts bring a manic energy, and throw themselves fully into a variety of roles.
5. Man Seeking Woman
Following a breakup with his long-term girlfriend, Josh Greenberg (Jay Baruchel) needs to rebound … badly. Man Seeking Woman chronicles his adventures in dating, which involve, among other things, dating a troll, attending a wedding in Hell, and fiddling with the space-time continuum in an attempt to fix relationship mistakes. The show explores common aspects of life and dating through surreal scenes; an episode where Josh is tempted to cheat on a current girlfriend, for example, finds him taking a trip to “boyfriend court” in his mind. The show’s absurdist sense of humor at times makes it seem like a live-action cartoon, but the tone is balanced out by nuanced characters and some great performances. Baruchel is excellent as the somewhat charming, sometimes petulant Josh, and other characters — such as Josh’s best friend, Mike (Eric Andre), and sister, Liz (Britt Lower) — add memorable performances of their own.
6. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
What South Park is the late-night animation, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is to sitcoms. Rob McElhenney, Glen Howerton, and Charlie Day — who also created and write the show — star as three best friends who kind of hate each other, while Kaitlin Olsen and Danny Devito round out the cast as the infamous Dee and Frank. The group often find itself in some of most absurd situations as the members push into the uncharted and irreverent comedic territory for which the show is well known, usually as a result of their own botched schemes.
Community has seen its fair share of ups and downs while on NBC but this Dan Harmon comedy is one of the funniest shows on TV — its first three seasons were, at least. The show centers around a group of newly acquainted friends who attend a blunder of a community college. Joel McHale, Chevy Chase, and Donald Glover headline this hilarious show while Jim Rash’s turn as the dean is as funny as any character on TV. It’s no longer on the airwaves, but Yahoo recently picked up the show for an online-only sixth season.
8. Parks and Recreation
Fans of NBC’s other workplace comedy, The Office, will no doubt see some similarities in Parks and Recreation. Amy Poehler heads a hilarious cast comprised of comedian Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, and Chris Pratt. The show follows this cast of characters as they run a local parks and recreation department in the small town of Pawnee, Indiana. The writing and comedic timing is superb as Parks is a bonafide hit and features some of modern television’s most memorable characters, such as the meat-loving Ron Swanson.
9. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Parks and Recreation creators Michael Schur and Dan Goor struck comedy gold yet again with their action comedy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Andy Samberg stars in the show, which focuses on a fictional police department precinct in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Andre Braugher plays the yin to Andy Samberg’s yang, providing dry, yet hilariously timed humor during each episode. In just its first season, Brooklyn Nine-Nine took home two Golden Globe trophies.
10. Broad City
Ilana and her best friend Abbi are two 29-something women, living in New York. Abbi is a struggling artist, working at a fitness center while she attempts to get her career off the ground. Ilana, on the other hand, does everything in her power to avoid working, and instead pursues all manner of pleasurable distractions, including sexual escapes and consuming large amounts of marijuana. The two are often pulled into crazy scenarios, frequently as a consequence of one of Ilana’s ill-conceived plots. Broad City has received high praise from critics due to its clever writing and subtle-yet-effective message of female empowerment.