Determining the funniest TV shows of all time is a difficult task and one that should probably be qualified before we approach it. Keep in mind that I haven’t seen every TV show, and I also bear a bias towards older, dated TV shows which will not make this list simply because I don’t find them to be funny. With that out of the way, let’s tackle this list.
6. Kids in the Hall
Unlike it’s American cousin SNL (which is contrived, repetitive, derivative, lazy and usually quite unfunny), this Lorne Michaels produced Canadian comedy troupe from the mid 90’s, was wildly original, hilarious, varied, and so bizarre you will never feel like you’re watching something rehashed. The 5-man troupe could play any character they could imagine. Their satirical portrayals of the workplace and serious adults are forever memorable.
5. The Sopranos
Yes, the sopranos. The dark mob drama that we named #1 as our best TV show of all time is also one of the funniest TV shows ever. The show can be praised for its abyss black dark gallows humor, insightful comedy about depression and as a satire of modern America. Christopher Moltisante is one of the funniest and compelling characters in a television show ever. Given the fact this this show is also the best drama of all time, its humor is a feat to not be understated.
4. Yes, Minister/ Yes, Prime Minister
If you don’t like in the UK (or to a lesser extent Canada), you very likely haven’t heard of this political satire from the 1980s in England. It’s tackled like a three man play: the minister, his representative in the social service, and another bureaucrat. Given it’s age, you might think it comes off as dated, but many have pointed out that good political satire doesn’t have a shelf life. Politics sadly never change, but this show is hillarious.
3. Klovn aka “Clown”
Klovn is a Danish comedy show that also placed #10 on our greatest TV shows of all time. This is, sadly, the only foreign language show that made the list. This demonstrates the limitations of lists such as this one. I really haven’t seen that many foreign shows. However, I have seen a number of Danish TV shows, as they’ve seen something of a Renaissance in the West – through streaming services like Netflix. Shows such as The Killing, Borgen, Broen and Dicte are all quite good and deserve a fair amount of praise, but none of even near good enough to make this list. There is, however, one Danish program that is virtually unknown in the the English speaking world. In fact, it’s quite hard to find with subtitles. It’s called Klovn or “Clown” and it is one of the funniest shows ever made. At first glance, it’s clearly an imitation of the HBO show “Curb your Enthusiasm”, but it’s funnier, darker and gets away with stuff you would never see on television in Canada. If you can’t find the show, we would recommend the 1st movie, “Klown”, which you can rent with subtitles (don’t rent the film Klown Forever as it’s not very good).
2. The office UK
Also featured in our greatest TV shows of all time compilation. The UK version of the Office is far better than its American counterpart the British version of the Office is close to the finest comedy series of all time. It is so utterly dark.
1. The Simpsons
Quite simply the best comedy show of all time with one caveat. It’s been mostly terrible for almost 2 decades. Seasons 2 to 6 are the best TV comedy of all time. But the show continued on into mediocrity and then eventually grew mostly terrible. That being said, I simply cannot fathom a show placing higher on this list based upon the strength of the early seasons. The writing, the acting, the animation, the characterization all make this show an eternal classic. While some of the celebrity guests are a bit dated, the comedy will live on forever.