Make Me Laugh
January 11, 2011 7:44 PM   Subscribe

I love tv shows like Arrested Development and Community. What other comedy tv shows can you recommend for me?

Other shows I really enjoyed watching were:

- Scrubs
- Weeds (seasons 1 and 2)
- Veronica Mars
- Glee (sometimes I find myself just fast forwarding to the singing/dancing parts though)
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (eh. It's not something I can watch back-to-back. It becomes boring, I'm not sure why)
- Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog

My winter break is quickly coming to a close and I'd like to couch-potato-it-up as much as possible before I can no longer do so.

I have a strong preference for more recent shows, witty banter, and if possible, shorter episodes. I'm currently watching Community and I love that each episode is less than 30 minutes. Also, I tend to like more of the bonding/friendship shows rather than shows that focus heavily on romance (in other words, no Gilmore Girls).
posted by bluelight to Media & Arts (66 answers total) 94 users marked this as a favorite
30 Rock
posted by whoaali at 7:48 PM on January 11, 2011 [7 favorites]

How I Met Your Mother
Firefly (not so recent, but great banter) not really comedy, but check it out anyway
posted by p1nkdaisy at 7:48 PM on January 11, 2011 [5 favorites]

Party Down, definitely.
It's longer (45 minute episodes), and it focuses some on romance and is sort of embarrassing to recommend, but Greek is surprisingly good (so much so that I've been spending the tail end of my own winter break watching all of it, and I'm a TV snob). It's sort of a Veronica Mars/Freaks and Geeks hybrid with a little Animal House and Popular thrown in.
posted by oinopaponton at 7:49 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Parks & Recreation
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 7:49 PM on January 11, 2011 [5 favorites]

Better Off Ted is absolutely fantastic, the best comedy I've watched in YEARS. I highly recommend it, and while I'm not a fan of Community or AD, many people have said that Better Off Ted is in a similar vein.
posted by shabaabk at 7:50 PM on January 11, 2011 [7 favorites]

Peep Show!
posted by Nightman at 7:51 PM on January 11, 2011 [9 favorites]

We have similar tastes, and 30 Rock and P&R are great recs. Also, I just started Modern Family the other night, and it's fantastic so far.
posted by SuperNova at 7:51 PM on January 11, 2011 [4 favorites]

posted by scarykarrey at 7:55 PM on January 11, 2011 [3 favorites]

I've finally gotten around to the Larry Sanders show and it is indeed as good as I always suspected it was.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:55 PM on January 11, 2011 [4 favorites]

Archer is excellent, but uses off-color humor much more heavily than any of the shows you've listed. But if it's your brand of humor it will be like crack. Give the first episode a shot (only 22 minutes) and you'll know almost immediately whether it's for you. It has several Arrested Development actors.

Better off Ted is also one of the best comedies around, although it only made it 2 seasons so brace yourself for the heartache now.
posted by lilac girl at 7:57 PM on January 11, 2011 [6 favorites]

I have similar tastes as well. +1 on Modern Family, it's a riot and not dissimilar to Arrested Development. You might try IT Crowd and Black Books (BBC shows) as well. Maybe Dead Like Me if you like morbid humor?

scarykarrey--Spaced crossed my mind as well, but it just wasn't really funny to me, unlike IT Crowd and Black Books. It's not bad though.
posted by parkerjackson at 7:58 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Nthing Peep Show - it's one of the best shows of the past decade -, and Party Down.
Also, in a Larry Sanders vein, The Newsroom.
posted by Flashman at 7:59 PM on January 11, 2011

The Inbetweeners! It's a British comedy about a group of high school friends that are neither popular nor the school nerds (though they are pretty geeky). It's only three seasons with six episodes per season so you can breeze through it. My girlfriend and I watched it all in a weekend and loved it.
posted by havemercy at 8:00 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm surprised to find myself enjoying The New Adventures of Old Christine, I'd say it's worth a try.
posted by lemniskate at 8:00 PM on January 11, 2011

and Nthing Peep Show!
posted by havemercy at 8:00 PM on January 11, 2011

The Office, on either side of the pond.
posted by andrewcilento at 8:03 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

See, I figured that the self-awareness and self-referential quality of Community might translate well to a love of Spaced. I'd suggest Buffy for sorta the same reason, although the OP probably doesn't have enough time left in their winter break to bust through all seven seasons.
posted by scarykarrey at 8:04 PM on January 11, 2011

Peep Show cannot be suggested enough.
posted by Lobster Garden at 8:05 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Most of our must-watch list has already been recommended, leaving only The League.
posted by emilyd22222 at 8:12 PM on January 11, 2011

Spaced is a gem. It has a unique visual style that adds to the comedy. Definitely give it a try, both seasons are on Hulu.
posted by malapropist at 8:12 PM on January 11, 2011

Flight of the Conchords is fantastic and only made 2 seasons so you could totally get through those. little musical numbers throughout the show = perfect.
posted by andreapandrea at 8:15 PM on January 11, 2011 [8 favorites]

Undeclared, Spaced, How I Met Your Mother (despite the romance)
posted by synecdoche at 8:21 PM on January 11, 2011


Also, nthing:
The Office (start with UK)
30 Rock
Better Off Ted
Flight of the Conchords
posted by aloysius on the mixing boards at 8:23 PM on January 11, 2011

+1 for Flight of the Conchords, 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother (though the past season was a bit of a wash, it had great earlier episodes and is regaining some of its lost steam), and Modern Family. And I cannot plug Parks & Recreation enough. Zany, smart, hilarious. Big Bang Theory is pretty excellent as well, although it doesn't take as well to the same kind of analysis as the other shows. Just watch those ones, laugh, and don't look back.
posted by hepta at 8:23 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Curb your Enthusiasm
posted by wherever, whatever at 8:28 PM on January 11, 2011 [3 favorites]

The original British Shameless. Start with the first season.
posted by Jode at 8:35 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

The season has now been cancelled, but if you want to watch the episodes they made, you can try Running Wilde. It's by the executive producer of Arrested Development, Mitchell Hurwitz, a co-executive producer of Arrested Development, James Vallely, and an actor from Arrested Development, Will Arnett.

The show isn't the best thing on TV, but if you're in the mood for light and silly and fluffy, it's worth a couple of episodes. It's about a rich, partying playboy and his former highschool girlfriend, now an enviromental activist, and how they both try to change each other. The story is told by the activist's young daughter. Other characters include his neighbour who is always trying to compete with the playboy, and two of the playboy's staff members.
posted by sardonyx at 8:36 PM on January 11, 2011

Freaks and Geeks!!
posted by arveale at 8:36 PM on January 11, 2011 [8 favorites]

I agree wholeheartedly with almost all of the suggestions made so far, and would also like to suggest 1) Black Books and 2) Gavin and Stacey. Neither is a top favorite of mine (those have all been mentioned above), but I did find them enjoyable and funny and think they're roughly what you're looking for.

Also, a note of caution: I adore Peep Show and agree that it's one of the best shows ever. However, its brand of humor is a good bit rougher around the edges than your examples or the other similar shows being suggested. I somehow overlooked this and suggested it to my parents, who loved 30 Rock, Arrested Development, The Office, Community, Parks and Rec, Flight of the Conchords, Better Off Ted, and Modern Family. They were horrified at the level of obscenity, profanity, and general vulgarity. Oops.
posted by ootandaboot at 8:39 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Nirvana The Band The Show
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 8:41 PM on January 11, 2011

For my money, Modern Family is the funniest show on TV right now. Second place is 30 Rock.
posted by Gilbert at 8:46 PM on January 11, 2011 [6 favorites]

I've found Community to be a good companion show to The Office. If you're American, you should go with the US version, as it's much more accessible to our less sophisticated sense of humor. Start with the beginning, as it's so character-based, and there are running arcs that reward long-term viewing.

Undeclared got a mention or two, and I'd add a recommendation there. That only lasted a season.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 8:57 PM on January 11, 2011


This is bout the millionth time I've recommended this on Ask Mefi but I can't help it, It's so freaking funny. Seconding the InBetweeners too.
posted by Wantok at 9:08 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Summer Heights High is a short, Australian series, and very, very funny.
posted by quadrilaterals at 9:09 PM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

Not on the air anymore, but The Comeback starring Lisa Kudrow was brilliant - painfully funny.
posted by Mchelly at 9:14 PM on January 11, 2011

Definitely Peep Show.
posted by dhammond at 9:29 PM on January 11, 2011

Modern Family - best on at the moment.
posted by lundman at 9:43 PM on January 11, 2011

Definitely Parks and Rec and Modern Family! I like them even better than Community.
posted by apricot at 10:16 PM on January 11, 2011

+1 for The League and Archer.
posted by ThatSomething at 10:29 PM on January 11, 2011

We have very similar tastes (though I haven't seen Scrubs), so I'll just list some of the comedy shows I've enjoyed a lot lately: Party Down (which I can pretty much guarantee you'll like), Eastbound and Down, I'm Alan Partridge, Louie, The Mighty Boosh, The Trip.

Don't care much for the american Office, Parks & Rec, Modern Family.
posted by muta at 10:30 PM on January 11, 2011

FWIW, Parks & Rec starts off slow but you'll grow to love it, so give it a good few episodes.

+++2 Archer. Dirty and the best.
posted by timoni at 10:37 PM on January 11, 2011

Psych is great, funny and steers almost completely clear of romance and most personal drama altogether.
posted by ODiV at 10:58 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

+1 Summer Heights High... it blew me away.
posted by razzamatazm at 11:00 PM on January 11, 2011

Andy Richter Controls The Universe!! It's another show that Fox let die, and I'd put it right up there at #2 or #3, right after AD. It's also happens to be from the same team that created Better Off Ted. They're so similar, in fact, that I could never get in to Better Off Ted because it always seems like the "wrong" cast is doing the Andy Richter show. (That's not a bad thing, it just always makes me want to watch ARCYU. Which I think I'm going to right now!)
posted by Room 641-A at 12:23 AM on January 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oops, posted instead of previewed. Also check out That Mitchell and Webb Look. Season one is available on Hulu and Netflix streaming, and there's tons of later stuff on YouTube. It's sketch comedy, but as smart and funny as anything out there.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:30 AM on January 12, 2011

30 minute sitcoms:
Party Down
Better Off Ted

That Mitchell and Webb Look, and all other Mitchell and Webb
A Bit of Fry and Laurie (a touch old, but still awesome)
Big Train

In the Veronica Mars vein:

Terriers was, hands down, the best show of 2010. Buddy cop (actually, private detective) with excellent banter and very strong writing.

You seem to like whimsy, so Pushing Daisies might appeal.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:06 AM on January 12, 2011

The Middle Man is a funny action series.
posted by Kattullus at 4:05 AM on January 12, 2011

I like Louie. You can watch the entire first season on Hulu. Louis C.K. stars, and the show has made me a fan of him and I want to check out some of his standup.
posted by shortyJBot at 4:16 AM on January 12, 2011

Pete Versus Life -- much better than its episode summaries might suggest.
posted by sleepcrime at 5:02 AM on January 12, 2011

British oldies but goodies:
The Young Ones
Absolutely Fabulous
posted by wherever, whatever at 5:22 AM on January 12, 2011

The Newsroom - criminally underrated Canadian sitcom, much like CYE -- the brainstorm/acid trip of Ken Finkleman, Extra good if you do,or ever have worked in broadcasting.
posted by timsteil at 6:53 AM on January 12, 2011

Green Wing.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:04 AM on January 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Pushing Daisies, News Radio (both available on Netflix on demand)
posted by electroboy at 7:10 AM on January 12, 2011

nthing Better off Dead and would add Bored to Death
posted by teriyaki_tornado at 7:39 AM on January 12, 2011

NewsRadio (which electroboy recommended) is probably Community's closest analogue in terms of absurd premise drawn to absurd conclusions. All of the Phil Hartman episodes (the first four seasons) are all available on Hulu.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:22 AM on January 12, 2011

Raising Hope started off a little shaky, but has definitely had some laugh-out-loud moments. ("Quit procrasurbating!")
posted by kidsleepy at 8:33 AM on January 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Big +1 for Undeclared, especially if you like Freaks and Geeks.
posted by clavicle at 8:39 AM on January 12, 2011

Seconding Psych, my friend and I have been blazing through a couple episodes a night for the last couple weeks and it's pretty consistently excellent and hilarious.
posted by Errant at 10:36 AM on January 12, 2011

@parkerjackson - funny, I love Arrested Development and Spaced but don't think IT Crowd or Black Books are all that humorous.

Better Off Ted - I think I might miss this more than AD
Bored to Death
Party Down
The (original) Office and Extras
Parks and Rec!

If you are going to bother with the US version of The Office, just stop at the end of Season 3 and let your mind go with the possibilities. Everything that has happened since then has been a major disappointment (alas, I can't stop watching due to Steve Carell).
posted by getawaysticks at 1:11 PM on January 12, 2011

I'm surprised no one has said to try Cougar Town. It has nothing to do with its title anymore, it's just seven silly people doing ridiculous things, with very sharp writing and great character consistency.
posted by kostia at 7:50 PM on January 12, 2011

NewsRadio was very good, although when I got the DVD a few years back, the laughtrack was kind of jarring, as it's used less often nowadays. It certainly has a zaniness and banter factor, but I don't remember it regularly having that "crazy surrogate family" feel, outside of a few episodes. Maybe I just need to go watch the show again.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 1:24 AM on January 13, 2011

Nthing The IT Crowd. Short episodes, plus you don't need to be a nerd to understand the humor (but it sometimes helps).

I'm disabled!
posted by aheckler at 3:18 AM on January 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Amazed to not see "The Big Bang Theory" mentioned yet. You don't have to be a nerd to enjoy it - but it does add to the enjoyment :)
posted by busybee at 1:03 PM on January 13, 2011

Seconding Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Larry Sanders Show
posted by cherrybounce at 7:54 PM on January 13, 2011

Can't believe I forgot to mention Trailer Park Boys.
posted by wherever, whatever at 11:46 PM on January 13, 2011

I agree with Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Larry Sanders Show, Psych, and the first three or maybe four seasons of The Office (U.S. version). I've watched each of those shows all the way through twice, and many episodes are just as enjoyable the second time.

I am very surprised to be the first to suggest Sports Night (1998). Created and written by the very good, and now very famous Aaron Sorkin, it's got terrific witty repartee. It's about the team of individuals that puts on a nightly sports show, but I, a non-sports fan, love it. It's sort of like News Radio, but not broad and dumb. It's the best neglected show I can think of. Only two seasons.
posted by Ellemeno at 5:29 AM on February 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

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