This category is so far out of my wheelhouse that I considered just nominating Mama\’s Family and ceding the floor. However, I do have a serious nomination: The Simpsons. Granted, I haven\’t watched a new episode in at least five years, but Homer Simpson deserves to be in the conversation for \’funniest character ever\’, and I\’ll put seasons 3 through 10 up against all comers. And it\’s still on the air, so it fits the criteria. Now I\’ll cede the floor to two people who actually watch television.
The best comedy show on TV right now is clearly Comedy Central\’s \”The Daily Show\”. No other show on TV can make you laugh, think, be outraged, and motivate over 200,000 people to show up for an outdoor event at the Washington DC Mall. But don\’t take my word for it. Awards: Emmys for Best Variety, Music or Comedy Series – 8 years running, 2 Peabody Awards, one of Time Magazine\’s Top 100 TV Shows of All-Time. Viewership: in October of 2010 The Daily Show bested Letterman and Leno with 1.3 million viewers in 18-49 demographic, the first time a show besides Leno or Letterman has ever topped that list. Longevity: 14 years (12 under Jon Stewart). Material: nothing is funnier than real life… and Fox News anchors. Hands down… The Daily Show.
This was a hard decision, as there are any number of shows on my DVR that make me laugh out loud right now. The Soup, The Daily Show, Big Bang Theory, Parks and Recreation, and Modern Family have all become regulars, and each in a unique way. However, the best of the bunch is NBC\’s 30 Rock. The writing is brilliant– like the now defunct Arrested Development, it aims high instead of at the lowest-common denominator. While this means the show will never have the audience of a (cough, cough) Two and a Half Men, it ensures that people who like a little intelligence with their humor are entertained. But it\’s not heady stuff at all– Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) being tormented by a plastic grocery bag (featuring, apparently, genitalia), Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) asking for a cup of sugar to entice a hummingbird to drink out of his penis, Dr. Leo Spacemen (brilliantly played by Chris Parnell) saying things like \”Now this is surgery, so don\’t eat anything before you come in. Because I\’ll have a big breakfast waiting for you…\” It\’s brainy irreverence, executed perfectly. Go see it.