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100 best sitcoms of all time

  • #10. BoJack Horseman (2014–2020)

    - IMDb user rating: 8.7
    - IMDb user votes: 97,629
    - Stars: Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Aaron Paul

    “BoJack Horseman” tells the story of a washed-up TV actor of the equine variety who’s eager to reclaim his former glory. As he flounders around Hollywood, BoJack complains about everything under the sun, and battles all sorts of personal demons. In the process, the show itself holds up a harsh, albeit humorous, mirror to the entertainment industry.

  • #9. Arrested Development (2003– )

    - IMDb user rating: 8.7
    - IMDb user votes: 268,057
    - Stars: Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett

    In the wake of his father’s arrest, Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) finds himself tethered to his aloof, wealthy family in this wild comedy, which was canceled by Fox after three seasons, and then picked up by Netflix. In order to distinguish itself from standard sitcom fare, “Arrested Development” relies on a slew of stylistic devices, including voice-over narration by co-creator Ron Howard, time jumps, flashbacks, self-referential jokes, cutaways, and much more. Liza Minnelli delivers a reliably funny guest performance as family matriarch Lucille Bluth’s arch-rival (also named Lucille).

  • #8. South Park (1997– )

    - IMDb user rating: 8.7
    - IMDb user votes: 320,107
    - Stars: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes, Mona Marshall

    There’s no subject too sacred for this hit animated series, which takes place in the downright bonkers town of South Park, Colorado. Following the adventures of its four foul-mouthed protagonists—Cartman, Kyle, Stan, and Kenny—the show continues to deliver biting satire after 20 years. To think, it all began with a naughty Christmas card.  

  • #7. The Simpsons (1989– )

    - IMDb user rating: 8.7
    - IMDb user votes: 352,602
    - Stars: Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Harry Shearer, Julie Kavner

    Here’s a show so influential and comprehensive that “The Simpsons did it” endures as a popular meme—thanks to “South Park,” that is. Indeed, for its first nine seasons in particular, this animated Fox comedy skewered society, pushed boundaries, and basically reinvented television for the modern era. Meanwhile, the love and devotion between each member of Springfield’s Simpson family remains palpable, giving the show an earnest core. That this wildly inventive sitcom recently became the longest-running scripted series on primetime TV feels secondary to its previous cultural accomplishments.

  • #6. Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000)

    - IMDb user rating: 8.8
    - IMDb user votes: 124,504
    - Stars: Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, James Franco, Samm Levine

    The quintessential cult comedy, “Freaks and Geeks” aired for just one season before being canceled, subsequently earning itself an incredibly loyal fanbase. In the show, an intelligent girl and her younger brother navigate the complex world of high school with help from a group of outsiders. Even though a disproportionate number of cast members went on to enjoy wildly successful careers, at least a few of them wish the series would have lasted longer. In fact, Seth Rogen claims he once cornered a former NBC executive and took him to task over the premature cancellation.  

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  • #5. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005– )

    - IMDb user rating: 8.8
    - IMDb user votes: 182,155
    - Stars: Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney, Kaitlin Olson

    What began as an $85-spec pilot is now a bona fide comedy sensation. The show is “It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” about a group of sociopathic friends who try to run an Irish pub, but mostly just engage in a bunch of completely harebrained schemes. It first aired on FX, then moved to FXX in 2013.

  • #4. Seinfeld (1989–1998)

    - IMDb user rating: 8.8
    - IMDb user votes: 242,595
    - Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander

    Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, this iconic series upended the sitcom format at every turn, in part thanks to a strict “no hugging, no learning” policy. Chronicling the misadventures of four selfish New York friends, the show got off to a slow start, then launched into the ratings stratosphere during its fourth season. In the time since, the series hasn’t lost an ounce of its comedic luster, which helps explain why Hulu recently dropped more than $100 million for streaming rights. Along with “The Simpsons,” “Seinfeld” is arguably the most influential TV comedy of the modern era.

  • #3. The Office (2005–2013)

    - IMDb user rating: 8.9
    - IMDb user votes: 361,449
    - Stars: Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson

    The gold standard among mockumentary-style sitcoms, this NBC series adapted a Ricky Gervais comedy for American audiences, and struck a major chord in the process. While the everyday exploits of a paper company may not sound like the stuff of timeless comedy, a group of memorable characters and endless stream of guest actors made it work for nine seasons.  

  • #2. Friends (1994–2004)

    - IMDb user rating: 8.9
    - IMDb user votes: 766,079
    - Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc

    NBC’s “Friends”—about the exploits of six BFFs living in New York City—is about as close to perfect as a modern traditionally formulated sitcom can get. Carried by impeccable writing and an infectious cast, the series invokes extreme levels of viewer engagement. One might even suggest that the undivided loyalty between Rachel, Ross, Monica, Joey, Chandler, and Phoebe solidifies the bond between the show and its audience. Sealing the deal is an endless supply of brilliant gags.

  • #1. Rick and Morty (2013– )

    - IMDb user rating: 9.2
    - IMDb user votes: 341,216
    - Stars: Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer, Sarah Chalke

    The intergalactic misadventures of a boy named Morty and his alcoholic grandpa Rick continue to take the world by storm. Like its two intrepid explorers—or at least one of them—the show remains committed to pushing the boundaries of its own potential. As a result, viewers simply never know what they’re going to get with any given episode. They just know it’ll be wildly inventive, and laugh-out-loud funny.

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