Why We Need To Change Our Ranking Of The 20 Best US Sitcoms

Why We Need To Change Our Ranking Of The 20 Best US Sitcoms

Editor's note:

Since we published this last year we have to the realisation that we criminally overlooked HBO's absolutely brilliant sitcom VEEP. It most certainly deserves a place in our ranking but we're not sure where. For me it's top 5 but it's a top 5 that incredibly hard to separate. Where would you place it? Tweet us or comment on Facebook.

For no reason other than me wanting to do it, we've decided to finally put pen to paper and rank the best 20 US sitcoms of the last 25 years. Sure, America produces its fair amount of shit comedy television, like Two and a Half Men and The Minty Project, or whatever the hell it's called, but they've also given us some the funniest television moments ever.

Just take a look through this list. So many good shows, so little time.

20. Workaholics


19. That 70s Show


18. The King of Queens


17. How I Met Your Mother


16. New Girl


15. Arrested Development


14. Friends - Post Las Vegas



13. Modern Family

MODERN FAMILY - "Lifetime Supply" - After having a doctor's visit but then missing the call with the test results, Phil automatically jumps to conclusions and starts saying his goodbyes. Meanwhile Javier pops up unannounced again and takes Manny to the horse races for a belated birthday celebration, and a subtle competition ensues when Mitchell brings home an environmental law award and it becomes a game of who has the bigger trophy, on "Modern Family," WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4 (9:00-9:31 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/PETER "HOPPER" STONE) SARAH HYLAND, TY BURRELL, JULIE BOWEN, ARIEL WINTER, NOLAN GOULD

12. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air


11. Community



10. Curb Your Enthusiasm

9. Malcolm in the Middle

8. Parks and Recreation

7. 30 Rock

6. Scrubs

5. The US Office

The US Office was a game-changer for American sitcoms. For one thing, Michael Scott's nonsensical ramblings will likely be transcribed into some of the greatest scriptures of our era. From his irrational hatred of Toby - who was actually The Office's showrunner from seasons 5 through 7 - to reneging on offers to pay the college tuitions, Michael ran a ship full of some of the funniest supporting characters in sitcom history.

The writing was biblical, and the lack of laugh track somehow made you laugh harder. Oh, and Jim and Pam.


4. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Always Sunny built on the good work of Curb Your Enthusiam and took it a whole lot further in their inappropriate, foul-mouthed, completely politically incorrect work of brilliance.

Its intelligent explorations and jibes at modern societies' hang-ups is made all the more praiseworthy by the fact that it simultaneously manages to remain so slapstick stupid. Check it out on Netflix immediately.

3. Frasier

Hands up who loves nothing more than throwing on Channel 4 of a weekend morning to find out there's a double-bill of Frasier just starting?

It wasn't groundbreaking. It was built of the well known sitcom formula but its writing, its wit and its cast of characters sets it a class apart. In truth, no one would raise much objection of Frasier came in at number two or one in this list.

2. Seinfeld

Seinfeld's characters may have been larger than life but what made the show so great was its realism. When you examine Seinfeld more closely you'll find that it was literally about nothing but at the same time, about everything - about all the little things that make up life.

It was a Seinfeld stand-up routine in sitcom form, and it worked.

Not only that but in George Costanza it had probably the greatest character in US comedy TV history.

1. Friends Pre Las Vegas

I've done something very controversial here in splitting Friends up into two parts. Why did I do this? Because in my opinion, the seasons of the show before Chandler and Monica got serious and those seasons after are world's apart.

In truth, the latter half of Friends (as from Ross) was a pale comparison to its early days. If I had kept it together then there was no way it could rank at number one. The early seasons were just straight up comedy, without getting distracted by such nonsense like character development, 'Will they? Won't they?' romances, and bloody kids.

Is it my favourite ever? No but you have to acknowledge how it appealed to nearly everyone.

Mark Farrelly
Article written by
Cavan bureau chief. Former Miss World 1997 contestant.

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