25 Hilarious TV Shows That Are Comedic Gold

The King of Queens

TV comedies run the gamut, from family and workplace sitcoms to hour-long shows that blend comedy with drama or mystery. Some shows are indisputable classics that show up on every “best-of” TV list, such as I Love Lucy, Seinfeld, Cheers, and Friends. Here are 25 TV comedies that deserve to be recognized just as much for being downright hilarious.

1. Everybody Loves Raymond (1996-2005)

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Image Credit: HBO Independent Productions.

Family sitcoms have always been a mainstay of comedy shows. But none are quite like the raucous Everybody Loves Raymond. The series follows Ray and Debra Barone, who live in Long Island, New York with their three children. They live across the street from Ray’s meddling, intrusive parents and morose older brother Robert.

This family has a lot of love, but it comes with a hefty dose of hilarious arguments and misunderstandings. The superb cast includes Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett, Doris Roberts, and Peter Boyle, all at the top of their games. And the writing brilliantly balances cutting and observational humor with heart. This exceptionally funny show won 15 Emmys and ran for nine seasons.

2. Will and Grace (1998-2005, 2017-2020)

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Image Credit: NBC Universal Television.

Will & Grace was a wild, laugh-out-loud comedy and a trailblazing series for the LGBTQ community. The series follows lawyer Will, a gay man, and interior designer Grace, a straight woman — two sweet but slightly neurotic best friends who live together and have an indelible bond. Jack is Will’s adorably over-the-top friend who dreams of superstardom. Karen is Grace’s boozy secretary with a tongue as sharp as knives.

Will & Grace was one of the first comedies to feature gay characters in lead roles and the series helped influence and shape cultural consciousness in progressive and positive ways. And it’s because the show was brilliantly witty, sharp, heartfelt, and exceptionally performed. The series stars Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, and Sean Hayes and won 18 Emmys.

3. Frasier (1993-2004)

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Image Credit: NBC.

While Cheers is considered one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, its spin-off Frasier is equally impressive and deserves as much recognition. Sometimes it’s lauded with praise, but not nearly enough. The series follows psychiatrist Frasier Crane who moves to Seattle to host a call-in radio show, his father Martin, who movies in with him, and his neurotic brother Niles. Rounding out the cast is Frasier’s brazen producer Roz and Martin’s live-in physical therapist Daphne.

Frasier is a fantastic example of a series whose quality only got better as it progressed. It was exceptionally written with clever, witty humor and banter, profound life lessons, and silly hijinks. Very few shows have runs as long and prolific. But it’s due in no small part to that writing and the phenomenal cast who imbue the series with its authenticity and utter hilarity. Frasier stars Kelsey Grammar, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, Peri Gilpin, and John Mahoney. It ran for twelve seasons and won 37 Emmys.

4. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977)

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Image Credit: MTM Enterprises.

Who can turn the world on with her smile? The answer is the lovely and inspiring Mary Tyler Moore, who created another iconic character who can sit alongside Laura Petrie as one of the best. The series follows sweet and spunky Mary Richards, who moves to Minneapolis after breaking off her engagement and becomes the WJM-TV 6 o’clock news associate producer. She fights to be taken seriously in the workplace and to balance her work and personal life, all with her infectious positivity. The series was sweet but also a riot.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show was a revolutionary, inspiring series that showcased women as independent forces of nature who can have whatever they want, be it love, a family, or successful careers, without sacrificing their sense of self and freedom. The series had seven seasons and won 29 Emmys.

5. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996)

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Image Credit: NBC Television.

Is there anyone who doesn’t know the iconic theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? This tune perfectly sets up the premise, relaying how energetic, funny, troublemaker Will from West Philadelphia is sent to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle in Bel-Air, California. Will’s effervescent personality charms his uptight family while they provide him with the affection and stability he’d been deprived of.

The series wasn’t shy about depicting social issues of race and injustice, and the episode where Will breaks down over his absent father and cries in his uncle’s arms is one of the most moving in history. But this list is about comedy. And The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a show with hilarious shenanigans and characters.

6. The Nanny (1993-1999)

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Image Credit: CBS Studios Inc.

Talk about another show with a memorable theme song. The Nanny is sweet-natured and endlessly amusing. The story follows vivacious Fran Fine, a woman with an outlandish style, an unmistakable voice, and a caring heart. She becomes the nanny for the three children of successful Broadway producer Maxwell Sheffield.

The series is like a modern-day Sound of Music. Fran brings life, laughter, and silliness into the Sheffield household, never denying her true self. The series was a laugh-a-minute delight with colorful costumes, memorable characters, heartfelt familial moments, and sizzling romantic chemistry between Fran and Maxwell.

7. Green Acres (1965-1971)

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Image Credit: Filmways.

Suppose you are looking for a classic show characterized by an undeniably goofy tone with side-splitting humor. In that case, Green Acres is the one for you. The story involves New York attorney Oliver Douglas who gives up city life to become a farmer in a small town. With his wife Lisa by his side, Oliver is constantly exasperated by his farm’s many problems and his eccentric neighbors. Green Acres is light and silly entertainment that can often cause tears from laughing too much.

8. Modern Family (2009-2020)

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Image Credit: ABC.

Modern Family is a series known for producing genuine belly laughs through its naturalistic and observational humor with an undeniably contemporary lens. The show is about three individual families that make up one big extended one. Patriarch Jay is married to much younger Gloria who is from Columbia, and he is stepfather to her son Manny. His daughter, uptight Claire, and her husband, the affable Phil, are parents to Hayley, Alex, and Luke. And Jay’s son Mitchell and his partner Cameron have an adopted daughter, Lily, from Vietnam.

Modern Family’s format is known as a “talking head” comedy where the characters talk directly to the camera in between the action of the episode. These moments often contradict what we see on screen, providing much of the humor. What makes Modern Family remarkable is that it reflects various dichotomies of the modern world but demonstrates that the love of family is timeless. Modern Family enjoyed 11 seasons and won 22 Emmys.

9. Home Improvement (1991-1999)

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Image Credit: Walt Disney Co.

Home Improvement is a madcap comedy that follows the accident-prone Tim Taylor, host of his own local access television show, Tool Time. His propensity for “more power” and carefree ways make for hilarious pratfalls and sight gags. But the laughs, and the show’s heart, also came from Tim’s family life and friendships. These include his levelheaded, understanding wife, Jill; three mischievous sons, Brad, Randy, and Mark; innocent and sweet co-host Al; and ever-wise neighbor, Wilson, whose face is amusingly never fully seen. Home Improvement had eight seasons and dominated the ratings in the 1990s.

10. Psych (2006-2014)

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Image Credit: USA Network Media, LLC.

Psych is a series that blends comedy, drama, and mystery. It follows Shawn Spencer, a man with keen observational skills that he pretends are psychic visions. With his best friend Gus, he opens up a private detective agency and the two help solve cases with the Santa Barbara Police Department. Psych may involve solving murders and leans into drama when it needs to, but the overall vibe is one of humor. And its hilarity and colorful characters are brought to life by a stellar cast.

11. The Middle (2009-2018)

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Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television.

The Middle follows the lower-middle-class Heck Family who live in the small town of Orson, Indiana doing their best to maintain their sanity in a sea of endless troubles. Frankie and Mike Heck work tirelessly to give their kids all they can but find life — and their children — sometimes exhausting. They yell and squabble, but the Hecks love each other.

Overall, The Middle is one the funniest and most relatable comedies because it shows the imperfections of life and the ways we squeeze any joy out of the smallest things. The Middle charmed audiences for nine seasons.

12. The Brady Bunch (1969-1974)

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Image Credit: Paramount Television.

The story of a lovely lady with three lovely girls and a man named Brady with three boys is known for being a corny show. This is a positive quality from my perspective. But The Brady Bunch is also hilarious and, at the time, was groundbreaking. Seeing a blended family on screen was a refreshing change of pace while the show maintained wholesome family values.

One thing rarely mentioned is how natural the performances felt, creating comedy that feels authentic, even if the situations were zany. This groovy family that sings, dances, has potato sack races and epic vacations always has a bunch of fun, heart, and laughter.

13. Reba (2001-2007)

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Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Television.

Reba is a show about the strength of a woman who keeps her family together and offers support and comfort even to those who may not deserve it. The story follows Reba Hart, a single mom dealing with keeping her kids happy and healthy, including her oldest, pregnant daughter Cheyenne and her high school boyfriend Van, impressionable daughter Kyra, and little son Jake.

Being a single, working mother is difficult enough. Still, Reba also must deal with the fact that her ex-husband Brock and his new wife Barbara-Jean are always around. And Barbara-Jean annoyingly wants to be best friends. Reba is a very underrated comedy that deserves more recognition for its hilarious hijinks. These characters are one of a kind and make for a joyful and ever-entertaining time.

14. Trophy Wife (2013-2014)

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Image Credit: ABC Studios.

Trophy Wife only ran for one season, but it earns a place on this list because it’s just plain funny. It features a very modern and refreshing look at family life, following a woman who marries a man with three kids and two ex-wives, all of whom co-exist in a supportive and friendly way. Because she’s younger, she has to learn the ropes of parenting and deal with judgmental people who underestimate her.

It’s a delightful show with an authentic tone and a terrific cast that includes Malin Akerman, Bradley Whitford, Bailee Madison, and Marcia Gay Harden.

15. Wings (1990-1997)

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Image Credit: Paramount Network Television.

Wings exists in the same universe as Cheers and Frasier and has the same comedic tone with a great ensemble cast. It follows Joe and Brian Hackett, two brothers who own a small airline on the island of Nantucket. The show revolves around the love and friendships amongst the quirky characters in the little airport, following the Cheers premise to a tee with plenty of humor and charm.

16. Coach (1989-1997)

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Image Credit: Universal Television.

Coach shares many things with other shows on this list. It’s an underrated sitcom with a successful long run that still flew under the radar. The series follows Hayden Fox, a university football coach whose every waking moment revolves around the sport, much to the frustration of Hayden’s girlfriend, Christine. Coach has a simple premise but was always a riot, thanks to its amazing cast.

17. New Girl (2011-2018)

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Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Television.

New Girl is a sweetly silly series following “adorkable” teacher Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel), who moves in with three guys after she discovers her boyfriend is unfaithful. This ends up being the best thing for her as Jess grows and finds true love and a family with her roommates. And each is hilarious and distinctive — the grumpy and tender-hearted Nick, pedantic Schmidt, and floundering Winston.

Along with the energetic Coach and beautiful Cece, this group of friends navigates the ups and downs of life, love, work, and family with heart, spirit, and side-splitting laughs. What makes New Girl shine through it all is Deschanel’s Jess, whose quirky, unabashedly optimistic, and sunny effervescence endlessly delights.

18. Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-Present)

From Seinfeld creator Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm is such a unique, hilarious series for one significant reason — the cast is immensely talented. Remarkably, each episode only has a basic outline and the actors use improvisation skills.

The show’s premise revolves around the day-to-day lives of a fictionalized version of Larry David, his wife, and friends in the entertainment business. His neurosis, sarcasm, and cynicism make Larry challenging to interact with, but the resulting comedy is top-tier.

19. The New Adventures of Old Christine (2006-2010)

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Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television.

When life brings you down, sometimes you must find humor to get yourself back up. That is the premise of this comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Clark Gregg, and Wanda Sykes. Christine is recently divorced and feels like her ex-husband traded her in for a new model, having married a much younger woman named Christine.

While trying to run a business with her best friend Barb, raise her son, and help out her lonely brother Matthew, the older Christine tries to start fresh. Her attempts to balance dating, parenting, and tolerating her ex make for a genuinely uproarious time. The show ran for five seasons, and Louis-Dreyfus won an Emmy for her role.

20. The Big Bang Theory (2007-2019)

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Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television Distribution.

One of the most popular and successful sitcoms ever showcased characters as we had never seen them before. While not universally beloved, those who did enjoy The Big Bang Theory loved it for its depiction of nerd culture with hilarious relatability and creative and distinctive characters who evolved throughout the series. It’s sweet, well-intentioned, and fun, with pop culture galore. The force is strong with this found family. The Big Bang Theory bolstered an impressive 12 seasons and won 10 Emmy Awards.

21. Fuller House (2016-2020)

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Image Credit: Netflix.

Fuller House is a spin-off of the classic sitcom Full House, featuring all the same characters. Except this time, the girls all move in together to help raise their respective children. After the death of DJ’s husband, sister Stephanie, and best friend Kimmy Gibbler (and her daughter), take up residence in the Tanner-Fuller residence to ease the weight of raising three young boys alone.

Fuller House is a natural extension of the original. Despite the similar premise, it doesn’t feel like a re-tread of what came before. Indeed, it creates its own brand of wholesome, heartfelt, and, yes, hilarious magic. With an extended cast that, after all these years, feels like a real family, Fuller House is refreshing in its portrayal of families who are unabashedly close and loving.

22. Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)

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Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television.

Wherever Lorelai and Rory Gilmore lead, we will follow. Truthfully, the series was both a comedy and drama and captured the hearts of many. Primarily set in the quirky fictional small town of Stars Hollow, this sweet hamlet is home to an array of oddball characters who give the show its offbeat humor. The main characters of mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory, grumpy but kind diner owner Luke, adorable chef Sookie, and conservative elites Richard and Emily give the show its more straightforward laughs, backbone, and heart.

There were dramatic moments and tears were shed, but it delivered when it leaned into its humor (which was most of the time). The magic of Gilmore Girls was its incredibly fast-paced, intelligent, and funny writing. It was filled with wit and pop culture references and brought to life with enthusiasm and charm by its impeccable cast.

23. Leave It to Beaver (1957-1963)

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Image Credit: CBS.

Leave It to Beaver is as wholesome as they come. The show is often ridiculed or made fun of for being saccharine or presenting unrealistic ideals, but this series is more down-to-earth and funnier than those who criticize it give it credit for.

The show revolves around brothers Wally and Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver and their childhood misadventures. They find themselves in trouble all the time but thankfully have their parents, Ward and June, who are firm, fair, and loving. Their hijinks and natural acting made for light-hearted and gentle comedy and genuinely laugh-out-loud moments. It may be sweet and somewhat idealized, but it is never inauthentic. Leave It to Beaver had six seasons and an astonishing 236 episodes.

24. The King of Queens (1998-2007)

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Image Credit: CBS Productions.

If we are talking about laugh-out-loud shows, The King of Queens is another that firmly stands in that category. Set in Queens, New York, the story follows a happily married couple, Doug and Carrie Heffernan, who live a modest life but are content. Their lives are turned upside down when Carrie’s eccentric father, Arthur, moves in, ever complicating their lives. The comedy balanced biting and sweet humor made all the funnier by the cast, which includes Kevin James, Leah Remini, and Jerry Stiller.

25. According to Jim (2001-2009)

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Image Credit: Touchstone Television.

According to Jim follows the traditional sitcom concept. An overly macho man navigates day-to-day life with his family, often getting into scrapes because of his ego. Not every sitcom has to be groundbreaking to leave an impression. A premise can be simple and still be funny and appealing. Such is the case with According to Jim, featuring a terrific cast that includes Jim Belushi, Courtney Thorne-Smith, and Kimberly Williams-Paisley.

Author: Marianne Paluso

Title: Writer

Expertise: Entertainment, Travel, Books

Bio:

Marianne Paluso is a freelance writer and artist and holds a Masters Degree in English and Children’s Literature from San Diego State University. Inspired by her favorite films, television, theme parks and all things pop culture and geek related, she especially loves Disney, classic films, fairy tales, period dramas, musicals, adventures, mysteries, and a good rom-com. She joined Wealth of Geeks in 2021, and has also contributed to The Nerd Machine, Catholic News Agency, Christianity Today, and The La Jolla Light. She writes on her own website TheGirlyNerd.com, creates art that is sold on Redbubble and Etsy, and also partakes in the occasional Disney bound, cosplay, and YouTube video. She resides in San Diego, California.