For whatever reason, many great TV comedies are regularly forgotten. Sadly, viewers miss out on hours of laughs. Our goal today is to highlight some of these. Specifically, the ALL-TIME 10 MOST UNDERRATED COMEDY SHOWS
10. I’m With Busey (2003)
Less funny than hilariously cringeworthy, I’m with Busey was a “reality show” where Adam de la Pena would follow Gary Busey around throughout his freaking crazy daily life. Episodes included Busey buying electronics and playing “Name that Smell.” You think I’m kidding…Youtube it.
9. The Ben Stiller Show (1992-1993)
A sketch comedy show somewhat similar to Chappelle’s Show, The Ben Stiller Show helped showcase young talents like Andy Dick (ok, talent might be a stretch), Janeane Garofalo, Bob Odenkirk, Judd Apatow, and Stiller himself. While the show wanes towards the end of its run, “Cape Munster” is an early standout.
8. NewsRadio (1995-1999)
This one kind of got lost in the shuffle that was 1990’s NBC sitcoms (Seinfeld, Frasier, Friends, Mad About You). Nonetheless, it was an outstanding show while Phil Hartman was a cast member. Afterwards, the quality tended to drop a bit.
7. Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn (2002-2004)
Tough Crowd was a late night talk show in which various comedians would discuss contemporary events. Kind of like The Daily Show, but with more of an attitude and less censorship. The comedians were often ripping on each other, which was usually the best part of the show.
6. Dream On (1990-1996)
A raunchy, hilarious sitcom that only could have aired on HBO…no seriously! The show’s premise is still unique today, with clips of old movies and tv shows interspersed for effect at comedic moments. A standout episode is “Oral Sex, Lies and Videotape,” a season premiere, guest starring James Woods and Jason Alexander.
5. Spin City (1996-2002)
Spin City is divided into the Michael J. Fox years and the Charlie Sheen tenure. Both runs were great tv, but the Fox seasons were slightly better. What really made this one hum was the amazingly funny supporting cast. Spin City earned a lot of praise during its run, but is not remember quite as vividly as some its other sitcom peers.
4. SCTV (1976-1984)
Saturday Night Live’s quirky cousin to the north, SCTV launched the careers of John Candy, Rick Moranis, Eugene Levy, and Martin Short…just to name a few. During many seasons, it was even superior to SNL, yet is too often forgotten today.
3. Coach (1989-1997)
Coach had an amazing 9 season run, but is largely forgotten as many ABC sitcoms seem to be…for whatever reason. The trio of Craig T. Nelson, Jerry Van Dyke, and Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick the starfish for those under 30) was phenomenal. I’d still love to know how many students applied to Minnesota State in 1990.
2. Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (1988-1999)
Part comedy, part geek-fest, MST-3000 changed the way everyone watched crappy movies forever. What I wouldn’t give to let Joel and his robot brethren take on the Twilight films…or anything starring Nicolas Cage post-2002.
1. The Larry Sanders Show (1992-1998)
The show’s fingerprints are everywhere to be found in contemporary TV. From The Office to Parks & Recreation, The Larry Sanders Show did it first…and did it better. Shandling was perfect as an insecure, neurotic talk show host always on the brink of losing control of his show . Rip Torn was tremendous as Larry’s foul-mouthed producer, Artie. It was Jeffery Tambor though, as sidekick Hank Kingsley, who truly stole the show. Every time I go to LA, I still call ahead for a table at Hank’s Look Around Cafe. Unfortunately for the show, like Dream On and Tales From the Crypt (not a comedy BTW), it is largely forgotten as HBO sold syndication rights. Thus, they can’t pump out reruns on HBO 2 like they do for The Sopranos. If you haven’t seen the show, you really owe it to yourself to check it out.
Tomorrow, the ALL-TIME BEST 10 MUSICIANS-TURNED-ACTORS