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The Best Comedies of 2011: 10-6

December 15th, 2011 by Hulu Blog

We’re a little afraid of this list. We’ve been talking a lot about TGIF recently and whether that could happen again, sort of like how historians wonder if a comet will hit Earth sometime in our lifetime and how we might survive it. We’re worried there’s going to be a “Just The Ten of Us” in here that we don’t yet know about.

But we doubt it. We really like this list and the shows on it. It took some arguing. Only some of us are friends now. But here’s 10-6 of our Top 10 Comedies of 2011. We hope this list proves more valuable than our editorial staff’s friendships—specifically where “The League” is positioned—because those friendships may no longer exist.—Ed.

(The five best comedies of 2011 will be revealed on Hulu’s homepage each weekday of next week.)

10 – South Park

2011 was a great year for animation fans.  Futurama delivered a strong season of math jokes that made me wish I had paid closer attention in high school, Ugly Americans found hilarious new ways to torture eternal do-gooder Mark Lilly, and newcomer Bob’s Burgers introduced me to Louise, who has easily become one of my favorite animated characters of all time.  But for me, the mark of great a comedy, whether it’s animated or live action, is how the show deals with its more serious moments.  It’s easy to be funny; it’s much harder to find the humor in more desperate times.  In its 15th season, South Park was able to do just that.  From Stan’s crippling case of cynicism after his 10th birthday, to Cartman’s sacrifice of his beloved Clyde Frog and Polly Prissypants, South Park was able to transcend its typical hyperbolic humor and examine what it means to finally leave your childhood behind.—Andrea Marker

9 – Beavis & Butt-head

Cards on the table, I didn’t really care for Beavis & Butt-head in the 90s back when I was the key demographic: a teenage boy. I was too cool for watching two idiots making fun of videos and blowing up frogs – that’s what friends were for – so I wasn’t all that interested when I had to watch B&B 2.0 for work, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. What I watched was a thing of beauty. The cartoons were no longer Spike & Mike Animation Fest shorts played purely for shock, but hysterical vignettes featuring witty commentary on our society’s obsession with pop culture and demand for immediate gratification. With thirteen seasons of King of the Hill under his belt, Mike Judge, the cartoon’s creator, was able to wryly poke fun at phenomena like Twilight and Super Size Me out of the mouths of two idiots. The new incarnation of the show didn’t only have the duo of dummies poke fun at music videos, but also MTV’s lynchpin reality shows like Jersey Shore and Teen Mom (which many of us watch to ascertain why, exactly, they’re on TV), hoisting MTV by its own petard and making Beavis and Butt-head the two smartest, funniest and most aware characters on the entire network. Oh, and they get hurt… a lot. Heh heh heh. –Martin Moakler

8 – New Girl

It’s futile to defend this show anymore. It turns out even small hunks of wood from faraway lands are attracted to Zooey Deschanel and this fact sought to destroy any hipness this show needed to survive. The consensus was that she was too cute for this thing to work. The nation’s moms started to think she was positively darling. Then Fox started to see it, too. Fox. This thing was doomed.

Then something happened: New Girl wound up being certifiably, objectively good.

Sure, people with terrible facial hair who exclusively listen chillwave still turned on this thing hard. They need to seep that hatred so they can gel their faux-hawks.

But those people didn’t actually watch the show.

Any fears about New Girl were immediately assuaged. Zooey’s Jess character wound up being hapless, sure, but not in a ’60s sitcom sort of way. She was self-aware and not insufferably happy-go-lucky. I wouldn’t even say she was sufferably happy-go-lucky. She’s just around, and things happen to/in the general area of her that are generally funny.

Let’s break this down simply, easily: In the second episode, Jess appears in a doorway particularly haphazardly, wearing generally weird clothing from (presumably) an abandoned power plant. Nick, her roommate, just says this, “Ugh, she looks like Helena Bonham-Carter.”

That’s not a sitcom joke. That’s just a funny thing to say. Hate as you will, but you’ll come around in time. “New Girl” is one of the best things we have.—Ben Collins

7 – Happy Endings

A show about six friends in the city is hardly groundbreaking, but Happy Endings has ascended itself to be the Gen Y successor to the Friends throne, and its characters hilariously reflect the shift in generations.

Just because you leave someone at the altar doesn’t mean you have to break up your circle of friends. Just because you’re 30 doesn’t mean you have to have a career path—or a job. And just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you can’t overindulge on junk food, watch football and talk about your conquests with your best buds who happen to be straight. With banter evocative of early Scrubs and wacky exploits set in their own urban playground, the H.E. gang drinks their way into our hearts each week with their adventures in dating, friendship and prolonging their adolescence as long as they can. –Martin Moakler

6 – The League

It’s no secret that “The League” has emerged as a leading contender in the field of cable comedies this season—and the third season was the best yet. After a questionable first season and—let’s say it—an inspired second season, the makes of the Shiva Bowl seem to have found their stride with the loose plot improv that has become second nature in this raunchy-yet-endearing FX comedy.

Once known for being another soon-to-be-cancelled comedy with an “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” lead-in, “The League” has come to be arguably the best comedy on FX. They are no longer just an ensemble comedy about a group of people in a fantasy football league. It’s become a comedy about an outrageous group of eccentric friends, who happen to be in a fantasy football league.

Not only has “The League” come out from under the shadow of “Always Sunny,” but they’ve made a name for themselves all the same. With this year’s NFL lockout plaguing the production of early episodes of the third season, “The League” handled the situation deftly, and even addressed said lockout in the first episode of the season. It wound up being the lead-off to the show’s strongest season to date.

Where else do bouts with raising children, humility, high school, wives’ insecurities, and accidental racism teach valuable lessons for 30-somethings everywhere?

Guest stars Seth Rogen, Jeff Goldblum and Sarah Silverman not only brought star power, but upped the ante on the overriding ridiculousness on the show. Whoever thought of a closing scene involving some inappropriate bathroom shenanigans between Jeff Goldblum and Sarah Silverman deserves a huge pat on the back in my book. (Once that person washes his or her hands.) There’s never a dull moment on ‘The League.’—Gabe Pasillas

Last comment: Dec 26th 2011 47 Comments
  • Lydia says:

    The comeback of Beavis and Butthead is the best thing that happened to television in years. Beavis and Butthead makes me laugh almost nonstop throughout an entire episode. #1 to me.

  • Ama says:

    Community, Louie, Always Sunny and the Leauge are the funniest shows on TV, the most creative and or just original.
    Now Parks used to be good, but this Newest season is just bland

  • ALV says:

    what about raising hope?

  • pea body retard says:

    Pea body you can’t even spell “air” …and unfortunately you can’t buy a sense of humor.Lame ass bore.

  • DT says:

    @ Joe 12 pack

    The League is the funniest show on this entire list, and the fact that you enjoy suburgatory and how i met your mother while dislike “overrated” parks and rec shows that you have horrible taste in television and you should throw your television away

  • Rocky Krutoi says:

    New Girl over South Park? I think you have to be brain dead in order to find this show remotely funny. It belongs somewhere in the chick flick section, made for women by men with no testicles. Horrible acting, dumb characters and the jokes are probably written by the 40 year old virgin.

  • Brad says:

    Tosh.O is one of the five funniest shows on TV. That and The League.

  • darklighter1 says:

    Happy Endings is God awful and it makes me throw up a little that it gets put on the same list as The League which may be one of the best comedies ever.

  • pea body says:

    Truth of the matter …it is a crime that any of them are on the ari …say by by

  • jmxman says:

    I can’t believe New Girl made the list.

  • Joe 12-Pack says:

    This is a good list to me except “The League” which I haven’t seen.

    I hope you don’t ruin it by putting the idiot-formulaic-politically-correct “Modern Family”, worn out “2.5 Men” or overrated “Big Bang” and “Parks & Rec”.

    I expect to see ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, “Community”, “Louie”, “How I Met Your Mother” and the surprisingly funny “Suburgatory”

  • Childish says:

    The League definitely should have been higher. It is one of the best comedies on tv. Id even rank it higher than Community which I think has become over-rated. Don’t get me wrong it is still one of the better comedies out but they have been really, REALLY, REALLLYYY!!! off their game lately. And if you don’t believe me go watch/re-watch season 1 and then come back and tell me im wrong. Season 1 and about half of season 2 were just pure genius and now (barring a couple episodes) it has become average/slightly above average.
    New Girl and Happy endings are WAY too high. They are both decent shows (imo new girl is markedly better than H.E.) and they depending on the writing/acting they both have potential. But I don’t think either of them is top ten caliber yet.
    A couple other underrated good comedies out there that probably wont/didn’t make the list:
    Awkward, if you [can] look beyond the “teenage drama” it really is a pretyy funny and over-all good show
    Cougartown, if you can get over the name it (which hasn’t really applied since like the beginning of season 1) it really is an awesome show (if you like community you will probably like cougar town too)
    Misfits, It’s a british show and though its not “really” a comedy show it has a bunch of comedic moments and imho it is THE BEST OVER-ALL show on tv right now

  • LongTallSally08 says:

    I hope “Community” at least makes it into the top 5. It’s the funniest show on TV (or not on TV at the moment, as the case may be…)

  • sean says:

    The new comedy that made me laugh over and over again was a 2 Broke Girls!

  • Alex LaFosta says:

    UP ALL NIGHT! One of the best new comedies I’ve ever seen. Reminds me a lot of 30 Rock — in the sense that it is really good now, but I feel like it will grow to be a great show, if fate allows.

  • Alex LaFosta says:

    Up All Night is one of the best new comedies I’ve seen. Will Arnet and Christina Applegate are great in character roles, but seeing them in the roles of new parents is really interesting to watch. And their chemistry together — added with the hilarious appearances from co-star Maya Rudolph — really brings a fresh originality to the comedy. Not really like a lot of other shows on television right now, and I think that is a good thing. Really good show that I expect to get better as the years go on, if the fates allow.

  • Wes says:

    Beavis and butt head are above south park ? what world do you live in ?

  • Lauren says:

    How New Girl is higher than South Park is beyond me.

  • Vish says:

    I don’t understand how New Girl and Happy Endings is on here..Not close to making me laugh Love Zoe but New Girl Is soft core comedy to me. Happy Endings I am still waiting for One from this show! . Community this season is like a Doctor Who Comedy I get lost but there are good plots. sometimes too overboard. Modern Family is the #1.(top 3) The League is setting the standard of comedy of to day all the double talk and visual images of the thing they say to each other Crazy , reminds me and my friend hanging out. I love how the set each other up for the crazies Pranks. If anyone read These comment How Is South Park 10!….I know Psych will Never make the list (top5) a good show, they Bring back the 80s All references 80s pop culture ..some i don’t even get. ……This top 10 list needs a serious Revamp

  • Devin says:

    your ratings have lost my respect…. Who voted the league down??? they should be fired.

  • cam says:

    the league is the funniest show on tv right now. other shows like modern family are still very funny, but are successful because they appeal to a wider audience. and south park should be better rated as well

  • Rippin-T says:

    prob modern family,but should be raising hope or community !!!!

  • Carmen says:

    By far the funniest is Raising Hope. Great actors (not just on TV), funny stories, gross but in a nice way, not really grown-up adults who care and love each other with not one ounce of meaness unlike most “comedies”.

  • Charlie says:

    Everyone is forgetting Louie. I’m sorry but that show is miles above The League. The Office this year wasn’t that great. My prediction for Hulu’s top five:
    Modern Family
    It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
    Parks and Recreation

  • ygina says:

    Mmmm… ok, where is Louie? Where is Modern Family, at least, I mean, c’mon. Like, srsly.

  • corey says:


  • kyle says:

    the league and south park should both be in the top 3. The only other show i can place on equal footing is Modern Family.

  • Tyler Johnson says:

    The league is crushing it this season. It should be #1. Community, which i love, has not been as completely insane as it usually is….

    Then again all my favorites go away so I have to say “The League sucks. Please don’t make it air another 6 seasons”
    RIP The Loop

  • jill says:

    I haven’t seen The League or the new Beavis & Butthead yet, but here are my picks:

    Best current comedies are Community, Raising Hope, The Office, The Middle, Modern Family, Cougar Town, Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls and How I Met Your Mother.

    Suburgatory, Mike and Molly and Happy Endings are also good. I have high hopes for Napoleon Dynamite.

    Up All Night is OK but a complete waste of Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, and now Jason Lee. The Exes is also OK but a waste of Donald Faison, Kristen Johnston and Wayne Knight.

  • Payton says:

    It isn’t even funny the league is not first. It is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen

  • bompow1 says:

    Who the heck decided New Girl and Happy Endings are even funny? And how is South Park #10???? The rest of this list (1-5) better be the best freaking shows I have ever seen and I better be peing my pants they are so funny. Because that is how South Park is. Well maybe I peed only once

  • Kyle says:

    Conspiracy Theory:

    The League was voted #1 by far, but in order to better publicize the Top 10 countdown it’s position had to be sacrificed for clicks to this page.

    I suppose I cannot blame. I clicked.

  • Kyle says:

    Conspiracy theory:

    The League was actually voted #1 by far, but in order to better publicize the Top 10 countdown, it’s position had to be sacrificed for clicks to this page.

    I cannot blame. I clicked.

  • Murphy says:

    The league should be king not 6th.
    New girl shouldn’t even be on that list. If there’s a list of top 10 worst comedies of the century, then New girl should be in it.
    There was this sitcom that came out for a brief while. It’s called “Friends with benefits”. That should also be on the list, and not Happy Endings.

  • Charlie says:

    The league deserves to be in the top five. There hasn’t been an episode that didn’t make me cream myself (this is a good thing). Other than that I agree with whats on here, yes, even South Park’s placing as #10. On its own it this season might have been good, but compare it to any of their other seasons and it kind of sucked (sorry but that’s the way I feel.)

  • ryan w says:

    these are good picks but you are certainly missing one the best comedies around, that is community!

  • ryan kruskamp says:

    top five non-animated all time (no particular order):

    the league, it’s always sunny, seinfeld, arrested development, the office.

  • ryan kruskamp says:

    top five all time (no particular order):
    the league, it’s always sunny, seinfeld, arrested development, the office.

  • OSK says:

    Community will be number one. Parks and Rec? You guessed it, number two.
    The League really should be in the top five–c’mon, Hulugans!
    “Tickle me and rub my belly!”

  • Brianna May says:


  • southpark808 says:

    Blue Mountian State better be in the top 5!

  • leaugelover says:

    The League is the runaway underdog. I have been following this show since epsiode 1 and it only gets better. Should be ranked hiiiigherrrrrr! As high as Taco got from that Glock-Pipe ha!

  • Jeff Smitih says:

    Where are the rest of them?

  • HAHAHA these comedies are great. I could watch them over and over. Great list!

  • mat924 says:

    Half of these comedies have already taken over my life and now I’ll have to check out the rest… and this is only #10-6? There are only so many comedy hours in the day, guys!

  • BZ says:

    Great list of shows. I think The League should be higher, but how is South Park only #10?! Interesting point about balancing the homor with the serious moments. I think that’s what is keeping the show fresh after 15 years, and abandoning that is what turned The Simpsons stale.