With the third season of Amazon Prime’s The Boys having wrapped up this month, fans will have a void to fill for comedic entertainment. The show’s take on black comedy and satire is a large part of its draw, and the way it explores its themes using humor allows for a more entertaining viewing experience.
Through the first half of 2022, comedy fans have been well-supplied with a diverse array of hilarious TV shows. To sift through and find the best of the best for viewers, Ranker has put together a comprehensive list of the best active-running comedy TV shows on air today. With premieres ranging from the early 2000s to this year, and a variety of takes on comedy, these TV shows are sure to endlessly tickle fans’ stomachs.
Note: Ranker lists are fan-voted, live, and continue to accrue votes, and are subject to change after this publishing
10/10 Smiling Friends (2020 – )
The black comedy TV show that premiered on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim in 2020 follows the story of a small charity whose organizational goal is to make people smile. The main characters of Smiling Friends, employees Charlie and Pim, are tasked with helping people who call the charity’s hotline with their problems.
The humor within the show comes from its absurdist predicaments and the dynamic between Charlie, who is incredibly cynical, and Pim, the ever-optimist. These two are often put into stressful and sometimes potentially deadly situations that they are woefully equipped to handle, with this juxtaposition being a core part of the humor in the show.
9/10 Pivoting (2022)
A 2022 comedy that premiered on Fox in January, Pivoting follows three friends who each decide to make a sudden, impulsive change in their lives after the unexpected death of a friend. Amy, Jodie, and Sarah each make life-altering movies to kick-start the rest of their lives, such as Sarah quitting her job as an ER nurse.
With a nice blend of wacky humor that is driven largely by the cast, Pivoting consistently gets better and funnier as you watch. While the comedy, in the beginning, is a bit bogged down by the rather sad premise of the death of a friend, the show quickly picks up its mood with its blend of a wide variety of humor, from sarcasm to fart jokes.
8/10 Young Rock (2021 – )
Premiering in 2021 on NBC, Young Rock is a sitcom based on the life of actor and wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The show is set as a series of flashbacks that are brought about during Johnson’s presidential candidacy in 2036 while he is being interviewed or is in conversation.
With the flashbacks ranging from his time in elementary school in Hawaii to his days playing football at the University of Miami, Young Rock often tries to intertwine lessons learned with humor. The flashbacks all have a purpose as well as being hilarious as they traverse through The Rock’s wild and whimsical upbringing.
7/10 Atlanta (2016 – )
Created in 2016 by actor, comedian, and rapper Donald Glover, Atlanta is a comedy drama that follows the life of a music manager and a rapper as they look to make it big in the Atlanta rap scene. The series employs a more episodic approach to its content, often completing a plot arc within singular episodes rather than across multiple.
While the show is often thought of as a drama, the comedic elements and satirical takes that Glover employs within can be incredibly funny. The show also utilizes its humor to touch on important and controversial topics on race, existentialism, and African-American culture, using satire as a vehicle of exploration within each episode.
6/10 Murderville (2022 – )
Starring Will Arnett as a senior detective, Murderville is a comedic murder mystery in which a new celebrity guest star assists Arnett in attempting to solve a murder that has taken place. The real kicker? The celebrity guests have not seen the script, so they have to work to solve the murder while improvising.
This wacky take on a murder mystery is tons of fun and utilizes guest stars in a clever and hilarious way. With stars ranging from comedian and late show host Conan O’Brian to the former star running back of the Seattle Seahawks Marshawn Lynch, Murderville excels in its unique spin on improv comedy.
5/10 The Kids In The Hall (2022 – )
A 2022 revival of the late 1980s/early 1990’s sketch-comedy show, The Kids In The Hall brings back the Canadian comedy troupe for one last hilarious hurrah. The new season features all of the original five members, who play almost every character within the show, regardless of gender.
With a cast of comedy troupe members who are all Saturday Night Live veterans, The Kids In The Hall greatly succeeds in witty, satirical, and downright hilarious sketch comedy. The episodes tend to be incredibly surrealist and with a Python-esque flair, often with recurring sketch characters, long monologues, and clever comedic punches.
4/10 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017 – )
A comedy-drama based in the 1950s and 60s, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel follows the story of a Manhattan housewife who pursues a career in stand-up after discovering her talent for it during a drunken impromptu set at a coffeehouse.
With the show following the story of an aspiring comedian, it only seems natural that the humor within it is top-notch. The show displays an incredible amount of wit and comedic banter while taking care to not overwhelm the audience with a barrage of comedy. The balance of drama and humor elevates The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as a TV show and makes the comedic elements tickle even more as a result.
3/10 Peacemaker (2022 – )
Peacemaker, a spin-off of The Suicide Squad and the first TV series in the DC Extended Universe follows the story of suicide squad member Peacemaker. The comedy-action superhero show expertly combines action and comedy within the DC universe, in great part because of John Cena’s goofy and entertaining portrayal of the title character.
A superhero who is generally disliked by those around him combined with a plethora of dad jokes and slap-stick comedy makes for a hilariously entertaining watch. One of the most iconic bits the show uses is Peacemaker’s lack of grace, which sees him falling hard and erratically from even the smallest of heights.
2/10 The Righteous Gemstones (2019 – )
Following a dysfunctional family of televangelists, HBO’s The Righteous Gemstones provides hilarious black comedy in the form of the messy daily life of megachurch pastors funded by church donations. With chaotic and comedic family relations between these churchgoers, this satirical take on televangelists will leave audiences breathless in laughter.
From the competition between the three siblings to the exploration of consumerism and organized religion, the plot of The Righteous Gemstones drives the humor in many ways. It also makes expert use of music to set the stage and provide comedic relief, even rolling the credits to what is proclaimed as ‘unholy’ house music.
1/10 It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (2005 – )
A staple within the world of TV comedy since its premier in 2005, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia has secured the title of the longest-running live-action scripted comedy, and for good reason. The show, now in its 15th season, follows a narcissistic group of friends who run an Irish pub in South Philadelphia.
With its subject matter being demonstrably heavier than some of its American sitcom counterparts, It’s Always Sunny does a hilarious job of exploring taboo and dark topics in a smug and clever way. The show is unapologetic, nihilistic, and dark, but weaves comedy throughout every part to create a product that is equal parts smart, funny, and uniquely human.
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