TV Comedy from the 2000s


The laughDB database is dedicated to the funniest comedy movies, stand-up comedy and TV series.

This section is for TV comedy series from the 2000s. By default they are presented starting with the ones ranking highest on the laugh-o-meter, but you can also sort them by year, title or IMDB rating.

TV Comedy Series from the 2000s sorted by Laugh-o-meter (descending) / page 1 of 2

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Parks and Recreation posterParks and Recreation
      2009 | USA | Laughs: 8.6 (Laugh Out Loud) | imdb: 8.6
      wikipedia | who was involved?

This show is a small-government version of The Office in olden days when it was funny, but without the cliff-hangers and dramatic tension that bring viewers back but do little for comedy. There may be some office romance in this Parks Department of a small Indiana town, but will they get together, or won't they? We don't care. Like in Seinfeld, there is no profanity (it is NBC), and as in Seinfeld each episode is self-contained, with two or three strands that get resolved by the end: the only hook is that you want to watch another one to laugh and smile some more.

Here is my assessment as I was nearing the end of season two: "So far, the show is terrific. Each episode makes me laugh. Some TV series in the history of television have delivered more laughs, but few have been more consistent." As if to prove me wrong, the show then hit a rough patch but recovered early in season.

In season 4, there was a noticeable drop in quality. Season 5 was even worse, with the honorable exception of the character of April, who carries much of the show's comedic weight—what little is left of it.

It seems a typical case of a good thing having run its course, the writers having run out of inspiration, and the network wanting to stretch it out as long as the ad revenues flow in.

We'll see if Season 6 does any better. (Last viewed: September 2013)

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The IT Crowd DVDThe IT Crowd
      2006 | U.K. | Laughs: 8.6 | imdb: 8.5
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

This series makes me laugh consistently, with the exceptions noted below. The relatively small cast and set keeps it simple and honest. I love Moss's character, but I guess everyone does. If you haven't seen the show, all you need to know is that it follows the adventures of the three members of an IT department.

On the first episode the thick lines of the caricature dampened my enjoyment, and it took me a few episodes to get hooked. Here are the episodes that work for me:

- All of season 1 (six episodes),
- The first half of season 2 (three episodes). The second half of the season is appalling. Not only does it feel as though they've swapped the writers for a new team that doesn't get the characters; there is a noticeable increase in budget that results in more complex plots and far fewer laughs.
- All of season 3 except the last episode (five out of six). For my taste the sixth episode lacks in compassion.
I don't recall season 4 in great detail, though I seem to remember it moved further away from the original concept.
(Last viewed: June 2011)

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The Big Bang Theory posterThe Big Bang Theory
      2007 | USA | Laughs: 8.2 (Laugh Out Loud) | imdb: 8.2
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

Two young physics geeks live across the hall from an attractive but resolutely non-geeky young woman. This series was recommended to me several times but somehow the description never grabbed me, perhaps because of the idiotic way in which Hollywood tends to portray "geniuses"—you know, the guys who crack the code at the door with a few keystrokes.

My lady companion more or less forced me to start watching it a few days ago, and… so far, two episodes into season one, it's excellent. It's very funny, there's lots to laugh at, and at this stage the episodes are self-contained, free of the "will they / won't they get together" junk they feed viewers when the writers run out of inspiration.

Visually, the show has a late-eighties or early-nineties quality, perhaps designed to remind us of the good old days of Seinfeld, or perhaps Friends, two shows that also spend a lot of time with friends walking in and out of an apartment. Indeed the boys' pad in The Big Bang Theory has an insisting resemblance to the girls' pad in Friends.

• Seasons 1 and 2 were excellent pretty much across the board.
• Season 3 was much weaker, with some very poor episodes thrown in (13, 14, 17).
• At the start of Season 4, it feels like the show is back.

Much looking forward to watching more of this show. (Last viewed: December 2013)

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How I Met Your Mother DVDHow I Met Your Mother (a.k.a HIMYM)
      2005 | USA | Laughs: 8.1 | imdb: 8.3
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

The show starts out following a group of New York professionals at the age when many channel the time left over from advancing their careers on a quest to find the life partner known as "the one".

As with most shows spanning many seasons (eight at the time of writing), it is unequal. I approach such shows by renting entire seasons from the library and using IMDB to locate episodes with a rating higher than 8.3. With this approach, I spent some very pleasant hours with HIMYM, which often made me laugh.

I haven't watched recent episodes, as the show lost me in later seasons, when characters (by the nature of things) were forced to evolve into roles they were not meant for when the first scripts were written. Some people become funnier as they age, but most don't, and in that respect the show's characters follow the norm.

At some stage I jotted down a list of episodes that I thought had merit of some sort, but I can't quite recall what—hopefully comic merit, my obsession. For what it's worth, here is that list: perhaps a place to start and see if the show appeals to you.

(Last viewed: April 2010)

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Curb Your Enthusiasm DVDCurb Your Enthusiasm (a.k.a CURB)
      2000 | USA | Laughs: 8.0 | imdb: 8.7
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

I haven't watched the entire series. These episodes made me laugh:
Krazee-Eyez Killa (Season 3, Episode 8)
The Seder (Season 5, Episode 7)
The Anonymous Donor (Season 6, Episode 2)
The Tivo Guy (Season 6, Episode 7)
The Reunion (Season 7, Episode 3)
The Hot Towel (Season 7, Episode 4)
Denise Handicapped (Season 7, Episode 5)

Season 8 was also excellent overall (it might be the best) and probably deserves watching from start to end.

The Special Section wasn't particularly funny, but of all the episodes I saw it was the best for psychological case study.
(Last viewed: August 2012)

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Look Around You DVDLook Around You
      2002 | U.K. | Laughs: 8.0 | imdb: 8.4
      wikipedia | who was involved?

This two-season BBC series is a mock science show that imitates the pedagogic style of the early 1980s.

The first three episodes (calcium, maths and water) had me roaring, and I thought this was going to be love forever. However, the next episodes started to lose their focus, with over-the-top gags that drifted from the premise of credible science experiments. As a result, I lost interest and haven't yet finished the first season, but will probably return to it someday.

Whatever you do, don't miss the first two episodes. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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Black Books DVDBlack Books
      2000 | U.K. | Laughs: 7.8 | imdb: 8.5
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

With Father Ted and The IT Crowd, one of three great series partly written by Graham Linehan. This one doesn't make me fall off my chair laughing, but I find it consistently good. The show focuses on a bookstore, and features a tight cast that does a great job of making me smile. (Last viewed: June 2011)

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Russell Coight's All Aussie Adventures DVDRussell Coight's All Aussie Adventures
      2001 | Australia | Laughs: 7.2 | imdb: 8.2
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

As my review of Bush Mechanics may suggest, I have a soft spot for the Australian outback, so I was ready to love this show, which purports to follow an ungifted TV adventurer as he tries to educate his audience about survival in the red-and-green expanses.

After three or four episodes of the first season I started to find the humor overly repetitive—how many times can Russell trip before it becomes boring? The narrative is also laced with the same few comical devices used over and over—as in "a land as ancient as it is old".

The second season is much stronger, particularly the last two episodes. (Last viewed: December 2012)

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The Office DVDThe Office
      2005 | USA | Laughs: 7.0 | imdb: 8.8
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

Of the US series, I only watched Season 2, said to be the funniest. These episodes most made me laugh:
The Fight
Performance Review
Drug Testing
Conflict Resolution
(Last viewed: February 2010)

More About The Office:
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      laughDB's full page for The Office

Bush Mechanics DVDBush Mechanics
      2001 | Australia | Laughs: 7.0 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 8.5
      wikipedia | who was involved?

During my years in Australia, long before watching this series, I had heard about the "bush mechanics" who are said to be amazingly resourceful when a car needs to be repaired on the side of a track. For instance, lore has it that flat tires are sometimes fixed by stuffing them with spinifex, a hard spiky Australian grass.

This series may not often make you laugh out loud, but it is excellent for its constant humor, its premise, its setting, the culture it presents and too many other reasons to list. I may be partial as I have a soft spot for Australia's Northern Territory (which I visited four times) and its people, and as it reminds me of time I spent in a number of Aboriginal communities during a motorbike journey around Australia I took in 2004.

Regardless, this series is one of a kind: don't miss it if you can get your hands on it. (Last viewed: February 2006)

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Miranda DVDMiranda
      2009 | U.K. | Laughs: 7.0 (Watch Once) | imdb: 8.1
      wikipedia | who was involved?

If you dislike shows where the humor often hinges on situations designed to make you cringe, you'll want to skip Miranda. The show follows a youngish Londoner in need of romance. It often made me laugh, but it also often annoyed me—to the point that I probably won't want to watch it again.

For what it's worth, episodes 1 and 4 of season 1 and episode 3 of season 2 were probably the weakest.
(Last viewed: March 2012)

More About Miranda:
=> Read what people say on Amazon
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      laughDB's full page for Miranda

Chappelle's Show DVDChappelle's Show
      2003 | USA | Laughs: 6.9 (Watch Once) | imdb: 8.7
      wikipedia | who was involved?

In the first episode of the first season, there was a brilliant skit taking place in a photocopy business. I was ready to become a fan, but over the next few episodes, I found the show to be unequal.

In fact, the good hasn't outweighed the mediocre (or crass) enough to motivate me to persevere beyond the fifth episode. I might get there someday.

I haven't loved Dave's stand-up comedy concerts so far either. But I really enjoyed him in the movie half-baked. (Last viewed: May 2012)

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Corner Gas DVDCorner Gas
      2004 | Canada | Laughs: 6.7 | imdb: 8.0
      wikipedia | who was involved?

I became aware of this series thanks to someone who sent a note in the comment form! The series follows life around a diner and a gas station in a small Canadian town. The cast is small, the pace is slow, the talent is moderate. But if you pick episodes that rated higher than 8 on IMDB (as I did), you will be rewarded with several hours of pleasant of entertainment, to be digested one episode at a time, and with very few duds.

Here is a short list of episodes I might watch again someday.

05x12 The J Word
05x14 Contagious Fortune
06x07 American Resolution
06x10 Shirt Disturber
06x12 Super Sensitive
06x13 TV Free Dog River
06x14 Queasy Rider
06x15 R2 Bee Too

I also started watching from the top. Seasons 1 and 2 were good, but season 3 lost me.
(Last viewed: May 2012)

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Party Down posterParty Down
      2009 | USA | Laughs: 6.5 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 8.3
      wikipedia | who was involved?

A solid, short-and-sweet (twenty-episode) series about Hollywood caterers who would rather be pursuing their acting careers than dishing out appetizers. Loses a few points for several over-the-top characters whose overacting annoys more (much more) than it amuses—or amuses the actors more than it does the audience. This was one of these shows that improves over time: it hit a winning streak near the end of the second and last season, starting with episode 2x07. (Last viewed: August 2013)

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Flight of the Conchords DVDFlight of the Conchords
      2007 | New Zealand | Laughs: 6.2 (Watch Once) | imdb: 8.6
      wikipedia | who was involved?

I was spending six months in New Zealand when a video store clerk recommended this delightfully offbeat series, which takes place in New York but whose cast hails from the land of the long white cloud. Jemaine and Bret (their real names) are two musicians trying to make it on the wrong coast in the land of plenty, and whose entire fan base consists of a lone female stalker. Not least charming is how the duo gently pokes fun at their own country, whose consulate is shown to occupy a small area of a dodgy building. I don't recall if the show ever made me laugh out loud, but it made me smile throughout.

Here are the episodes that worked best for me:
(Last viewed: March 2010)

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