Best TV Comedy of 2011

by George Watches Things

5. Happy Endings (ABC)

Haters gone hate. But even the most hate-filled Season 1 doubters have to admit that episodes like Baby Steps, Secrets and Limos, and Spooky Endings were great. And fans like me are glad to enjoy all their other one-liner-stuffed episodes too.

4. 30 Rock (NBC)

They only released 12 episodes in ’11, but they were some of the best of the series. 30 Rock is the veteran of this list (#2 excluded), and is facing retirement, but they can still make the laughs happen. Also, please don’t watch this show when it returns January 12 on NBC. It wouldn’t be in any danger if it got bad ratings, but it would show NBC that it’s not Community’s fault that they can’t get numbers at 8 o’clock.

3. Parks and Recreation (NBC)

Oh my goodness. It’s hilarious. Each character, from the upbeat Leslie to the stumbling Jerry… even the well-endowed and currently dead Li’l Sebastian, had a lot of great moments in seasons 3 and 4. It’s been said many times by many critics this year that Parks has a lot of heart; so many times, in fact, that the show actually addressed it, having the sarcastic and work ethic-less April exclaim “that’s what people say when something sucks.” Not this time, April. 

2. Pardon the Interruption (ESPN)

Pardon the Interruption is neither scripted nor an actual comedy, but it delivers hearty daily laughs AND informs you about the day in sports. It is hosted by Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, two professionals (other than that one pregnancy scare) who know what they’re talking about. PTI is the epitome of both talk and sports shows. If you’re looking for a formula, steal PTI’s.

And the winner is…

Community (NBC)

Duh doi.

I love Parks and Recreation, and I recognize that they had a lot more great episodes in 2011 than Community. I was prepared to name PTI the best comedy of 2011, and place P&R at #2. But, just then… I realized that if I had to eliminate four of the shows on this list forever, Community would be the only survivor. Not only is its potential larger, but there’s a special bond between the viewer of Community and the show itself. I happily admit that I nearly cried at the last episode of Arrested Development. Those guys had so much fun making the show, and I felt like I was making it with them. Even though I first saw the show 3 months ago on Netflix. I feel the same about Community. I feel as if it’s my show. When I see a new episode, I can always predict the next joke. Unless I don’t, which means Dan Harmon and Co. are doing what they do best: making weird-ass TV magic. Community isn’t done becoming what it is, yet, and NBC should let the experiment continue, at all costs.

Wait, no… this isn’t right. I feel awful. Is there still time to change my answer? Oh, there is? Then here it is:

Community (NBC)/Pardon the Interruption (ESPN)/Parks and Recreation (NBC)

See you after regionals/SportsCenter/my suspension ends, HBs/knuckleheads/Pawneeans.