On this Twentieth of April, stoners across the land are dancing with the devil’s lettuce. And while some Gauchos believe U Can Study Baked, others would be more inclined to get in their Snuggie and fire up the Roku. While I can’t lend you my Netflix password or my Snuggie (it’s actually a Slanket, but that’s beside the point), I can offer something much more valuable.
To save you the time spent aimlessly scrolling through a dizzying menu of titles, here’s a painstakingly compiled list of some current and classic comedies that are sure to make your day a little brighter, whether or not you choose to puff the magic dragon. Each show comes with a few recommended episodes, and “special” episodes are marked with an asterisk (*).
So whether you’re in da couch with an indica, satisfied with a sativa or getting high with a hybrid, consider some of the following strains for your holiday entertainment.
If you’re that person who has yet to watch this show, please drop what you’re doing and go watch it. I’ll wait … Welcome back. Wasn’t that hilarious?! You’re most certainly welcome. Time has definitely been kind to the Bluth family of Orange County, as the show is still often cited as one of the funniest shows in the history of television, long after it went off the air in 2006. AD packed so many jokes, catchphrases, running gags, callbacks and storylines in its original three seasons, that it generously rewards multiple viewings. Even the most loyal fans will still manage to find new jokes on the hundredth viewing. The show was such a cult favorite, Netflix even brought it back for an ambitious fourth season exclusively on the streaming site. While 30 Rock is my favorite show, and it holds a special place in my bacon-infested heart, I’ll be the first to admit that there’s probably no show funnier than AD.
Pier Pressure* (1.10), Amigos (2.3), Afternoon Delight* (2.6), Out on a Limb (2.11)/ Hand to God (2.12), Meat the Veals (2.16), Forget Me Now (3.3), Mr. F (3.5)
Arrested Development is available to stream on Netflix and Hulu.
If the Bluths are the epitome of waspy excess, the Belchers are hanging on to every last dollar in their piggy bank. Bob Belcher, voiced by Archer’s H. Jon Benjamin, runs the greasy spoon Bob’s Burgers with his wife Linda and his three kids Tina, Gene and Louise. It’s a deceptively simple premise. The real magic of this show comes from the combination of well-developed characters and a mega-talented voiceover cast. The first few minutes of “Tina-rannosaurus Wrecks” alone (in which Bob let’s Tina practice driving in an empty parking lot) are enough to make a fan out of the most casual viewer. Also, Tina is just about everyone’s spirit animal.
Bob Day Afternoon (2.2), Bob Fires the Kids* (3.3), Tina-rannosaurus Wrecks (3.7), Boyz 4 Now (3.21)
Bob’s Burgers airs on Fox and is available to stream on Netflix and Hulu.
Two funny ladies in their early twenties just being their silly, gross, crazy selves in the concrete jungle that is New York City. Graduating seniors are probably taking notes on post-college life as they tag along with Abbi and Ilana on their wacky adventures. The two always find ways to entertain themselves while being oh so entertaining, whether they’re trying to make some quick cash, score some weed or just make it through a simple dentist or DMV appointment. On the surface, the show blends absurdity with a hint of surrealism, but at its core, Broad City is a true “ovaries before brovaries” story of two friends whose love for each other weathers all obstacles. It’s also really, really, really funny.
Pu$$y Weed* (1.2), Wisdom Teeth (2.3), Knockoffs (2.4), Coat Check (2.9), Two Chainz (3.1), Burning Bridges (3.8)
Broad City airs on Comedy Central and is available to stream on Hulu.
Yes … Frasier. I have an inexplicable love affair with this show. It’s been off the air for over twelve years, but Frasier still manages to make me laugh and put a smile on my face. Set in Seattle, the series chronicles the misadventures of the lovably pompous psychiatrist and radio show host Dr. Frasier Crane. Frasier always shares his wit and wisdom with others, but often struggles to follow his own advice when dealing with his salt-of-the-earth father Martin, his pretentious brother Niles and his friends and co-workers. The winner of a record five Emmys for Outstanding Comedy Series and one of the most successful spin-off shows in television history, Frasier explores love, life and laughs in the Emerald City. There are so many reasons to love this show: the lampooning humor, the sibling rivalry between Frasier and Niles, the touching moments of deep self-reflection and the epic love story of Niles and Daphne (step aside Ross and Rachel). And if you’re a fan of adorable Jack Russell Terriers, Eddie Crane steals just about every scene he’s in.
The Matchmaker (2.3), The Two Mrs. Cranes (4.1), Ham Radio (4.18), The Ski Lodge (5.14), First Date (5.20), Roz and the Schnoz (5.21), Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz (6.10), Three Valentines (6.14), High Holidays* (11.11)
Frasier is available to stream on Netflix and Hulu.
THE I.T. CROWD
Moss, Roy and Jen work in the I.T. department of Reynholm Industries, a faceless corporation that does God-knows-what. This British sitcom explores the personal and professional lives of these well-meaning but under-appreciated employees. Moss and Roy are socially inept I.T. technicians, or “standard nerds” as their boss refers to them, while their department head Jen knows basically nothing about computers. It’s a fun and loose premise that makes a lot of comedic hay out of the constantly clashing personalities of the characters. A workplace comedy cranked up to eleven, The I.T. Crowd delivers a laugh-out-loud exploration into the hopes and dreams of three underdogs surviving the cutthroat world of turning computers off and on again.
Calamity Jen (1.2), The Work Outing (2.1), Moss and The German (2.3), The Dinner Party (2.4), Friendface (3.5)
The IT Crowd is available to stream on Netflix and Hulu.
NATHAN FOR YOU
“My name is Nathan Fielder, and I graduated from one of Canada’s top business schools with really good grades,” says comedian Nathan Fielder in the show’s opening. As he says this, we catch a glimpse of Nathan’s report card from business school: B, A-, B, C+, B+. Not bad, but nobody should be asking Nathan for business advice, ever. This quasi-docu-reality show follows Nathan as he brings his bold ideas to America’s small businesses. But there’s a catch: Fielder takes things to dramatic, uncomfortable, cringe-worthy yet wildly hilarious extremes. His stunts are often ridiculously clever and vary widely from business to business, but they almost always end up poking fun at America’s constant hunger for the almighty dollar.
Santa/Petting Zoo (1.2), The Claw of Shame (1.7), Souvenir Shop/ELAIFF (2.2), Dumb Starbucks (2.5), Electronics Store (3.1), The Movement (3.3)
Nathan for You airs on Comedy Central and is available to stream on Hulu.
PARKS AND RECREATION
There are many ways to #TreatYoSelf, and Parks and Rec is a great way to do so. Whether you’ve never seen the show, or you’ve seen it a hundred times, there’s something very familiar about Parks. The employees of the Pawnee, Indiana Parks and Recreation Department all feel like they’re your own friends, neighbors, coworkers and family members. After a rocky first season, Parks found its way into all of our hearts as it chronicled Leslie Knope’s mission to make the world a better place, one park at a time. Funny, sweet and at times inspirational, Parks is a show that everyone needs to watch at some point.
The Stakeout* (2.2), Hunting Trip (2.10), Flu Season (3.2), Soulmates (3.10), The Fight (3.13), The Debate (4.20)
Parks and Recreation is available to stream on Netflix and Hulu.
What happens in the White House when the American people aren’t watching? Probably the ridiculous shenanigans we’re seeing on Veep. Simply put, the series follows the day-to-day public and private lives of Vice President of the United States Selina Meyer and her hilariously incompetent staff. The Vice President (or “Veep”) tries to leave a legacy while putting out political fires, juggling the multiple demands of the American people and defending a crisis-prone administration. Meyer is ambitious and foul-mouthed, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus carries the show with the performance of her career. The ensemble cast features breakout roles from comedian Matt Walsh and actor Tony Hale of Arrested Development fame. Winner of the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, Veep is hands down one of the funniest shows currently on the air.
Helsinki (2.5), First Response (2.8), The Choice (3.2), Debate (3.8), Crate (3.9)
Veep airs on HBO and is available to stream on HBO Go and HBO Now.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: 30 Rock (NBC/Netflix), Animals (HBO), Archer (FX), BoJack Horseman (Netflix), Danger 5 (SBS/Netflix), John Mulaney’s stand-up (New in Town, The Comeback Kid), Key & Peele (Comedy Central), Louie (FX), Louis CK’s stand-up (Chewed Up, Hilarious, Live at the Beacon), Love (Netflix), Master of None (Netflix), The Office (NBC/Netflix), Portlandia (IFC), Silicon Valley (HBO), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)