The 10 Best TV Comedies of 2015

Photo Credit: Yahoo! Screen/Sony Pictures TV

Television comedies on broadcast networks sometimes act like time machines. If you want to see what TV comedy looked like two decades ago, you can watch any sitcom on CBS. NBC has largely abandoned comedy, while ABC and Fox occasionally try something new. But for the most part, broadcast comedies have been overshadowed by television’s many drama series.

That doesn’t mean that comedy is dead. Far from it, in fact. The comedy genre has found new life on cable and on streaming services. Freed from broadcast standards, comedy shows can now be as weird and as intimate as they want to be. The network is no longer more important than the show itself.

For CraveOnline’s annual list of the 1o Best comedies on television, we have only a single representative from the broadcast networks, and even a few of our favorite shows didn’t quite make the cut. Best of lists are always subjective, so if you happen to disagree with any selections here, feel free to share your picks in the comment section below!

10. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Photo Credit: Netflix/Universal TV

It was clear that NBC had thrown in the towel on comedy when it essentially gave Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to Netflix because the network had no idea what to do with it. That was probably the correct movie, because Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt would have probably died after two episodes on NBC.

Instead, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was one of Netflix’s signature comedy series of the year, and it has a second season slated for 2016. Ellie Kemper stars as the title character, who survived years in a bizarre cult before making her way to New York City for a new life. Kemper is so charming and funny as Kimmy that she seems likely for greater stardom in the future.

9. Rick and Morty

Photo Credit: Adult Swim/Williams Street

Rick and Morty doesn’t have the beautiful animation that Futurama had or the edge of an average season of South Park. But it’s got boatloads of heart and some of the craziest ideas on TV. Series creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon have a seemingly endless supply of sci-fi tropes to lampoon, and they even improve on them!

At it’s core, the show is still about a mad scientist and his grandson, both of whom carry their own brand of comedy. This show isn’t always pretty to look at, but it may be a classic in the making.

8. Broad City

Photo Credit: Comedy Central/Paper Kite Productions

Comedy Central’s original sitcom, Broad City puts most of the broadcast network comedies to shame with its execution. There’s no special gimmick here. It’s just Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson creating hilarious stories for their characters against the backdrop of single life in New York City.

7. Review

Photo Credit: Comedy Central/Abso Lutely Productions

Review is another Comedy Central original that just feels like it doesn’t belong anywhere else. Few other networks could gleefully chronicle the continuing downfall of one man’s life. In Review Season 2, Forrest MacNeil (Andy Daly) hilariously continued his destructive streak while reviewing “life.”

It’s hard to find a darker twist than Forrest losing his cult to his ex-girlfriend, who was then subsequently killed by the FBI or Forrest’s descent into conspiracy theory territory. But that’s the nature of Review’s comedic insanity. We give it “five stars!”

6. Parks and Recreation

Photo Credits: NBC/Universal TV

How the hell was Parks and Recreation not a mega hit? Seriously. Any show with Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari, Adam Scott, Retta, and Chris Pratt in the cast should have been a blockbuster. Instead, it barely eked out seven seasons on NBC before it was given a rushed send off earlier this year.

However, Parks and Recreation got the opportunity to end on its own terms. It’s rare to see a TV finale come close to pleasing everyone, but Parks and Recreation hit all of the right notes in its last season. This was a true TV classic that deserves a place among the greatest sitcoms of this century.

5. You’re The Worst

Photo Credit: FXX Network

Some of the best comedies throw in a little drama to give the laughs some weight. You’re The Worst’s second season used the soul-crushing depression of Gretchen (Aya Cash) as its through-line while she and Jimmy (Chris Geere) tried to keep their relationship intact. Jimmy and Gretchen are admittedly terrible people, but it was still gut wrenching to watch the resulting lows of their time together and Gretchen’s uncontrollable tears.

The season finale left some hope for Gretchen and Jimmy’s future together, which is good for the next season of the series. You’re The Worst has found its comedy niche, now it just needs to find an audience.

4. Louie

Photo Credit: FX Network

Louis C.K.’s Louie returned for a shortened eight episode fifth season earlier this year. Compared to the torment of some of Louie’s previous seasons, this year’s episodes were more upbeat…if Louie’s collapsing relationship with Pamela (Pamela Adlon) and his general misery could be called upbeat.  

But even Louie’s sadness is fodder for great comedy, and Louis C.K. hasn’t run out of ways to torture his fictional counterpart. But it may be a while before Louie gets another season, as Louis C.K. and FX have announced another hiatus for the series.

3. Master of None

Photo Credit: Netflix/Universal TV

Did you notice that Aziz Ansari had his Louis C.K. moment this year? In addition to the co-starring in the final season of Parks and Recreation, Ansari brought his original series, Master of None to Netflix. Master of None had an unusually bold approach to comedy in terms of topics without resorting to shock. The relationship between Ansari’s Dev and Noël Wells’ Rachel was also refreshing, especially in the way that it flamed out.

There’s currently no word on a second season, but I wouldn’t bet against more Master of None in the future.

2. Community

Photo Credit: Yahoo! Screen/Sony Pictures TV

Community had so many near-death experiences at NBC that it came as a shock when NBC finally canceled it. Yahoo! Screen resurrected Community for a sixth, and apparently final season. Losing Chevy Chase and Donald Glover did hurt Community in previous seasons, and Yvette Nicole Brown’s departure at the beginning of season 6 also impacted the series. In all honesty, it wasn’t the same show that it used to be.

But as mentioned in Rick and Morty’s entree on this list, Dan Harmon knows heart. Community may have been filled with silly geek humor (which I love), but it had a knack for making viewers care about its characters. Paget Brewster and Keith David were also fun additions to the cast.

Getting ix seasons of Community was nothing short of miraculous. But a Community movie is still needed to complete the #sixseasonsandamovie prediction/rallying cry!

1. Ash vs. Evil Dead

Photo Credit: Starz/Renaissance Pictures

When it comes to comedy, I only want to laugh. This year, there was no television show that made me laugh more consistently than Starz’s Ash vs. Evil Dead. The Sam Raimi produced horror/comedy brought back Bruce Campbell as Ash from the Evil Dead films and Army of Darkness and surrounded him with an engaging supporting cast including Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, Jill Marie Jones, and the great Lucy Lawless.

Campbell was the greatest special effect that the show had, as the older Ash was both hilariously buffoonish and yet somehow a badass as well. Ash vs. Evil Dead was probably not for everyone, but it was definitely for me…and I loved it. I make no apologies for that.