Entertainment Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People  

Ranker TV
17.6k votes 2.4k voters 36.9k views 41 items

List Rules Vote up the shows that seem super dumb, but are actually some of the smartest series on television.

There’s nothing wrong with a TV show being dumb. There are actually a lot of dumb shows for smart people. It’s just that everyone who wears smarty pants is worried about looking stupid for watching something that’s not aimed directly at the wine and cheese crowd. These secretly smart TV shows manage to take low-brow comedy and add in high art. 

Sometimes, stupid TV with smart jokes is exactly what you want to watch after a long day at work. A 30 minute sitcom that’s layered with dense jokes needs a writer's room full of egg heads. Dumb TV shows for smart people are written by people who are on the search for the perfect dumb joke, and that takes an entire head full of brains.

Some of the stupid shows smart people enjoy have such an idiotic premise that it’s hard to imagine that anyone intelligent would enjoy them. Something like Arrested Development, a show that at its core is about rich people arguing over a property company, sounds no different than a series like Dallas or Dynasty. However, the show’s substantial amount of witty jokes makes it one of the best dumb TV series with smart humor out there. 

Vote up your favorite smart TV shows that seem stupid below and add anything you feel is missing. 

list ordered by
1
849 228
Futurama is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Maurizio Pezzoli added Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal
Futurama is an American adult animated science fiction sitcom created by Matt Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series follows the ...more
2
1,019 303
Rick and Morty is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer
Rick and Morty (Adult Swim, 2013) is an American adult animated science-fiction sitcom created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon. Cynical mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his fretful, easily ...more
3
754 280
Archer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
H. Jon Benjamin, Judy Greer, Amber Nash
Archer (FXX, 2009) is an American adult animated black spy sitcom created by Adam Reed. The adventures and mishaps of secret agent Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) and his colleagues, who are ...more
4
780 295
It's Always Sunny in Philadelp... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FXX, 2005) is an American television sitcom created by Rob McElhenney. The series follows "The Gang", a group of five depraved underachievers: twins ...more
5
804 323
South Park is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman
South Park (Comedy Central, 1997) is an American adult animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. In the small town of South Park, four boys get caught up in all sorts of bizarre ...more
6
626 248
Arrested Development is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi
Arrested Development is an American television sitcom created by Mitchell Hurwitz, which originally aired on Fox for three seasons from November 2, 2003 to February 10, 2006. A fourth season of ...more
7
599 245
Monty Python's Flying Circus is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a British sketch comedy series commissioned by David Attenborough, created by the comedy group Monty Python and broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974. The shows ...more
8
418 143
Parks and Recreation is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Elora Vibes added Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir, Nick Offerman
Parks and Recreation is an American television sitcom starring Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, a perky, mid-level bureaucrat in the parks department of Pawnee, a fictional town in Indiana. Created ...more
9
656 297
Bob's Burgers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman
Bob's Burgers is an American animated sitcom created by Loren Bouchard for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Belchers—parents Bob and Linda, and their children Tina, Gene, ...more
10
506 234
Drunk History is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Derek Waters, Bennie Arthur, Craig Cackowski
Drunk History (Comedy Central, 2013) is an American television comedy series created by Derek Waters, based on the Funny or Die web series. In each episode, an inebriated narrator, who is played ...more
11
458 226
Mystery Science Theater 3000 is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieu
Mystery Science Theater 3000, often abbreviated MST3K, is an American television comedy series created by Joel Hodgson and produced by Best Brains, Inc. The show premiered on KTMA in ...more
12
314 191
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Elora Vibes added Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith
Doctor Who (BBC, 2005) is a British science-fiction television show created by Sydney Newman, C. E. Webber, and Donald Wilson. The further adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer ...more
13
59 21
Robot Chicken is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
qwerty9988 added Seth Green, Matthew Senreich, Breckin Meyer
Robot Chicken (Adult Swim, 2005) is an American stop motion sketch comedy television series created by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich. Pop culture references fly thick and fast as stop-motion ...more
14
48 24
The Simpsons is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by the ...more
15
267 344
Trailer Park Boys is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Tee Jay added John Paul Tremblay, Robb Wells, Mike Smith
Trailer Park Boys is a Canadian mockumentary black comedy-drama sitcom television series created and directed by Mike Clattenburg that focuses on the misadventures of a group of trailer park ...more
16
282 390
Saturday Night Live is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Darrell Hammond, Kenan Thompson, Seth Meyers
Saturday Night Live is an American late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show created by Lorne Michaels and developed by Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, ...more
17
243 333
Portlandia is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Kyle MacLachlan
Portlandia is a satirical sketch comedy television series, set and filmed in and around Portland, Oregon; it stars Carrie Brownstein and former Saturday Night Live cast member Fred Armisen. The ...more
18
218 296
The Last Man on Earth is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Will Forte, January Jones, Cleopatra Coleman
The Last Man on Earth is an American post-apocalyptic comedy television series created by and starring Will Forte. The series premiered on the American broadcast network Fox on March 1, 2015. ...more
19
34 15
Wilfred is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Elijah Wood, Jason Gann, Fiona Gubelmann
Wilfred is a US remake of a previous Austrailian show by the same name, starring Elijah Wood and Jason Gann.
20
39 25
Shameless is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, Ethan Cutkosky
Shameless is an American television comedy-drama which airs on Showtime. This remake of the award-winning British series is set in Chicago's Canaryville neighborhood on the South Side, although ...more
21
37 26
American Dad! is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Seth MacFarlane, Wendy Schaal, Dee Bradley Baker
American Dad! is an American adult animated sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane, Mike Barker, and Matt Weitzman for the "Animation Domination" lineup on Fox. American Dad! is the first ...more
22
29 17
Schitt's Creek is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Dan Levy
Schitt's Creek (CBC, 2015) is a Canadian television sitcom created by Eugene Levy and Dan Levy. After losing their fortune, a family is forced to rebuild their lives with their sole remaining ...more
23
16 9
BoJack Horseman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Luke Albright added Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie
BoJack Horseman is an American animated sitcom created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg. The series stars Will Arnett as the eponymous character, BoJack Horseman. The supporting cast includes Amy ...more
24
160 272
Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Y... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Elizabeth Banks, Michael Ian Black, Janeane Garofalo
Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later is a 2017 Netflix comedy series directed by David Wain. Set in 1991 in both the camp and New York City, the show is a sequel to 2001 film Wet Hot ...more
25
13 19
American Vandal is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Tyler Alvarez, Griffin Gluck, Jimmy Tatro
This series (Netflix, 2017) is a true satire mockumentary series. When senior class clown Dylan Maxwell (Jimmy Tatro) is accused and expelled from school, sophomore Peter Maldonado (Tyler ...more