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 - or a stupid, secretly smart movie, for that matter - 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.
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FXX, 2005) is an American television sitcom created by Rob McElhenney. A group of five depraved underachievers: twins Dennis Reynolds (Glenn Howerton) and Deandra... more
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- 1,276435South 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
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- 275150Robot 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
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- 229155Shameless (Showtime, 2011) is an American comedy-drama television series developed by John Wells, based on the 2004 British series. Led by drunk patriarch Frank (William H. Macy), the poor and... more
- 9162Letterkenny (Crave, 2016) is a Canadian sitcom created by Jared Keeso and developed and written by Keeso and Jacob Tierney, with Tierney as director. Friends Wayne (Keeso) and Daryl (Nathan Dales)... more
- 10082Big Mouth (Netflix, 2017) is an American adult animated sitcom created by Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett, based on Kroll and Goldberg's tweenage years in the New York... more
- 395443Trailer Park Boys (Showcase, 2001) is a Canadian mockumentary black comedy-drama sitcom television series created and directed by Mike Clattenburg. The series focuses on the misadventures of a group... more
- 135147Wilfred (FX, 2011) is an Australian-American comedy television series developed by David Zuckerman, based on the 2007 Australian series. After a failed suicide attempt, a depressed man (Elijah Wood)... more
- 314412Portlandia (IFC, 2011) is a sketch comedy television series created by Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, and Jonathan Krisel. Armisen and Brownstein star as various characters in sketches parodying... more
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- 273372The 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. The... more