Smarts

Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People  

Ranker TV
21.7k votes 2.9k voters 44.8k views 43 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
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

Rotten Tomatoes Series Average - 95%

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
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

Season 3 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 96%

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
It's Always Sunny in Philadelp... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney

Season 14 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 80%

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
4
Archer is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
H. Jon Benjamin, Judy Greer, Amber Nash

Season 7 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 100%

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
5
Arrested Development is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi

Rotten Tomatoes Series Average - 75%

 

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
6
Parks and Recreation is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Elora Vibes added Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir, Nick Offerman

Rotten Tomatoes Series Average - 92%

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
7
South Park is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman

Season 22 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 77%

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
8
Bob's Burgers is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman

Season 6 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 100%

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
9
Monty Python's Flying Circus is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam

Rotten Tomatoes Series Average - 100%

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
10
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

Season 1 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 59%

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
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

Season 10 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 100%

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
Robot Chicken is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
qwerty9988 added Seth Green, Matthew Senreich, Breckin Meyer

Rotten Tomatoes Score - N/A

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
13
The Simpsons is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner

Season 29 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 99%

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
14
American Dad! is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Seth MacFarlane, Wendy Schaal, Dee Bradley Baker

Rotten Tomatoes Score - N/A

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
15
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Elora Vibes added Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith

Season 11 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 91%

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
16
Schitt's Creek is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Dan Levy

Season 5 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 100%

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
17
Shameless is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, Ethan Cutkosky

Season 9 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 70%

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
18
BoJack Horseman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Luke Albright added Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie

Season 5 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 98%

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
19
The Righteous Gemstones is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Danny McBride, John Goodman, Edi Patterson

Season 1 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 79%

The Righteous Gemstones (HBO, 2019) is an American comedy television series created by Danny McBride. A world-famous televangelist family with a long tradition of deviance, greed and charitable ...more
20
Wilfred is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Elijah Wood, Jason Gann, Fiona Gubelmann

Rotten Tomatoes Series Average - 82%

Wilfred is a US remake of a previous Austrailian show by the same name, starring Elijah Wood and Jason Gann.
21
Trailer Park Boys is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Tee Jay added John Paul Tremblay, Robb Wells, Mike Smith

Rotten Tomatoes Score- N/A

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
22
Portlandia is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Kyle MacLachlan

Rotten Tomatoes Series Average - 94%

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
23
American Vandal is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Tyler Alvarez, Griffin Gluck, Jimmy Tatro

Season 2 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 98%

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
24
Saturday Night Live is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Darrell Hammond, Kenan Thompson, Seth Meyers

Season 44 - Rotten Tomatoes Score- 70%

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
25
The Last Man on Earth is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People
Will Forte, January Jones, Cleopatra Coleman

Rotten Tomatoes Series Average - 84%

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