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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- Elora Vibes addedParks and Recreation (NBC, 2009) is an American television sitcom created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur. The series follows Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), a perky mid-level bureaucrat, and her parks ...more
- 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
- Bob's Burgers (FOX, 2011) is an American animated comedy television series created by Loren Bouchard. The series centers on the Belcher family — parents Bob and Linda and their children Tina, Gene ...more
- Forced by evil scientists to watch bad "B" movies until he breaks, a host and a bunch of captive robots comment on the films to keep sane. During each movie, the host and robots perform skits or ...more
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Schitt's CreekSchitt'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 asset: ...more
- Stan Smith is a CIA agent painfully dedicated to homeland security. His home life includes doting wife Francine, a ditzy housewife, liberal daughter Hayley and socially awkward teenaged son Steve. ...more
- Luke Albright addedBoJack Horseman (Netflix, 2014) is an American animated sitcom created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg. BoJack Horseman (Will Arnett) was the star of the hit television show "Horsin' Around" in the '80s and ...more
- Elora Vibes addedDoctor 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 known ...more
- Shameless (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
- Letterkenny (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
- Big 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
- Wilfred (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
- Tee Jay addedTrailer 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
- Saturday Night Live (NBC, 1975), also known as SNL, is an American late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show created by Lorne Michaels and developed by Dick Ebersol. Hosted by a ...more
- Portlandia (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
American VandalTrue-crime series are gaining popularity on TV so, of course, there was bound to be a satire of the genre. "American Vandal" takes a look at the aftermath of various high school pranks. Aspiring