Entertainment
3.6k voters

Really Stupid Shows That Are Actually For Smart People

Updated March 2, 2021 27.4k votes 3.6k voters 54.9k views48 items

List RulesVote 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 - 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.

Photo:
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia1
    1,406
    399

    It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

    Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Black comedy

    Season 14 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 80%

    It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FXX, 2005) is an American television sitcom created by Rob...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Futurama2
    1,320
    397

    Futurama

    Billy West, John DiMaggio

    Premiered1999

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Sitcom, Comedy, Science Fiction

    Rotten Tomatoes Series Average - 95%

    Futurama is an American adult animated science fiction sitcom created by Matt Groening and...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • South Park3
    1,313
    447

    South Park

    Trey Parker, Matt Stone

    Premiered1997

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Comedy, Sitcom, Satire

    Season 22 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 77%

    South Park (Comedy Central, 1997) is an American adult animated sitcom created by Trey Parker...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Rick and Morty4
    1,479
    523

    Rick and Morty

    Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Adult animation, Sci-fi, Comedy, Adventure

    Season 3 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 96%

    Rick and Morty (Adult Swim, 2013) is an American adult animated science-fiction sitcom created...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Arrested Development5
    1,042
    364

    Arrested Development

    Jason Bateman, Michael Cera

    Premiered2003

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Rotten Tomatoes Series Average - 75%

     

    Amazon buy button
  • Parks and Recreation6
    803
    285

    Parks and Recreation

    Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Mockumentary, Satire, Romance TV, Comedy-drama

    Rotten Tomatoes Series Average - 92%

    Parks and Recreation (NBC, 2009) is an American television sitcom created by Greg Daniels and...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Archer7
    1,093
    426

    Archer

    H. Jon Benjamin, Judy Greer

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Adult animation, Action, Comedy

    Season 7 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 100%

    Archer (FXX, 2009) is an American adult animated black spy sitcom created by Adam Reed. The...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Bob's Burgers8
    995
    422

    Bob's Burgers

    H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Sitcom, Comedy

    Season 6 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 100%

    Bob's Burgers (FOX, 2011) is an American animated comedy television series created by Loren...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus9
    843
    371

    Monty Python's Flying Circus

    Graham Chapman, John Cleese

    Premiered1969

    Genres (Tv)Sketch comedy, Satire, Comedy

    Rotten Tomatoes Series Average - 100%

    Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a British sketch comedy series commissioned by David...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Drunk History10
    733
    359

    Drunk History

    Derek Waters, Bennie Arthur

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Television comedy, Historical fiction, Comedy

    Season 1 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 59%

    Drunk History (Comedy Central, 2013) is an American television comedy series created by Derek...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • The Simpsons11
    357
    167

    The Simpsons

    Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright

    Premiered1989

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Television comedy, Comedy, Family Film

    Season 29 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 99%

    The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Mystery Science Theater 300012
    626
    340

    Mystery Science Theater 3000

    Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson

    Premiered1988

    Genres (Tv)Comic science fiction, Comedy, Puppet

    Season 10 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 100%

    Mystery Science Theater 3000, often abbreviated MST3K, is an American television comedy series...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Robot Chicken13
    273
    141

    Robot Chicken

    Seth Green, Matthew Senreich

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Sketch comedy, Black comedy, Animation, Sitcom, Satire

    Rotten Tomatoes Score - N/A

    Robot Chicken (Adult Swim, 2005) is an American stop motion sketch comedy television series...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • American Dad!14
    303
    176

    American Dad!

    Seth MacFarlane, Wendy Schaal

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Black comedy, Animation, Sitcom, Satire, Animated cartoon

    Rotten Tomatoes Score - N/A

    American Dad! is an American adult animated sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane, Mike Barker,...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • BoJack Horseman15
    231
    128

    BoJack Horseman

    Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris

    Premiered2014

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Animation

    Season 5 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 98%

    BoJack Horseman (Netflix, 2014) is an American animated sitcom created by Raphael...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Schitt's Creek16
    221
    132

    Schitt's Creek

    Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    Season 5 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 100%

    Schitt's Creek (CBC, 2015) is a Canadian television sitcom created by Eugene Levy and Dan...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Doctor Who17
    492
    352

    Doctor Who

    Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant

    Premiered1963

    Genres (Tv)Sci-fi, Adventure, Drama

    Season 11 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 91%

    Doctor Who (BBC, 2005) is a British science-fiction television show created by Sydney Newman,...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Shameless18
    220
    149

    Shameless

    Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Drama

    Season 9 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 70%

    Shameless (Showtime, 2011) is an American comedy-drama television series developed by John...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Big Mouth19
    98
    65

    Big Mouth

    Nick Kroll, John Mulaney

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Animation, Adult, Comedy

    Season 3 - Rotten Tomatoes Score 100%

    Big Mouth (Netflix, 2017) is an American adult animated sitcom created by Nick Kroll, Andrew...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Letterkenny20
    66
    56

    Letterkenny

    Jared Keeso, Alexander De Jordy

    Premiered2016

    Genres (Tv)Comedy

    Rotten Tomatoes Score - N/A

    Letterkenny (Crave, 2016) is a Canadian sitcom created by Jared Keeso and developed and...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Trailer Park Boys21
    403
    463

    Trailer Park Boys

    John Paul Tremblay, Robb Wells

    Premiered2001

    Genres (Tv)Television comedy, Mockumentary, Comedy-drama, Comedy

    Rotten Tomatoes Score- N/A

    Trailer Park Boys (Showcase, 2001) is a Canadian mockumentary black comedy-drama sitcom...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Wilfred22
    134
    145

    Wilfred

    Elijah Wood, Jason Gann

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Black comedy

    Rotten Tomatoes Series Average - 82%

    Wilfred (FX, 2011) is an Australian-American comedy television series developed by David...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Portlandia23
    325
    429

    Portlandia

    Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Sketch comedy

    Rotten Tomatoes Series Average - 94%

    Portlandia (IFC, 2011) is a sketch comedy television series created by Fred Armisen, Carrie...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Housos24
    0
    2

    Housos

    Melissa Tkautz, Ian Turpie

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Documentary

    Housos is an Australian comedy television series created by Paul Fenech for SBS, that screens...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Saturday Night Live25
    392
    522

    Saturday Night Live

    Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon

    Premiered1975

    Genres (Tv)Sketch comedy, Satire, Variety show, Sketch, Comedy

    Season 44 - Rotten Tomatoes Score- 70%

    Saturday Night Live (NBC, 1975), also known as SNL, is an American late-night live television...  more
    Amazon buy button