TV Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most  

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List Rules Only comedies currently on TV or streaming that are either in season or expected to return

If you are someone who thinks that modern sitcoms are too lowbrow, this list will give you hope. For audiences tuning into television to laugh and be intellectually stimulated at the same time, shows like Louie on FX and Review on Comedy Central are sure to entertain. Highbrow humor is still on the rise, as new shows like Last Man on Earth have truly impressed audiences who are tired of lazy jokes and broad humor. 


But what smart sitcoms are currently on the air? Highbrow funny TV can often be found on premium cable channels like HBO (which offers political satire with a show like Veep), and Showtime (which offers meta-humor with Episodes starring Matt LeBlanc). Some of that same meta-humor can be seen in Lisa Kudrow’s The Comeback, as well as the reliably intelligent comedy series Portlandia.

These award-winning highbrow sitcoms are not limited to subscription-only channels. In fact, the comedy writing on The Goldbergs, Broad City, and Community (from NBC to Yahoo) are all impressive and witty. Highbrow comedy shows also include animated series like Bojack Horseman on Netflix, Robot Chicken on Adult Swim, and Archer on FX. 

So if you're ready to be tickled and impressed, check out the shows on this list of current smart comedy shows. Vote up the ones you like the best!

list ordered by

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Archer is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Archer Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Archer is an American adult animated television series created by Adam Reed for the FX network. A preview of the series aired on September 17, 2009. The first season premiered on January 14, ...more

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The Simpsons is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
The Simpsons 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

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33 16
Modern Family is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
kaykan added Modern Family Modern Family is an American television sitcom that premiered on ABC on September 23, 2009, which follows the lives of Jay Pritchett and his family, all of whom live in suburban Los Angeles. ...more

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Veep is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Veep Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Veep is an HBO television comedy series, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, set in the office of Selina Meyer, a fictional Vice President, and subsequent President, of the United States. The series ...more

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelp... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is an American television sitcom that premiered on FX on August 4, 2005, and moved to FXX beginning with the ninth season. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia was ...more

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is an American sitcom created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock and starring Ellie Kemper that has streamed on Netflix since March 6, 2015. Originally set for a 13-episode ...more

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Silicon Valley is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Silicon Valley Silicon Valley is an American television sitcom created by Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky. The series focuses on six young men who found a startup company in Silicon Valley. The ...more

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72 84
Louie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Louie Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Louie is an American comedy-drama television series on the FX network that began airing in 2010. It is written, directed, edited, and produced by the show's creator, stand-up comedian Louis ...more

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72 81
Bob's Burgers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
carlybobarly added Bob's Burgers 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
63 72
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Brooklyn Nine-Nine is an American action comedy television series that airs on Fox. Set in the fictional 99th Precinct of the New York City Police Department in Brooklyn, the single-camera ...more

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Rick and Morty is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Kevin Klinker added Rick and Morty Rick and Morty is an American adult animated television series created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon for Adult Swim. The series follows the misadventures of alcoholic scientist Rick and his ...more

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The Middle is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
The Middle The Middle is an American sitcom about a working-class family living in Indiana and facing the day-to-day struggles of home life, work, and raising children. The show premiered September 30, ...more

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New Girl is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
New Girl New Girl is an American sitcom television series that premiered on Fox on September 20, 2011. Developed by Elizabeth Meriwether under the working title Chicks & Dicks, the series revolves ...more

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Black-ish is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
kaykan added Black-ish Black-ish is an American sitcom starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, that debuted on ABC during the 2014–15 television season. The single-camera comedy centers on an ...more

15
48 69
The Goldbergs is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
The Goldbergs The Goldbergs is an American television sitcom that premiered on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 on ABC. The series was created by Adam F. Goldberg and stars Wendi McLendon-Covey and Jeff Garlin. ...more

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Robot Chicken is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Robot Chicken Robot Chicken is an American stop motion animated sketch-comedy television series, created and executive produced by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich along with co-head writers Douglas Goldstein ...more

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Last Man on Earth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Last Man on Earth 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

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36 72
Bojack Horseman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Bojack Horseman 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

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Portlandia is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Portlandia 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

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The Orville is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Luke Albright added The Orville The Orville (Fox, 2017) is a science fiction comedy-drama series created by Seth MacFarlane. Ed Mercer (MacFarlane) is captain of the U.S.S. Orville (ECV-197), a mid-level exploration starship ...more

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Future Man is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Luke Albright added Future Man Future Man (Hulu, 2017) is an American comedy television series directed by Brandon Trost, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg. Josh Futturman (Josh Hutcherson), a janitor by day and a gamer by night, ...more

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Master of None is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
head_wizard added Master of None

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Lucifer is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Dallas Valerian added Lucifer

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Broad City is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Broad City Awkward comedy following two friends through life in the city. Fan Amy Poehler liked it so much that she hopped on board as exec producer for its imminent TV transfer.

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Grace and Frankie is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most

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Transparent is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
head_wizard added Transparent Transparent is an American comedy-drama television series produced by Picrow for Amazon Studios that debuted on February 6, 2014. The series was created and directed by Jill Soloway. The story ...more

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Nathan For You is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Nathan For You Nathan for You is an American docu-reality comedy television series starring Canadian comedian Nathan Fielder. The series was co-created by Fielder and premiered on February 28, 2013 on the ...more

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You're the Worst is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
head_wizard added You're the Worst You're the Worst is an American single-camera comedy series created by Stephen Falk for the FX Network. It is centered on Jimmy, a self-involved writer and Gretchen, a self-destructive Los ...more

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The Comeback is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
The Comeback Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Comeback is an American television comedy-drama series produced by HBO that stars actress Lisa Kudrow as sitcom actress Valerie Cherish in modern-day Los Angeles, California. It was created ...more

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BrainDead is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Dallas Valerian added BrainDead

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Girls is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Girls Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Girls is an American television series that premiered on HBO on April 15, 2012. Created by and starring Lena Dunham, Girls is a comedy-drama following a close group of twenty-somethings living ...more

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Review is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Highbrow Comedy Shows That Impress You Most
Review Review is an American mockumentary comedy series starring Andy Daly as professional critic Forrest MacNeil, who provides reviews of real-life experiences. The series was created by Daly, and is ...more