TV The Best TV Shows Within a Show  

Matthew Cole Weiss
5.6k votes 679 voters 49.7k views 39 items Embed

The TV show within a show has been around for ages - back to the days of Dick Van Dyke starring as Rob Petrie, who wrote for The Alan Brady Show on The Dick Van Dyke Show (yeah, it can get confusing). But which of these television series hidden within other shows are is the best? Which "show within a show" would you actually watch if it had it's own spinoff?

This list includes some of the best shows within shows that television has offered through the years, be it in comedy or in drama. The shows are either programs the main characters frequently watched or were involved in making (perhaps even starring on). From Joey's star turn on Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E. to Bart and Lisa's love of Itchy and Scratchy, many of your favorite TV characters also love to watch TV, or be a part of it, and these fictional TV shows were their own favs.

From Tool Time to Inspector Spacetime, vote for which of these shows within a show is the best, and help answer this question:  Are there any shows within shows that are actually better than the TV show on which they were featured? Cast your votes and let us know in the comments section!
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"The Itchy and Scratchy Show" within "The Simpsons"

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Bart and Lisa Simpson are sorta obsessed with this cartoon within a cartoon about a cat and mouse who like to kill one another... in the most violent ways possible. To add a level of meta to this whole thing - this is a show within a show within a show!  The Itchy and Scratchy Show airs during the Krusty the Clown Show which airs on The Simpsons. Wrap your head around that!
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"All My Circuits" within "Futurama"

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All My Circuits is a soap opera that the crew of The Planet Express live for on Futurama. It stars robots as overly dramatic characters who are just trying to survive in this modern day world (of the year 3301). It's obviously a spoof of All My Children, but the difference is that All My Circuits only has one token human character.
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"The Terrence and Phillip Show" within "South Park"

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The kids on South Park are big fans of The Terrence and Phillip Show about a Canadian egghead comedy duo. In the South Park film, Terrence and Phillip are the basis for a war that almost erupts between Canada and the U.S.  One of the most famous episodes of the show within a show is perhaps Terrence and Phillip in "Not Without My Anus."
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"Wayne's World" within "Saturday Night Live"

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SNL has had many shows within a show over the years, but the most famous was definitely Wayne's World starring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey. Two movies were made based on the cable-access low budget show which brought the term "shwing" into popularity.