I am so excited for these posts that will celebrate the humor and wit of 108 Actresses and Comedians that have given me and others endless hours of laughs.
Humor is different for everyone. For me, I find people funny who can play off other people. Reactions are funny to me. Anyone can tell a joke, these are women who are mostly smart, witty and react to their surroundings in a comical way.
Now lets begin our countdown…
#108. Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler is a former stand up comic, who now has a late night talk show on the E! Network. Her humor is very brash. She is also a best-selling author, making fun of her own life of drinking and hook ups.
Best Performance: Any roundtable discussion on “Chelsea Lately”
#107. Eliza Coupe
Eliza Coupe is the best part of the now cancelled “Happy Endings”. A great ensemble cast, yet Eliza really had the most natural comedic timing of the group. She previously had a short stint on “Scrubs”, but other than that nothing as big as “Endings”.
Best Performance: Jane Kerkovich-Williams on “Happy Endings”
#106. Penny Marshall
Most people know Penny Marshall as an acclaimed director, but in the 70’s, she was a sitcom star. She has an impressive resume when it comes to shows in that era, “The Odd Couple”, “Mary Tyler Moore”, “Happy Days”, and “Laverne and Shirley”. Her dry wit played off Cindy Williams’ manic Shirley perfectly.
Best Performance: Laverne DeFazio on “Laverne and Shirley”
#105. Christina Applegate
Christina Applegate started acting when she was a teenager, playing dumb blonde, Kelly Bundy, on Married with Children. A role she did for ten years, which could have led to being typecast in dumb blonde sort of roles. Instead Applegate made some great movies and starred in 2 more television series’.
Best Performance : Kelly Bundy on “Married With Children”
#104. Lauren Graham
Lauren Graham was a frequent guest star on many nineties sitcoms until she landed her own show “Gilmore Girls” in 2000. Where Graham really shines is on the talk show circuit. She is so awkwardly clever, you can’t wait to see what she is going to say next.
Best Performance : Herself on “Ellen”
#103. Elizabeth Banks
Elizabeth Banks has a diverse range of movies and television shows under her belt. She has been everywhere in the last few years, most notably, “The Hunger Games”, in which her role needs to have a comedic twist to it. She delivers perfectly as she does in every role she has.
Best Performance: Avery Jessup on “30 Rock”
#102. Marla Gibbs
As the sassy housekeeper on “The Jeffersons”, Marla Gibbs stole every scene she was in. From 1975 to 1990 Marla had a home on network television, also starring in the series 227, a great feat for a black actress at the time.
Best Performance: Florence Johnston on “The Jeffersons”
#101. Kaley Cuoco
We first recognized Kaley Cuoco as the ditzy teenage daughter of John Ritter and Katy Segal on “8 Simple Rules”. Even as a young actress she kept up the pace with Ritter and Segal. She really hit the jackpot with the role of Penny on “The Big Bang Theory”. She plays the straight girl in a universe of nerds and does it with hilarity and compassion.
Best Performance : Penny on “The Big Bang Theory”
#100. Cheryl Hines
Cheryl Hines is an underrated comedic actress. She has done a lot of bit parts in movies and television. Her improvisational role in “Curb your Enthusiasm” solidified her as a funny lady. Now starring in “Suburgatory”, a very different character, she has shown her range of comedy.
Best Performance: Cheryl David on “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
#99. Rachel Dratch
The first of several “Saturday Night Live” alums on this list. SNL is still Rachel’s most famous outlet, even though she has been in countless movies and sitcoms over the years. She usually has a small part, but will probably steal the scene she is in.
Best Performance: Debby Downer on “Saturday Night Live”
#98. Zooey Deschanel
Zooey started out as a character actress in movies such as “Almost Famous” and “The Good Girl”. Noticed for her comedic skills, she then had starring roles in “Elf” and “500 Days of Summer”. But it was her 2011 hit sitcom “New Girl” that made her a household name and also made the word “adorkable” mainstream.
Best Performance : Jess on “New Girl”
#97. Janeane Garofalo
Janeane became really big in the nineties as this fresh voice among female comics. She had such intelligence about her, at the same time being extremely cynical. She worked often with Ben Stiller, most famously in “Reality Bites”. She has done a little of everything in her career, including dramas (“24”), voice acting (“Ratatouille”) and sitcoms (“Seinfeld”).
Best Performance : Paula on “The Larry Sanders Show”
These are my top 12 favorite television finales or events that have happened in 2012. May is such a great time to be a television watcher. This year was capped off with some emotional endings and a few sad goodbyes.
#12. Dancing With The Stars (Season 14 “Season Finale”)
This season had some of the most talented celebrity dancers ever. Katherine Jenkins, an opera singer from Wales, came right out of the gate on week one and wowed everyone. She continued all the way to the end until losing to Green Bay Packer, Donald Driver. Donald gave every dance all that he had each week, and it was a well deserved win. It just happens that there were 2 other dancers just as good, Jenkins and Latin heart-throb William Levy. If anything, it made for a fantastic finale with the lowest score being 59 out of 60.
#11. Modern Family (Season 3 Episode 24 “Baby on Board”)
The critical sweetheart was a bit hit and miss this season. They had some really funny episodes (Aunt Mommy) and some real duds too (Tableau Vivant), but the season finale did everything right. What Modern Family does so great is that it mixes the humor in with heartfelt moments throughout this complex family. The scenes between Jay and Lily are absolutely wonderful. Cam and Mitchell losing yet another adoption in some sort of odd Spanish soap opera world, is both hilarious and touching. And Gloria is pregnant? What? Oh boy, can’t wait until Mitchell and Claire find out they will have a new brother or sister.
#10. Once Upon A Time (Season 1 Episode 22 “A Land Without Magic”)
Once Upon A Time turned out to be a very fun,Disneyesque show. The main premise of the new series is that there is a curse on the town of Storybrooke, and none of the townspeople know they are actually story book characters. It has made for a very interesting story but at the end of the season finale, the curse is broken?? The characters are “waking up” and realizing who they are. Extremely ambitious of the brand new series do this so early in its development. It was sweet that the curse was broken from Emma kissing her son Henry’s head. Of course, I am sure that everything isn’t going to end happily ever after, since when we last saw Regina/Evil Queen, a purple cloud of smoke was enveloping the town.
#9. Smash (Season 1 Episode 15 “Bombshell”)
This is the second freshman series finale on my list. Smash started out very strong when it debuted in early February. In only 15 episodes it has managed to create very well-defined characters and an intoxicating world surrounding the tumultuous life of a Broadway show. Based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, we have watched our two leading ladies battle all season for the coveted lead role. The director picks Karen in the end, who he has envisioned all along, and she nails the final number as we last see her. On the flip side Ivy, who lost the role, is on a downward spiral, much like Marilyn, and she is now contemplating suicide. Other highlights include producers, Tom and Julia, trying to fix the ending that didn’t work and slimy assistant Ellis finally getting fired.
#8. Glee (Season 3 Episode 22 “Goodbye”)
The guilty pleasure known as Glee, delivered a very poignant ending for the seniors at McKinley High. After finally winning Nationals, the glee club was on a high coming back to school and then realized that this was it for them as a group. The student’s melodies were all about saying goodbye, to each other, to the glee club, and to their life as they knew it. This episode really showcased the gem that has elevated Glee to different level, Lea Michele. Much like her character Rachel, she has a star quality that is above the rest. Her vocals are unbelievable and her acting is so spot on that sometimes you feel she should be doing something so much better. The final scene where Finn tells her she is going to New York, is brilliantly played by Michele. If she does not return next season I do believe Glee will suffer, but hopefully we will get a little of Rachael’s adventures in NYC.
#7. Survivor: One World (Season 24 Episode 14 “Perception Is Not Always Reality)
Survivor is finally dominated by a woman and it was satisfying to see Kim Spradlin’s journey from start to finish. Rarely has a woman ever been so strong strategically and physically. It was the Kim show and the rest of them were just there for the ride. Not a terribly entertaining season, nonetheless, it is nice to root for a clear winner, and have them actually triumph in the end.
#6. The Good Wife (Season 3 Episode 22 “The Dream Team”)
It was another solid finale for the classiest show on television. The title of the episode could be referring to the duo of Louis Canning (Michael J Fox) and Patti Nyholm (Martha Plimpton). They are trying to take down Lockhart/Gardner and don’t care who goes down with it. Of course, the dream team could also be Alicia and Peter who are just trying to do right by their kids. Peter who is now living in their old home with the kids, and we leave Alicia standing outside debating whether or not to go back in and have dinner with them. Yet, I like to think that the Dream Team is Kalinda and Alicia. It took a long time for Alicia to come around to Kalinda and we are all better for it. Kalinda, who doesn’t care about anyones feelings, really cares for Alicia, and she was much weaker without her support. Now that Alicia is back on her side, they can both fight this mysterious husband that is bound to stir up trouble.
#5. Desperate Housewives (Season 8 Episode 22 & 23 “Give Me The Blame” & “Finishing The Hat”)
After eight years the ladies of Wisteria Lane say goodbye. In an emotional two-hour finale, we laughed, cried and smiled all the way through, and in typical fashion, gasped at the end of the episode. Housewives, for me, was that show each week that was just consistently good. It was always fun and it had a unique tone to it, that many others have tried to recreate, but couldn’t. The four main women, were so incredible in these roles and they all needed to be there to make the show work. Many neighbors came and went, but those four remained true to the story for eight years. It is sad to think that none of them live on Wisteria Lane anymore, but our imaginations can run wild knowing there are still mysterious doings happening there.
#4. Fringe (Season 4 Episode 22 “Brave New World: Part 2”)
Fringe is my favorite show that no one is watching. One of the most creative shows on television, this season was no exception. The finale was built almost as a series finale, as there was a possibility that it wouldn’t get a fifth season. Luckily there will be a final season and we will get a proper end to a complex, intriguing story. As far as season finales go, this was one of the best. It had all the elements that you could want, a pregnancy reveal, two main characters shot and brought back to life and, of course, a surprise cameo. In this case it was Leonard Nimoy back as William Bell. Fringe has turned a sharp corner in its storytelling and it isn’t looking back, the final season has a lot to live up to and “Brave New World” has set it up very nicely.
#3. Grey’s Anatomy (Season 8 Episode 24 “Flight”)
If there is one thing you can count on in May, it’s that the Grey’s Anatomy finale will ROCK! Any other show would have had “Migration” as the finale. All the doctors board the plane and we cut to the plane crash…the end, see you in September. Not Grey’s, they gave us the struggle before leaving us dangling for dear life. They also gave us the teaser that one of the doctors was going to die, so you kept hoping your favorite was going to make it. Unfortunately, it was Lexie, with a few others not looking so good. Keeping the rest of Seattle Grace in the dark about the crash was a bit frustrating for us as viewers, but that will hopefully start Season 9 off with a bang. Sandra Oh, after this years performance, and especially this episode, deserves an Emmy more than ever, please give her one!!
#2. Saturday Night Live (Season 37 Episode 22 “Mick Jagger”)
This was almost my number one pick, the reason I made it number two was that as a whole episode, I didn’t think it was worthy for the top spot. It had some really great moments and cameos throughout, including Jon Hamm and Steve Martin, but it was Kristen Wiig’s farewell that stole the show. It was the last sketch and it concluded with a graduation ceremony with Kristen being serenaded to by Mick Jagger and Arcade Fire to “She’s Like a Rainbow.” It started out really cute as all the cast members took a turn to dance with Wiig, then you could start to feel the emotion coming out of her as she was trying to hold back her tears. Even Lorne Michaels came out, which is a testament to how important she is to the cast. The lyrics are perfectly suited for her, “She comes in colors everywhere” as the many characters on SNL that she has given us for seven years. The show comes to a close as the whole cast plus the guest stars and some alumni (Amy Poehler, Chris Parnell and Chris Kattan) sing “Ruby Tuesday” and most importantly the line, “Still we’re gonna miss you.”
#1. Parks and Recreation (Season 4 Episode 22 “Win, Lose or Draw”)
It was the climax that we have all been waiting for, the results of Leslie’s election in which the whole season has been based on. I had mixed feelings on whether I wanted Leslie to win or not, and I think that is what the writers wanted us to feel. I think it probably represented a lot of the characters as well. As we obviously wanted Leslie to triumph, things are going to change in the Parks Department, and are we ready for that? Well, after a recount Leslie did win and things are going to change. Leslie is now on the city council, Ben is off to D.C. to work on a congressional campaign and Andy might pursue a new career in the police department. One of the best episodes in its four seasons. It was really funny with a lot of emotional scenes, most importantly Leslie’s acceptance speech, which was superbly played by Amy Poehler. Maybe her best scene so far on this show. Absolute perfection!
Seinfeld is my favorite comedy of all time and these are my Top 12 favorite episodes:
#12. The Busboy Season 2 Episode 12
While the gang is out to dinner the table next to them catches on fire and they put it out. George, innocently enough, tells the manager that the busboy put the menu too close to the candle. This results in the busboy getting fired. George, feeling tremendously guilty, goes to the busboy’s house to apologize. He takes Kramer along with him and they forget to shut his door and his cat runs out. Meanwhile, Elaine has a boyfriend staying with her for a week and can’t wait for him to leave. On the morning of his flight, they over sleep and she makes a frantic dash to try to get him packed and to the airport on time. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is absolutely hilarious in this scene, it pretty much solidified Elaine as a strong a character as the boys.
Funny Quote:Elaine: “I never knew I could drive like that. I was going faster than I’ve ever gone before, and yet, it all seemed to be happening in slow motion. I was seeing three and four moves ahead, weaving in and out of lanes like an Olympic skier on a gold medal run. I knew I was challenging the very laws of physics. At Queens Boulevard, I took the shoulder. At Jewel Avenue, I used the median. I had it. I was there. And then, I hit the Van Wyck. They say no one’s ever beaten the Van Wyck, but gentlemen, I tell you this… I came as close as anyone ever has. And if it hadn’t been for that five-car pile-up on Rockaway Boulevard, that numskull would be on a plane for Seattle right now instead of looking for a parking space downstairs.”
#11. The Merv Griffin Show Season 9 Episode 6
Kramer finds Merv Griffin Show sets in a dumpster and takes them home and sets up his apartment to look like the show. Jerry is seeing a woman who has an old toy collection that Jerry wants to play with. Elaine is dealing with a “sidler” at work, a man who suddenly appears right by her without her hearing him. George, with his girlfriend, hits a pigeon while driving and she gets very upset with him. So the next time they are driving George swerves to miss a pigeon and ends up hitting a squirrel. They end up taking it to the vet and “doing whatever is possible” to keep the squirrel alive. These plotlines are a little weak on their own, but when they go to Kramer’s and talk about them on The Merv Griffin Show, it elevates the episode to a new level. Kramer and Newman are hysterical as the hosts of a show that they are pretending people are actually watching.
George: “Don’t we have a deal with the pigeons?” Jerry: Of course we have a deal. They get out-of-the-way of our cars…we look the other way on the statue defecation.
#10. The Bubble Boy Season 4 Episode 7
When a father recognizes Jerry in the coffee shop he says that his son is a big fan and could Jerry stop by and see him. The son, Donald, is stuck in a bubble so Jerry feels bad and says yes. Coincidently, Jerry and Elaine are following George and Susan to Susan’s cabin for the weekend and the Bubble Boy is on the way. George drives too fast and loses Jerry, so George and Susan end up at the Bubble Boy’s house waiting for them. Donald ends up being really obnoxious and plays George in a game of Trivial Pursuit. A fight ensues after Donald answers a question incorrectly as stated on the card, which is an obvious typo. George struggles with Donald and in the process punctures the bubble. Just as they are taking him out on a stretcher, Jerry and Elaine show up. Kramer and Jerry’s girlfriend end up going to the cabin to surprise the others who are not there yet. Kramer lights a cigar and leaves it, resulting in Susan’s cabin being ablaze when they finally arrive.
Bubble Boy: “Okay, “History”, this is for the game. How ya doing over there? Not too good!” George: “Alright Bubble Boy, let’s just play. Who invaded Spain in the 8th century?” Bubble Boy: “That’s a joke… The Moors.” George: “Ohhh no! I’m so sorry it’s the Moops! The correct answer is the Moops.”
#9. The Soup Nazi Season 7 Episode 6
The Soup Nazi is probably one of the most iconic characters in the Seinfeld universe. Based on a real soup restaurant in NYC, the Soup Nazi has very strict rules when ordering, and if you do not follow those rules, “No soup for you!” Elaine’s B plot is very funny as well, she asks Kramer to watch her armoire outside of her apartment until she can move it in the next day. Kramer gets taken by two tough gay street thugs who take the armoire right out from under him. Kramer then ends up getting the Soup Nazi’s armoire and gives it to Elaine, who then finds his secret recipes in the drawers.
Jerry: “The guy who runs the place is a little temperamental, especially about the ordering procedure. He’s secretly referred to as the Soup Nazi.” Elaine: “Why? What happens if you don’t order right?” Jerry: “He yells and you don’t get your soup.”
#8. The Contest Season 4 Episode 11
After George is caught by his mother, alone with a Glamour magazine, the gang makes a bet about who can hold out the longest. Jerry is having a hard time as he is dating a virgin and there is a naked woman in the apartment across from him. Kramer can also see the women out his window and he ends up being the first one out of the contest. Elaine has her own problems as John F. Kennedy Jr. is in her aerobics class and seems interested in her. Elaine is the second one out. Jerry and George then tough it out with all their distractions, and the end implies that no one won the contest, but it is referred to in later episodes who actually won.
Estelle: “I don’t understand you. I really don’t. You have nothing better to do at 3:00 in the afternoon? I go out for a quart of milk; I come home, and find my son treating his body like it was an amusement park!”
#7. The Junior Mint Season 4 Episode 20
Jerry is dating a woman that he can’ t remember her name. Yet, he knows it rhymes with a female body part. Him and George spend the whole episode trying to guess her name, which results in the most famous guess of “Mulva”. Elaine goes to visit an old boyfriend, who she had dumped because he was too fat, in the hospital. He has now lost weight and Elaine is interested again. He needs a splenectomy and Jerry and Kramer get to observe the operation. Kramer tries to give Jerry a Junior Mint and they end up dropping it right into the patient’s body.
Jerry: “Produce section. Very provocative area. A lot of melons and shapes. Everyone’s squeezing and smelling.”
#6. The Puffy Shirt Season 5 Episode 3
Kramer’s new girlfriend is a “low talker” and during a conversation with Jerry, she asks him to wear a puffy shirt during his appearance on the Today show. He agrees because he couldn’t hear anything she said. George has to move back in with his parents and while they are all out to dinner George meets a woman who thinks he would be a perfect hand model.
Kramer: This pirate trend that she’s come up with, Jerry — this is gonna be the new look for the 90’s. You’re gonna be the first pirate! Jerry: But, I don’t wanna to be a pirate!
#5. The Pez Dispenser Season 3 Episode 14
George’s new girlfriend has a piano recital and George invites Jerry and Elaine to go with him. During the concert Jerry puts a Tweety Bird pez dispenser on Elaine’s leg and she couldn’t control her laughter. She runs into an old friend outside the concert and he tells her that their friend has a drug problem and he needs Jerry’s help. So they plan an intervention at Jerry’s which results in George’s girlfriend figuring out that Elaine was the laugher during her performance. Meanwhile, Kramer is practicing swimming with the Polar Bear Club.
Intervener #1: He’s here! What do we do? Intervener #2: Hide! Jerry: It’s not a surprise party!
#4. The Hamptons Season 5 Episode 21
The gang is off to the Hamptons to see their friends new baby. Jerry and George are both bringing girls with them and when George leaves everyone sees his girlfriend topless except him. George, now very upset that Jerry has seen her half-naked, tries to catch Jerry’s girlfriend as she is changing. Jerry then sends her to George’s room when he is changing and she sees him naked. George is now very worried about his “shrinkage” because he was just in the pool. The conversation between Jerry, George and Elaine about men’s shrinkage is one of the funniest of the series. Elaine is then infatuated with the baby’s doctor who calls her breathtaking, and then calls the ugly baby breathtaking.
Jerry: Do women know about shrinkage?
Elaine: What do you mean like laundry?
Jerry: No, like when a man goes swimming afterwards.
Elaine: It shrinks?
Jerry: Like a frightened turtle!
Elaine: Why does it shrink?
George: It just does.
#3. The Rye Season 7 Episode 11
George and his parents are going have dinner with Susan and her parents. The Costanza’s bring a marble rye bread and since Susan’s parents never put it out, they took it back home with them. George is appalled and wants to somehow get the rye back in the apartment. They set up a date for Mr and Mrs Ross’s anniversary to have Kramer take them on a handsome cab ride. Kramer, who is now buying huge items at the price club, feeds the horse beef-a-reno and while on the ride, the horse has some digestive problems. Jerry is in charge of getting another rye from the bakery and a little old lady buys the last one. He pleads to her and offers her $50 for it, but she won’t budge. He ends up stealing it from her on the street and runs off with it. H tries to throw it up to George in the apartment window but can’t, finally George uses a fishing pole to pull it up and when he gets it in the window Susan and her parents are standing there watching him. Elaine, on the other hand, has her own problems with her saxophonist boyfriend who won’t do everything.
Kramer: One can never be too certain about the gastrointestinal workings of the equine.
#2. The Chinese Restaurant Season 2 Episode 6
This is one episode that epitomizes Seinfeld. They make a whole episode of television about Jerry, Elaine and George waiting for a table at a chinese restaurant before they go to the movies. They do nothing else but wait at the restaurant. The dialog is very real and very funny. Jerry offers Elaine money to go an eat an egg roll off another person’s plate. George is trying to get on the pay phone to tell his girlfriend where he is. There is no big storyline, it is just showing twenty-two minutes out of these people’s lives. The only reason that this episode isn’t number one is because it doesn’t feature Kramer, and even though it is a classic episode, number one needs to showcase all four cast members.
George: Yes, I’m expecting a call for Costanza. Bruce: Yes, someone call. I say “Cartwright! Cartwright!” but no one come and I hang up.
After the restaurant owner makes George miss Tatiana’s phone call.) George: She called. He yelled ‘Cartwright’. I missed her. Jerry: Who’s Cartwright? George: (pause)…I’m Cartwright. Jerry: You’re not Cartwright. George: OF COURSE I’M NOT CARTWRIGHT!
#1. The Pick Season 4 Episode 13
The Pick is an episode that all four main characters shine. Jerry is dating a Calvin Klein model and she catches him possibly picking his nose and she dumps him. Kramer, who in a previous episode, developed a cologne called the Beach (now called the Ocean) and tried to pitch it to Calvin Klein. When Kramer comes over to Jerry’s apartment he smell it on his girlfriend and has a fit that they used his idea. He goes to Calvin Klein to complain and he ends up being an underwear model for him. George is having problems with Susan so he goes to a therapist and his zipper on his jacket gets stuck. They both become obsessed with getting it unstuck. Elaine thinks she wants to send a Christmas card with her picture on it, so Kramer takes the picture and she sends them out. Once they get out people are noticing that her nipple is showing in the picture. She is humiliated that she sent them to everyone she knows and the people at work start calling her “Nip”. I love a lot of Seinfeld episodes, but this one is my favorite because each storyline is hilarious and the actors are all on the top of their game here.
George: “Hey! How come I didn’t get a Christmas card? Everybody else got one. Jerry got one, Kramer got one. I thought we were good friends. I don’t get a Christmas card. I don’t get it.” Elaine: “You want a Christmas card? You want a Christmas card? All right here. (rubs George’s head on her breasts) Here’s your Christmas card.”
One of the funniest comedies in the last few years, Parks and Recreation has a bunch of great episodes, here are my top 12 favorite so far:
#12. The Camel Season 2 Episode 9
When a mural is defaced because of its racial undertones, each department comes up with a new proposal for a new mural. Each member of the parks department has their own crazy idea of what the mural should be. The highlight is Jerry who starts off by saying “murnial”, and of course the rest of them razz him about saying that. The subplot which involves Andy and Ron and an uncomfortable moan is really hilarious.
Funny Quote: Ron Swanson: “I got my first job when I was 9. Worked at a sheet metal factory. In two weeks, I was running the floor. Child labor laws are ruining this country.”
#11. Rock Show Season 1 Episode 6
This is the only Season 1 episode on my list. The season finale really set up the comedy that was to come in Season 2. Leslie’s on a date with a much older man who was set up by her mother. She ends up bringing the 60-something to Andy’s Rock Show. Andy has just gotten his casts off, yet Ann has discovered he could have had them off a long time ago. Season One really tried to find itself and finally did with this episode.
Funny Quote : Andy to Ann explaining why he didn’t get his casts off earlier : “I really, really like it when you serve me food.”
#10. Woman of the Year Season 2 Episode 17
Leslie thinks she is Pawnee’s woman of the year, much to her dismay it is Ron who wins the award. Leslie spends the whole episode trying to justify why they would give it to Ron, a man, instead of her. Ron has a lot of fun messing with Leslie about winning, but eventually he comes clean and presents the award to Leslie when he receives it. Meanwhile, Tom is trying to find someone to help him invest in the Snakehole Lounge.
Funny Quote: Tom: “All I want in life is to own a nightclub on every continent, have my own line of upscale sweat-suits and cologne called Tommy Fresh and I fell a thousand dollars short.”
#9. Park Safety Season 2 Episode 19
Jerry says he was mugged in the park filling up hummingbird feeders, so Leslie makes sure the security is up to snuff. Loud talking Park Ranger Carl, played by Andy Samberg, helps Leslie figure out what happened to Jerry. Ron tries to teach the rest of the gang self-defense which ends with Andy getting hurt and April and Ann trying to take care of him.
Funny Quote: Ron: “A schlemiel is the guy who spills soup at a fancy party. A schlamazel is the guy he spills it on. Jerry is both the schlemiel and the schlamazel of our office.”
#8. Flu Season Season 3 Episode 2
Leslie and Ben are going to present a proposal for the town’s businesses to participate in the Harvest Festival, but Leslie gets sick. April, who was the first to get sick, is in the hospital torturing her nurse, Ann. Chris also gets sick which results in some of the funniest scenes in this episode. Chris’s body is like a “microchip” so being sick really freaks him out. The best moment is him looking in the mirror, telling himself “stop pooping!” Leslie steals everyone’s flu medicine to make it to the presentation and gives a wonderful speech. Afterwards, it shows why Amy Poehler is so great, she is awesome as Leslie, somewhat high, sick and confused all at the same time.
Leslie: “If I was sick, could I do this?”
Ann: “What are you doing?”
Leslie: “Cartwheels. Am I not doing them?”
#7. Ron & Tammy Season 2 Episode 8
The pit is now filled in and the library has made a bid for it. We learn that the library is the absolute worst place ever. Luckily Ron’s ex-wife Tammy works there and Leslie thinks he can get her to back down. Except Tammy has a strong hold on Ron, and he is powerless over her. Andy has a new job, the shoeshiner in the office building.
Ron: “Every time she laughs, an angel dies. Even telemarketers avoid her. Her birth was payback for the sins of man. But you know the worst thing about her?”
Leslie: “She works for the library.”
Ron: “She works for the library.”
#6. Greg Pikitis Season 2 Episode 7
Greg Pikitis is a local high school kid who Leslie thinks is the one who vandalizes all of Pawnee every Halloween. Leslie is determined to prove it is Greg and gets her cop boyfriend to help her along the way. Greg even gets a woman to pose as his mother to throw Leslie off. Meanwhile, Ann is throwing the lamest Halloween party ever until Tom shows up and rocks the house.
April: “I passed up a gay Halloween party to be here. Do you know how much fun gay Halloween parties are? Last year I saw three Jonas brothers make out with three Robert Pattinsons. It was amazing.”
#5. Lil’ Sebastian Season 3 Episode 16
Lil’ Sebastian has died and the town of Pawnee is in mourning. A huge memorial service is planned for the little horse. The season 3 finale leaves us with a couple cliffhangers. One being Leslie has been asked to possibly run for public office, even though she is secretly having a relationship with Ben. Ron, who’s eyebrows were singed off after lighting a torch at the memorial, runs into both his ex-wives Tammy, one of which we haven’t met yet. A great highlight is Andy’s song he sings for Lil’ Sebastian, it is both hilarious and touching.
Jean-Ralphio: “I hope you brought a change of clothes because your eyes are about to piss tears.”
#4. Pawnee Zoo Season 2 Episode 1
Leslie does a harmless cute publicity stunt at the zoo by marrying two penguins. Everything went well until the zookeeper points out that they are two male penguins. Leslie then becomes a hero to the gay community and a conservative wants her to resign. Leslie spends a fun-filled night at a gay bar and loves the attention that they are giving her. She then must then go on Pawnee Today the next day and defend herself.
Marcia: “When you symbolically married those penguins on government property you took a stand in favor of the gay marriage agenda.”
Leslie: “That’s not what I intended.”
Marcia: “Then why else would you marry penguins?”
Leslie: “Because I firmly believed that it would be cute. And it was.”
#3. Eagleton Season 3 Episode 12
The snobs of the neighboring town of Eagleton have put up a fence between their park and Pawnee’s dirt lot. Leslie tries to reason with them to take the fence down, but that means talking to her former best friend Lindsay who is the head of the Eagleton Parks Department. Lindsay is played to a tee by Parker Posey. Her fight with Leslie is so hysterical and it lands Leslie in Eagleton Jail. Ann comes to bail her out and it is a great episode to showcase their friendship. The subplot is really great as well, it will be Ron’s birthday and everyone is messing with him to make him think that Leslie is going to throw some big party for him, which he doesn’t want. In the end Leslie gives him exactly what he would want for his birthday, and it becomes a really great moment between her and Ron.
Funny Quote: Ron: “Leslie has a lot of qualities I find horrifying. But the worst one by far is how thoughtful she can be.”
#2. Telethon Season 2 Episode 22
Leslie is hosting a diabetes telethon from 2-6 am on the local access channel. She enlists everyone in the department to help entertain and answer phones. Their big name is Detlef Schrempf, but Tom is in charge of getting him to the telethon on time and they get held up at the Snakehole lounge. So while they are waiting for Detlef to get there Jerry plays the piano, Ron canes a chair, Andy’s band Mouse Rat performs and Leslie talks Mark into proposing to Ann and then tries to stop it after Ann doesn’t seem interested in him anymore.
Tom: “I can’t make it to the telethon tonight because I have no interest in being there.”
#1. Practice Date Season 2 Episode 3
Practice Date is one of my favorite episodes of television. No show, in a long time, has made me laugh as hard as this one has. Leslie is nervous about her first date with policeman Dave, so Ann is going to help her with a practice date. Amy Poehler is a comic genius in this episode and her improv of that practice date is hilarious. When she riffs on all the crazy things that have happened on her previous dates, it is priceless. Rashida Jones is also great as the “mean” date that Leslie must endure to be prepared for anything to happen. Leslie then gets drunk and goes to Dave’s house the night before the actual date and embarrasses herself. Dave is willing to give her a second date, counting that as their first date, so now the pressure is off. In the office, everyone is having a contest of who can dig up the most dirt on the other one. There are some really great moments in this especially the introduction of Duke Silver. I can’t say enough about this episode, I absolutely love it!
Leslie: “What if he shows up with another woman? What if one of my sleeves catches on fire and it spreads rapidly. What if instead of tic tacs I accidentally pop a couple of Ambien and I have to keep punching my leg to stay awake?”
Ann: “Those are all insane hypotheticals and I promise you they won’t happen.”
Leslie: “They have happened. All of these have happened to me.”
Hopefully you have enjoyed my top television show countdown. It has been really fun revisiting some old shows and discovering new ones along the way.
So here it is, my Favorite Top 12 Television Shows of all time:
#12. ER (1994 – 2009)
ER changed the way medical dramas were shot . I can remember watching it for the first time and being blown away by the quickness of each shot. You really felt like you were in an ER. That was thanks to Michael Crichton, the creator, and John Wells, the producer. It was more realistic than anything we had seen on tv and it was refreshing. I guess the cast could have had something to do with it also. This was George Clooney’s launch into superstardom. The show ran for fifteen years and many actors came and went in that time, and pretty much all of them were top-notch. Noah Wyle, Anthony Edwards, Julianna Margulies and Laura Innes will all be remembered mostly for their roles on ER. There are some really great medical shows out there but this one is the best and would be very difficult to beat.
Notable Performances: Maura Tierney as Abby Lockhart
Goran Visnjic as Luka Kovac
Memorable Episode: Season 2 Episode 7: Hell and High Water
#11. Parks And Recreation (2009 – Present)
Parks and Recreation is the most recent show in my top twelve. Usually a show takes years to get to the level that Parks is at. I think the first season they were feeling out their audience and the second season they just went for it and hit it out of the park, pun intended. Now, just finishing its third season, it is a must see for Thursday nights. Pawnee, Indiana is the setting for this documentary-style sitcom. It follows the government officials of the town, in the parks department. A superbly talented group of actors, I could watch these characters sit around and do nothing and they would still be funny.
Notable Performances : Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope
Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson
Memorable Episode: Season 2 Episode 4 : Practice Date (This is one of my favorite episodes of all time, absolutely hilarious!)
#10. Arrested Development (2003-2006)
It is almost a crime that this show was only on for three seasons. It follows the wealthy Bluth family in which the Patriarch, George, is arrested in the pilot episode and the family doesn’t know how to function. Son Michael steps in to try to bring some common sense to the situation but his siblings usually get in the way. There is so much going on in each episode that is hilarious it needs a second and third viewing to get it all. Way before its time, Arrested Development was such an unfortunate cancellation. It made a huge impact on television in just three seasons, imagine if it could have been on longer.
Notable Performances: Will Arnett as Gob Bluth II
David Cross as Tobias Funke
Jessica Walter as Lucille Bluth
Memorable Episode: Season 2 Episode 13 : Motherboy XXX
#9. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999-Present)
This is my favorite procedural show and my favorite partnership ever on television. Detectives Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson tackle the most unimaginable crimes. The reason I think it is the one of the best partnerships is that they have an amazing dynamic under the most awful and sometimes unusual circumstances. Olivia is very personal with the victims and makes them feel safe and comfortable. Where Elliot does whatever it takes to bring in the perp, lots of time crossing the line, and his anger gets the best of him. Between the two of them they make an unstoppable duo. Unfortunately, Chris Meloni, who plays Elliot, is leaving the show and I am not sure that they could find the same symmetry with anyone else, hopefully I am wrong.
Notable Performances : Christopher Meloni as Elliot Stabler
Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson (Emmy Winner 2006)
Memorable Episode : Season 9 Episode 17 : Authority
#8. The Golden Girls (1985-1992)
I remember watching The Golden Girls as a kid and thinking it was so funny. Then I didn’t see it for many years until it came out on DVD’s and Lifetime started playing reruns of it. I realized that not only was this show still funny, it was so smart too. Developed by Susan Harris, who also wrote most of the episodes and created spin-off’s Empty Nest and The Golden Palace. The writing of this show was so sharp and along with the four main cast members who were absolutely perfect, it’s no wonder it was a huge hit. It was because it was hilarious and the women, Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty, were such pros, they nailed every scene. It is one of only a few shows that stayed on track its entire run. It had the same momentum from the pilot episode to the season finale. When Bea Arthur decided to leave the show, the creators decided to end the show instead of continuing on with only three of the four cast.
Notable Performances: Betty White as Rose Nylund (Emmy Winner 1986)
Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo (Emmy Winner 1988)
Memorable Episode : Season 1 Episode 13 : A Little Romance
#7. Fringe (2008-Present)
Fringe, I believe, is the most underrated show on television today. This show has some of the finest acting and an unparalleled mythology that makes you think and wonder what the heck just happened? It seems to fight every year just to stay on the air but it does has a large network of fans that hopefully will keep it going for a long time to come. Olivia Dunham is a FBI agent assigned to the secret Fringe division that investigates strange and bizarre happenings. She enlists the help of an eccentric scientist, Walter Bishop, who is a genius but also was institutionalized. It starts out as a type of procedural sci-fi show in its first season, and it really takes off in season 2 as this epic story that unfolds as Olivia and Walter discover why all these peculiar things are happening. It is such a shame that it hasn’t won any Emmy’s, especially for Anna Torv and John Noble. The complexity of the characters that they play are unsurpassed.
Notable Performances : Anna Torv as Olivia Dunham/Alternate Olivia/William Bell/Olivia Dunham playing Alt. Olivia/Alt. Olivia playing Olivia/Future Olivia
John Noble as Walter Bishop/Walternate (Alternate Walter)/Walter in the Past/Walternate in the past/Future Walter/Future Walternate
Memorable Episode: Season 2 Episodes 22 & 23 : Over There Part 1 & 2
#6. Saturday Night Live (1975 – Present)
Lorne Michaels created this sketch show in 1975 and he is still pumping out shows thirty-six years later. That is amazing in itself. Yet, SNL has lasted that long for a reason, it is the place to be seen if you are an up and coming performer. Hosting the show is an honor and it shows the audience a different side that we might not get to see. It is a unbelieveable list of people who have worked on SNL and the talent that has come out of it can not be denied. Tackling the politics of the world, celebrities and some wacky characters, SNL isn’t afraid to go there. They make fun of things that we are all thinking but can’t say ourselves.
Notable Performances : Will Ferrell as George W. Bush
Molly Shannon as Mary Catherine Gallagher
Memorable Episode: Season 32 Episode 9: Justin Timberlake
#5. Cheers (1982-1993)
The bar in Boston where everyone knows your name, is the first show I remember needing to be home to watch every Thursday night. Cheers was so comfortable, it made you feel like you were hanging out in the bar with these guys. Really vivid characters and a familiarity each week made it an enormous hit. A test of a truly remarkable show is that when one of the main cast members leaves, someone comes in without missing a beat. That is what happened when Shelly Long decided to part ways with the show, Kirstie Alley stepped in and we almost forgot about Diane Chambers. The center of the show was Ted Danson as Sam Malone. He was the heart and soul of Cheers and led this amazing cast through eleven years of terrific memories.
Notable Performances : Ted Danson as Sam Malone (Emmy Winner 1990 & 1993)
Memorable Episode : Season 5 Episode 9 : Thanksgiving Orphans
#4. Three’s Company (1976-1984)
Three’s Company was my favorite tv show growing up. Reruns played all the time in the mid-eighties, and I just loved them. Once I got older and re-watched episodes I realized there was no way that I understood half these jokes as a child, but I loved it anyway. On the outside Three’s Company seems like a slapstick type of show with a lot of sexual innuendo, but it actually has some really great writing and the cast was perfect. John Ritter was outstanding as Jack Tripper, the klutzy womanizer who is living with two girls. Suzanne Somers was overshadowed by her blonde bombshell looks and the controversy surrounding her departure, but she was exceptional as Chrissy Snow. Definitely very dated but oh so much fun!
Notable Performances : John Ritter as Jack Tripper (Emmy Winner 1984)
Norman Fell as Stanley Roper
Don Knotts as Ralph Furley
Memorable Episode : Season 3 Episode 19: The Bake-Off
#3. The Office (2004- Present)
Michael Scott’s Dunder Mifflin branch in Scranton, PA has been the home to many awkward situations usually caused by Scott himself. Steve Carrell is brilliant as Michael Scott, the boss who just wants to be liked but borders on being offensive. He thinks of his co-workers as his friends and just wants to do right by them. Very funny, dry humor that you sometimes have to look for. Jokes are not in your face, they are subtle and often uncomfortable. The first five seasons the cast was perfect, great chemistry with each other. The last two seasons have felt a little unbalanced with the departure of Michael and new characters introduced. Hopefully it will get back on track, and if not the time we have had at the office has been fabulous.
Notable Performances : Steve Carrell as Michael Scott
Rainn Wilson as Dwight K. Schrute
Memorable Episode : Season 2 Episode 10: Christmas Party
#2. Seinfeld (1990-1998)
My all time favorite comedy. Seinfeld changed the way sitcoms were perceived and made us think about what was funny. Petty observations were the theme of Seinfeld, often referred to being a show about nothing. They took the simplest little quirks of people and made a whole entire episode about that and how others react to it. Absolute genius, thanks to co-creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David.The four main cast members couldn’t be more perfect. I do think that if someone different had been cast, it wouldn’t have worked. The show will forever live in pop culture as being a pioneer of what sitcoms have now become. I can watch Seinfeld any time, any place, any episode and I still enjoy every minute of it.
Notable Performances: Jerry Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld
Jason Alexander as George Costanza
Michael Richards as Cosmo Kramer (Emmy Winner 1993, 1994 & 1997)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes (Emmy Winner 1996)
Memorable Episode: Season 2 Episode 11: The Chinese Restaurant
AND NOW FOR NUMBER 1……………
#1. Lost (2004-2010)
Lost is my number one pick because it changed the way I watched tv. No other show had me thinking about it long after an episode aired. I didn’t start watching it live until season 4, and in a world with online viewing and DVR’s, it was a show that you had to be home to watch. After I realized I couldn’t stop theorizing and wondering about this show I went online to see what others thought. What I found was a rabid online community full of podcasts and websites all dedicated to this series that I was so intrigued with. I have never experienced anything like it, and am very doubtful I will again. Lost managed to have it all, superb acting with a very large cast, mysteries that had us guessing until the very end (and even now), amazing writing that tied six seasons of a show together exquisitely, and a musical score from Michael Giaccino that just melted your heart. The premise of plane crash survivors on a mysterious island is captivating enough, let alone all the things I just mentioned. I believe your favorites things in life are things that you spend the most time doing, well that is what Lost managed to do. I’ve spent hours upon hours theorizing what is going on, on that island. For that reason alone I couldn’t pick any other show for number one.
I didn’t watch Alias when it aired on television. It peaked my interest as I heard about it being a similar show to Lost. Jennifer Garner stars as Sydney Bristow, a seemingly young college student, but really a recruited CIA spy. The show is action packed, but the real draw of the show is the relationships of the characters. Sydney’s estranged father is also in the CIA, mystery constantly surrounds her dead mother, and she is in love with her CIA handler Michael Vaughn. The series was only on for five seasons, but there was such an underlying mythology woven throughout, that made the show very credible.
Notable Performances: Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow
Victor Garber as Jack Bristow
Memorable Episode: Season 2 Episode 22 : The Telling
#23. Friends (1994 – 2004)
In the 90’s there were countless shows that tried to mimic Seinfeld. What made Friends different from all the other shows was primarily the cast. The connection that these six main characters had with each other was evident on-screen. The actors were all so talented, that, along with witty writing made for a sure-fire hit. The ongoing relationship with Ross and Rachel was really the heart of the show. It started with that and after ten seasons it ended with that.
Notable Performance: Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay (Emmy Winner 1998)
Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green (Emmy Winner 2002)
Memorable Episode: Season 2 Episode 7 : The One Where Ross Finds Out
#22. The Twilight Zone (1959 – 1964)
The sci-fi show that spawned endless others. Rod Serling’s masterpiece focused each week on ordinary people put in bizarre, unimaginable situations. It was one of the first shows, along with Hitchcock Presents, that was very thought-provoking. It had some really strong messages about how we, as humans, live our lives. The Twilight Zone is probably most famous for its twist ending of each episode. It has now been fifty years since the show aired and people still refer to a shocking ending of a show or movie as a “Twilight Zone ending”.
Notable Performance: Burgess Meredith as Henry Bemis
Memorable Episodes: Season 1 Episode 8: Time Enough at Last
Season 2 Episode 6: Eye of the Beholder
Season 5 Episode 3: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
#21. The Comeback (2005)
Lisa Kudrow’s hilarious comedy about Valerie Cherish, a washed up actress trying to make her way back in the business. Cameras follow Valerie as she has landed a new sitcom Room and Bored as the older Aunt Sassy. Done in a documentary style, this HBO series didn’t have enough time to really blossom. It only lasted one season, where as today, I think it would have been more receptive to viewers. Lisa Kudrow’s first post-Friends tv show, she came out swinging. She shines as Valerie Cherish and we really get to see what a great talented comedic actress she is. This is definitely one of the most tragic cancellations in history.
Notable Performances: Lisa Kudrow as Valerie Cherish
Robert Michael Morris as Mickey Deane
Memorable Episode: Season 1 Episode 2 : Valerie Triumphs at the Upfronts
#20. The New Adventures of Old Christine (2006-2010)
The Seinfeld curse is finally broken. Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as Christine Campbell (Old Christine) a divorced mother who is still friends with her ex husband, who is now in a relationship with a younger woman also named Christine, a.k.a. New Christine. A great premise for a show and Louis-Dreyfus is wonderful as Old Christine. The self-absorbed, wine drinking, promiscuous 40 something is trying to be the best mother she can, but of course she gets in her own way. A remarkable cast surrounding her makes it seem like these people are an actual dysfunctional family. Another show cancelled too soon and unfortunately didn’t get a rightful ending.
Notable Performance: Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Christine Campbell
Hamish Linklater as Matthew Kimble
Wanda Sykes as Barb Baran
Memorable Episode: Season 4 Episode 3 : White Like Me
#19. The Amazing Race (2001 – Present)
The Amazing Race has all the elements of a great reality show rolled into one. It has great characters, difficult challenges and exotic locations. Together it makes for a great hour every week. Teams of two race around the world searching for clues to their next destination. They must battle the elements of each country, road blocks, detours and each other to get to the end to win a million dollars.
Notable Performances: Phil Keoghan as the Host
Memorable Episode: Season 15 Episode 5 : Do it For the Hood! Do it For the Suburbs!
#18. The Simpsons (1989 – Present)
The Matt Groening animated sitcom about a family in Springfield is still going strong in its 22nd season. The Simpsons consist of Homer and Marge and their children Bart, Lisa and Maggie. Bart, who is notorious for getting into all kinds of mischief, has become a pop culture icon. Homer Simpson has grown into being more than just a dimwit, he really tries to do right by his family. Homer was chosen by EW as the #1 television character of all time. The Simpsons have the same great voice actors as they had when they first began on The Tracey Ullman Show. Hundreds of famous celebrities have provided voices over the years such as Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney and Elizabeth Taylor.
Notable Performance: Dan Castellaneta as Homer Simpson
Memorable Episode: Season 6 Episode 25: Who Shot Mr. Burns?: Part 1
#17. 30 Rock (2006 – Present)
30 Rock is based on Tina Fey’s reign as head writer on Saturday Night Live. Fey’s character Liz Lemon is the head writer of a skit comedy show and she tries to keep all the craziness in check, especially with her outrageous star of the show Tracey Jordan, played by Tracey Morgan. Her boss Jack Donaghy is all business but ends up being a real confidant to Liz. The show is very hip and the jokes are quick-witted. Tina Fey is a genius and this was a perfect transition for her from SNL. Tons of powerhouse guest stars pushes this shows quality over the top.
Notable Performances: Tina Fey as Liz Lemon (Emmy Winner 2008)
Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy (Emmy Winner 2008 & 2009)
Memorable Episode: Season 5 Episode 4: Live Show
#16. Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – Present)
Grey’s Anatomy follows the surgical staff at Seattle Grace hospital. If I had done this list last year I think that Grey’s would have been a much higher number. I always enjoyed Grey’s Anatomy but I thought it was another soapy medical drama. Now, after seven seasons, I can see that creator Shonda Rhimes established very well-defined characters. It took me six years to see it but this season of Grey’s really opened my mind and I could see the development of these people. At the end of Season 6 there was an explosive episode with a shooting at the hospital. Season 7, then, focused on what the ramifications of what that event did to everyone. It was a very real depiction of how trauma is dealt with even months after the fact. Grey’s doesn’t get the critical acclaim it deserves, it is a terrific show with an amazing cast.
Notable Performances: Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepard
Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey
Sara Ramirez as Callie Torres
Memorable Episodes: Season 6 Episode 23: Sanctuary
Season 6 Episode 24: Death and All His Friends
#15. Top Chef (2006 – Present)
This is the highest reality show that I have on my list. Top Chef is a delicious look at chefs competing in, sometimes silly, challenges to see who will be the culinary champion. The contestants are actual chefs from across the country and if you didn’t know, chefs have big personalities, which makes for great tv. There are three main judges but each week there is a guest judge who is usually a big name in the foodie world. Top Chef recently won the Emmy for best reality show.
Notable Performance: Tom Colicchico as Head Judge
Memorable Episode: Season 8 Episode 1: History Never Repeats
#14. The X – Files (1993 – 2002)
The X-Files was another show that I did not watch live when it aired. It wasn’t until after the series ended that I watched the entire nine seasons on DVD. It took me a couple of years to do, but I am so glad that I did. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are FBI agents assigned to the X-Files, a department that investigates unexplained events. Mulder is a true believer and Scully is the forever skeptic. Together they are my second favorite partnership to ever grace the small screen. What a great match to delve into the deep twisted phenomenon of the universe. The X-Files was also the first show that I remember seeing a mythology to the back story of the characters. Definitely one of the best sci-fi shows ever made and gave the Fox network some much-needed credence.
Notable Performances: David Duchovny as Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully
Memorable Episode: Season 2 Episode 25: Anasazi
#13. Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-Present)
Larry David’s autobiographical look at his life post Seinfeld. David was the writer and co-creator of Seinfeld and now lives in LA with his wife, but nothing seems to make him happy. Larry has all the money he could wish for, a beautiful wife, a lovely home, but yet the smallest things tick him off and he just can’t get over them. A perfect show for HBO because it needs the profanity and inappropriate subject matter in it to make it all that much funnier. A really, really hilarious show that also pokes fun at the LA lifestyle of a celebrity. His friends often appear in episodes like Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Richard Lewis and Wanda Sykes. The highlight of Curb was a Seinfeld reunion arc that included the cast altogether for the first time since it went off the air.
Notable Performances: Larry David as Larry David
Susie Essman as Susie Greene
Memorable Episode: Season 7 Episode 3 : The Reunion
The ladies of Wisteria Lane are still keeping us entertained after seven seasons. The four main women have held the show together and kept things interesting along the way. The mix of mystery, relationships, comedy and drama all come together very nicely. Housewives always keeps us guessing to what will happen next. In a brilliant move, they jumped ahead five years in season five to develop new stories. Mostly the show is about friendship, and how these four women stick together through all the chaos around them.
Notable Performance: Felicity Huffman as Lynette Scavo (Emmy Winner 2005)
Memorable Episode: Season 1 Episode 23 : One Wonderful Day
#35. Will & Grace (1998-2006)
Will is a lawyer in New York City and he lives with his best friend Grace, an interior designer. Will is gay and Grace is straight and they help each other out in relationships and other problems that arise. Their friends Jack and Karen steal the show with their outrageousness. Jack is extremely flamboyant and Karen is Grace’s boozy rich secretary that basically only works for the entertainment of it. Tons of guest stars and brave storylines made this an absolute hit.
Memorable Episode: Season 3 Episode 18: An Old Fashioned Piano Party
#34. Six Feet Under (2001-2005)
The HBO drama created by Alan Ball, was a hit from the start. Six Feet Under takes a peek inside the Fisher family who runs a funeral home in California. Son, Nate, has just returned home after his father’s death and helps his brother and mother run the family business. This was one of the first shows I remember watching and thinking, “wow, is this really on T.V.”? It was so progressive, and so daring and the characters were so complex, it just completely floored me. A lot of shows have tried to live up to the same quality as Six Feet Under, and many have come close, but it was this show that first set the standards for cable television dramas.
Notable Performances: Francis Conroy as Ruth Fisher
Peter Krause as Nate Fisher
Memorable Episode: Season 5 Episode 12 : Everybody’s Waiting
#33. Sex and the City (1998-2004)
Sex and the City is about 4 single women and their adventures with men in NYC. It is a very candid look at what women think and react to the opposite sex. The four best friends are brilliantly played by Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristen Davis, Kim Catrall and Cynthia Nixon. Narrated by Parker’s character, Carrie Bradshaw, there is usually a theme to each episode as she is writing her column. I think Carrie Bradshaw changed the face of fashion in the six years she was on the air. Also, cosmopolitan cocktails and endless New York City landmarks were prevalent throughout the show. Sex and the City continued with two blockbuster films after the series ended.
Notable Performances: Kim Catrall as Samantha Jones
Cynthia Nixon as Miranda Hobbs (Emmy Winner 2004)
Memorable Episode : Season 3 Episode 9 : Easy Come, Easy Go
#32. 24 (2001-2010)
Does any one not know who Jack Bauer is? The “real-time” action packed drama features Keifer Sutherland, in a role of a lifetime, as Jack Bauer, a counter-terrorist unit agent. Each season of 24 is one day in the life of Jack, usually involving a terrorist attack of some sort. Great guest stars and co-stars, such as Jean Smart, Dennis Haysbert, Cherry Jones and Carlos Bernard, make this a really well-rounded show. After 8 seasons (or days) there were some hits and some misses, yet no one can deny that Jack Bauer is the ultimate bad ass.
Notable Performance: Keifer Sutherland as Jack Bauer
The girls of Eastland entertained and educated us for nine years. Discussing some of the most controversial topics for a mainstream sitcom at the time. It was a great show to watch as a young woman growing up, realizing that these girls dealt with the same problems that you did. The five main cast members, led by Charlotte Rae, had impeccable chemistry. Everyone of them were cast perfectly and their relationships with each other seemed very real. Co-stars George Clooney as handyman George Burnett and Geri Jewell as Blair’s cousin with Cerebral Palsey Geri Tyler, were an added bonus to the already smash hit show.
Notable Performance: Nancy McKeon as Jo Polniaczek
Memorable Episode: Season 2 Episode 5: Cousin Geri
#30. Survivor (2000-Present)
Survivor is probably the show that started the reality show movement. When it debuted in the summer of 2000 it created a genre of television that is still going strong. Survivor was a fascinating look at what happens when you strand a group of people on a deserted island then have to vote each other off one by one until there is a sole survivor. What makes Survivor stand the test of time more than any other show, is that the dynamics of each show can change on a dime. How people react to others and how they deal with certain circumstances are something that can not be scripted. Not every season is riveting T.V., but most seasons are engrossing to watch the contestants squirm and connive to obtain that million dollar prize.
Notable Performance: Jeff Probst as the Host (Emmy Winner 2008, 2009 & 2010)
Memorable Performance: Season 1 Episode 13 : Season Finale
#29. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977)
Mary Richards was the quintessential strong, single woman. She moved to Minneapolis by herself and gets a job at a television newsroom. Mary Tyler Moore was perfect in this role, it was a change from the submissive wife, Laura Petrie, she played on the Dick Van Dyke Show. Besides MTM’s influence, this show worked because the supporting cast was just as great, Ed Asner, Betty White, Cloris Leachman, Valerie Harper and Ted Knight. Even though this was called the Mary Tyler Moore Show, it truly was an ensemble cast. The show is now forty years old but the themes and hilarity still hold up, that shows how remarkable this series was.
Notable Performances : Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards (Emmy Winner 1973, 1974 & 1976)
Ed Asner as Lou Grant (Emmy Winner 1971, 1972 & 1975)
Memorable Episode: Season 6 Episode 7 : Chuckles Bites the Dust
#28. Modern Family (2009 – Present)
A documentary style comedy that follows the Pritchett family and their lives. A perfectly executed show that explores the issues of “modern” families. Patriarch Jay is married to a voluptuous Columbian woman who is half is age, who has a young, very precocious son. Jay’s son, Mitchell, is gay and him and his partner are raising an Asian baby girl. Jay’s daughter Claire, is married with three kids. The cast is so wonderful and their comedic timing is flawless. It always has a great theme to each episode, which is to always be there for your family no matter what.
Notable Performances: Ed O’Neill as Jay Pritchett
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker (Emmy Winner 2010)
Memorable Episode: Season 1 Episode 4 : The Incident
#27. Absolutely Fabulous (1992 – 2004)
This was my first introduction to British comedy. It was so over the top, I wasn’t even sure what I was watching. These two women, Patsy and Edina, drank, did drugs, slept around and laughed all the way through it. Edina’s daughter, Saffron, was sensible and responsible and usually had to clean up her mother’s messes. It is hysterically funny and I even think I miss some of what they are saying because of their accents and drunken speech. It is crude and distasteful, but so so funny!
Notable Performances: Jennifer Saunders as Edina
Joanna Lumley as Patsy
Memorable Episode: Season 1 Episode 2 : Fat
#26. Twin Peaks (1990 -1991)
The David Lynch murder mystery series was unbelievably only on for two seasons. When you think about how much press and recognition that this show got for only a total 30 episodes, it is amazing. Twin Peaks was a quirky little town that was tangled in a murder of teenager Laura Palmer. Kyle McLachlan is Special Agent Cooper who is in charge of the case. He then has to weave his way through the bizarre townspeople of Twin Peaks. A unique show that just couldn’t keep up once the murder was solved. Even though there was only thirty episodes, most of them were so captivating that we just hung on and enjoyed the ride.
Notable Performance: Kyle MacLachlan as Dale Cooper
Memorable Episode: Season 1 Episode 1 : Pilot
#25. The Good Wife (2009-Present)
Created by husband and wife team, Robert and Michelle King, The Good Wife is an incredibly classy legal drama. Julianna Margulies has managed to snag another role that is so clever and intelligent, that she just carries this show into new territory. Yes, it is another courtroom program, but in this case it is usually the B plot of the episode. The A plot surrounds Alicia Florrick, a lawyer who has just gotten back into practicing at her college friend’s prestigious law firm. We are watching through her eyes how she is dealing with the ramifications of her State Attorney husband’s sex scandal. Chris Noth is excellent as her husband Peter Florrick. Each episode comes closer to the truth about her husband, as she tries to do her best to defend her clients. It is very different from anything on television right now, I have only seen the first season and still put it this high on my list.
Notable Performances: Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick
Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma (Emmy Winner 2010)