Writing a quality half-hour comedy is harder than you think: It requires skill, timing, and a deep well of personal pain and humiliation from which to pull in order to make others laugh. So it makes sense, then, that some of the funniest shows on TV originate from the stand-up routines of some of our best comedians.
And let’s be honest — comedies make the best binge marathons. They’re light, funny, and are usually lower commitment than that new legal show about the seven kingdoms that are battling zombies in space. Who has the attention span for all that?
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Louie CK: ‘Louie’
Time commitment: 5 Seasons, 61 Episodes = 1 day, 2.5 hours
Why it’s worth your time: Louie C.K. is known for his obscurely funny observations about the minutia of everyday life, and he puts all of his powers of observation into this series. Sometimes dark, often revealing, Louie’s perspective is always entertaining.
You’ll love this show if you liked: “Party Down,” “The League,” “Master of None”
You might not like this show if: you prefer broad pratfalls and laugh tracks
The one episode you cannot miss: “So Did the Fat Lady” (Season 4, Episode 3)
Where to binge it: Hulu, Netflix
Amy Schumer: ‘Inside Amy Schumer’
Time commitment: 4 Seasons, 39 Episodes = 19.5 hours
Why it’s worth your time: Amy Schumer has skyrocketed to fame in the last year or so, and with good reason. Her comedy, while often risque, explores what it’s like to be a woman in the modern world, and her series is the perfect extension.
You’ll love this show if you liked: “Veep,” “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” “Key & Peele”
You might not like this show if: You aren’t capable of understanding that women can be funny.
The one episode you cannot miss: “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer” (Season 3, Episode 3)
Where to binge it: Hulu
Jerry Seinfeld: ‘Seinfeld’
Time commitment: 9 Seasons, 171 Episodes = 3 days, 18.5 hours
Why it’s worth your time: It’s the classic comedy about nothing. If you didn’t already realize that half of your pop culture references originated from this ’90s sitcom, get ready to have your mind blown.
You’ll love this show if you liked: “Cheers,” “Frasier,” “Everybody Loves Raymond”
You might not like this show if: You are into people being nice to each other.
The one episode you cannot miss: “The Merv Griffin Show” (Season 9, Episode 6)
Where to binge it: Hulu
Sarah Silverman: ‘The Sarah Silverman Program’
Time commitment: 3 Seasons, 32 Episodes = 16 hours
Why it’s worth your time: Sarah Silverman may have been ahead of her time when this series aired on Comedy Central. She was singing into a video recorder on her toilet long before Abbi & Ilana made it hipster cool to be gross.
You’ll love this show if you liked: “Broad City,” anything on Adult Swim
You might not like this show if: You’re not into bathroom humor.
The one episode you cannot miss: “Nightmayor” (Season 3, Episode 4), guest-starring Maria Bamford as Mayor-elect May Kadoody.
Where to binge it: Amazon