Year in Review

2016 in Review: The 10 Best Comedies

TVLine’s Year in Review continues by tending to some funny business.

Having kicked things off by counting down the dramas that best made us gasp and cry during 2016, it’s now time to give kudos to the shows that pinged our funny bone hardest or, in some cases, offered smart serio-comic insight on today’s society.

Who ranked higher — a Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a horse named BoJack or some Difficult People? Does veep Selina Meyer still get our vote? And with Master of None MIA this year, who inherited its No. 1 spot?

Our staff reflected on the last 12 months, and then went through the painful process of whittling it down to the most innovative, most moving and most gasp-inducing of the bunch.

PHOTOS Summer TV Winners & Losers

Check out the gallery above for our picks — or click here for direct access— then tell us where you think we got it right, which shows we snubbed, and what comedy you’d put at No. 1.

Coming up soon, as TVLine’s Year in Review marches on: Worst Shows, Sexiest Scenes, Grossest Moments, the Most OMG Plot Twists, Quotes of the Year and so much more!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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67 Comments
  1. Mike says:

    The Goldberg’s just got robbed!!

    • Brandi says:

      Agreed!!

    • ToyCannon says:

      I have long given up on this show. The way they jump around the 1980s is ridiculous. One week the older brother is into late 80s rap and a few episodes later they are in the early 80s with Boy George and the Culture Club.

      • shawn says:

        Yes, that annoys me so much. People make excuses the timeline jumping saying who cares. This show painted itself in the corner. And every episode is the same. How many times are kids gonna get mad at the mother for being overbearing and then cue sapping music they forgive her at the end. I stopped watching The Goldbergs last season.

  2. Gul says:

    Brooklyn nine nine should be here and the Gilmore girls revival definitely should not. As much as I loved the show originally, the revival was a mess with a few good parts and doesn’t even qualify as a comedy. Come on, TVLine, be a little objective?

  3. Jenna says:

    I think that Better Things and You’re the Worst are serious oversights here. And Atlanta should be number 1, imo no question.

    • Apparently youre a big FX fan? Well, the critics tend to watch OTHER channels! Besides, what about Clowns?

      • Jenna says:

        I am actually, and given that the channel has some of the best comedies on tv I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I also watch all other major networks, premium channels etc so your condescension was a little unnecessary. I take it you HATE FX shows and throw your tv through a window whenever one comes on?

    • TMad says:

      Haven’t watched Atlanta yet, but agree 100% on You’re the Worst. First show I thought of as being left out after viewing it.

  4. acheachee says:

    Stan against Evil was the best comedy to me this year and it is a shame it didn’t make the list.

  5. Katy says:

    What about The Good Place? I also think Life in Pieces is seriously underrated because people think it’s a copy of Modern Family (it’s not, because it’s actually belly laugh funny).

  6. Collette says:

    No to all except GG which I haven’t seen yet.

  7. Art says:

    Unpopular opinion…Atlanta is not funny.

  8. LADY_in_MD says:

    I really like Superstore it’s a funny show with a great cast

  9. Scott says:

    Can we get a Top 10 animated series of 2016 too?

  10. Leona says:

    Difficult People and Crazy Ex Girlfriend are my favorites! Kudos for including them!!!

  11. Spence says:

    Loving this whole list! Kimmy Schmidt was exceptional in its second season and Black-ish continues to excel! I just started Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Netflix and I’m already madly in love with it. Such a great show.

  12. 'A' Got a Secret says:

    I think You’re The Worst, People of Earth, Jane (Not) The Virgin, Fleabag, Better Things, The Good Place, Superstore should’ve been on the list.
    Agree with most of them.
    I hope we get Best New Shows of 2016 list too.

    • T H says:

      I actually agree with your list more than theirs, but then again I haven’t seen as many shows on their list as I have on yours. Still, Jane the (Not) Virgin definitely deserves a place on the list as much as Crazy Ex Girlfriend, and The Good Place became the show I most looked forward to every week by the time it went on hiatus. It’s a truly hilarious show with a perfect cast, and it came into my life at exactly the time I needed it most.

    • I too prefer your list. My favorite comedies are:
      Jane (Not) The Virgin
      Superstore
      The Good Place

  13. ndixit says:

    For me, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Superstore have been the shows that have lifted me up even when I was feeling down. They have never failed to bring a smile to my face and I have to thank the execs and the cast for that because it was much needed in such a troubling year.

  14. webly3 says:

    This list is great. There are so many great comedy shows on television right now. Personally, I would have taken out Difficult People and added You’re the Worst. Also, I’d have to (narrowly) replace Insecure with Fleabag. And, I would honestly probably take out Gilmore Girls and switch it with either The Good Place, Superstore, or Better Things. Oh wait I forgot about Jane the Virgin. This year was such a great year for comedy (and drama too).

  15. Kate says:

    Putting GG on the list but leaving off Speechless is a bit of a head scratcher.

  16. J. Hyacinth says:

    I KNOW you love Gilmore Girls as much as I do, Mr. Auslello, but, best comedy? *Maybe* top 15 best dramas/dramedies. But, definitely does not belong here :/ The actors did terrific performances with what they had, but, what they had wasn’t much, honestly.

  17. Joey says:

    Well, this list is immediately better than your list of dramas, because while there might be some shows that are more deserving of being on the list (or in higher spots), at least every show on this list is deserving of being on a best comedy list in the first place.

  18. evababy says:

    Pretty good list except I’d remove The Gilmore Girls (that was painful to even get through one episode). And The only thing that made S2 of Kimmy Schmidt for me was Titus.

    I replace them with Brooklyn 99 (seriously just the cold opens are funny as heck) and Master of None.

  19. Hill says:

    You’ve obviously not watched Search Party yet.

  20. George H. says:

    Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the only one I have seen, and I think it’s hilarious.

  21. Csr says:

    What about Mom and Speechless?

  22. RPC says:

    Speechless isn’t on this list? And Gilmore Girls is? That makes no sense at all. Speechless is the funniest thing on tv and GG isn’t even a series, it is an event.

    • Gena says:

      Well put! :) I can’t think of another show I watch right now that regularly makes me laugh harder or more often, or has such a completely delightful ensemble cast.

  23. B says:

    Speechless, Better Things, and Life in Pieces.

  24. I have never felt more out of the loop than clicking through that list. I have literally not seen a single episode of any of those shows. And yet I recall laughing while watching tv in 2016. Weird.

  25. peterwdawson says:

    Unbreakable Kimmy Schmit over Brooklyn Nine-Nine, especially have the season UKS had this year? Ugh.

  26. abz says:

    I really think Mom should have been on this list. I’m rewatching the third season right now and it’s still one of the funniest and raw comedies I’ve ever seen. The way it tackles real issues and emotions is amazing to watch.
    Great to see Kimmy Schmidt and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on the list. Ugh, I’m still bummed out that’s both Greg and Santino Fontana are gone from the show. :(
    I enjoyed the Gilmore Girls revival more than most people did apparently, but I don’t know if it should be on a list of top 10 best comedies especially given how emotional it was overall. Although Liza Weil/Paris deserves an award all by herself for her hilarious performance.

  27. John036 says:

    The only reason why I would want more Gilmore Girls is so that they could fix the total letdown that was the revival. And I can’t believe y’all skipped Speechless, Minnie Driver is fantastic in that. I could see her be big competition for JLD at next year’s Emmys.

  28. frokentv says:

    Gilmore girls, comedy? Hm no. Do love Bojack but this season was no comedy, heh.

  29. Simon Jester says:

    <3 <3 <3 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

  30. Super-fan says:

    The Real O’neals
    Brooklyn 99
    Life in Pieces
    Black-ish
    Insecure
    Superstore
    You’re the worst
    American Housewife
    Cuckoo
    Kim’s Convenience

    How is GG a comedy?

  31. ScottJ says:

    My idea of “best” seems to be totally different. The only show on this list that I’ve managed to watch beyond the first episode is Crazy- Ex GF and even that one is starting to annoy me. I guess I just don’t like mean, nasty, horrible “comedies” that aren’t even remotely funny.

  32. My favorites are: Younger, Jane the Virgin, Superstore, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Transparent.

    I need to finish Divorce, Insecure, Better Things, Atlanta.

  33. mary says:

    Ok seriously we need to stop with the Gilmore Girls stuff it was God awful. I mean just horrific, it actually damaged the original series for me which I loved (and no not because of any ships I didn’t care about that). The writing was out of date and out of touch, the play thing was just overly self indulgent and dragged and the acting outside of those that played Paris, Emily, Jess and Logan was horrifyingly bad. I won’t even comment on the offensive way she responded to the need for diversity.

    It does not belong on this list.

    Sorry but to leave off Brooklyn 99, Superstore, Speechless, Mindy, Good Place for Gilmores is just wrong.

  34. c-mo says:

    So glad you included GG! I loved the 4 shows, I laughed, I cried and it left me with a smile on my face!!!

  35. My top ten list of best Comedies of 2016 not on Tvline’s Top ten best comedies of 2016 list
    (in no particular order)
    Last man Standing
    People of earth
    Impastor
    Superstore
    The Good Place
    South Park
    Fleabag
    Speechless
    The Goldbergs
    Mom

  36. TvPeong says:

    Yay, black-ish! I know that I will laugh in every episode. A lot of the comedies these are interesting but not funny. Black-ish is hilarious!

  37. ToyCannon says:

    My Top 10:
    –Gilmore Girls
    –Veep
    –Shameless
    –Mom
    –The Detour
    –The Middle
    –Big Bang Theory
    –Broad City
    –Grace and Frankie
    –F Is For Family

  38. Ryan says:

    No Gilmore Girls. Just no. It was so bad. I wanted it to be great. If this was “Kirk and Michel’s brief moments on GG” then I would agree but the show on the whole? Nope. Bitterly disappointed.

  39. Jason Paul says:

    Glad to see Difficult People and Crazy Ex be recognized!

  40. Gailer says:

    I love Modern Family and Younger

    • Gailer says:

      I forgot to include Divorce, love it. Who knew I could stand Thomas Haden Church after endless reruns of Wings?! Ha he’s brilliant in Divorce.

  41. Anna says:

    I know this site is obsessed with Gilmore Girls, but it was a hot mess. I have not spoken to a single friend who actually enjoyed it (some couldn’t even make it through). It belongs far, far, far away from this list.

  42. allyanora87 says:

    2016 is not over yet and all 10 eps of the third season of Mozart in the Jungle premiers this Friday and I bet it’s good enough to be on this list.
    Also, the absense of You’re the worst, Better things, Brooklyn 99 and Dirk Gently really puzzles me.

  43. Sarah says:

    Younger should have been on this list!!!!!!!!!

  44. Anna says:

    Really? No love for Fresh off the Boat and Silicon Valley? They have got to be some of the most underrated comedies currently on television.

  45. Ally Oop says:

    I still refuse to rank 1-hour dramedies with half-hour comedies because the storytelling that can be done in the one hour format gives that genre a distinct advantage. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Gilmore Girls, Wynonna Earp and Jane the Virgin (I love all 4) are way better than any half-hour comedies. As for half-hour comedies, the best on TV this past year were Better Things, The Goldbergs, Atlanta, Kim’s Convenience, The Good Place and Big Bang Theory. I still want to see Insecure and Fuller House’s second season

  46. Eng says:

    Come on no love for Fresh Off the Boat, still a hilarious show

  47. Emor says:

    From all the comments, it is a great time for comedies! (Except for CBS’s stuck in the 80’s formula sitcoms…) And boy could this country use a laugh in the next few years!!

  48. DJ Doena says:

    Watched a few episodes of Kimmy. Not my style. I prefer more sideroad humor like You’re the Worst, Impastor and Still the King (and in earlier years Raising Hope).

  49. Lisa Echerd says:

    Of the ones you listed that I’ve watched I would put them on the worst list – Blackish, Crazy Ex Girlfriend as examples. They may be critic’s darlings but I don’t think they are funny, just full of annoying characters.
    Where is Speechless on your list? It is one of the best new shows, period.