Sitcoms are among the most easily rewatchable shows on television. It doesn’t matter how many times you see the episode of Friends where no one is ready for Ross’ big event, it’s still funny. Thankfully, many of the great TV comedies are streaming today, and Hulu has nabbed more than their fair share of them.
Picking the best comedies streaming on Hulu means making ruthless cuts. The truth is, the streamer has enough niche comedies, animated series, and ’90s favorites to keep you laughing for a good decade, at least. With that in mind, I imposed a few rules on this list just to make it manageable. Namely: no animated series (because there’s more than enough for a separate list) and no sketch shows (again, they deserve their own time to shine).
Even with these rules in place, tough decisions had to be made. So I cheated. Beneath each series, you’ll find a short round-up of similar great comedies that I couldn’t quite fit on a list of 15. Basically, Hulu is a comedy treasure trove, and this is a primer for people looking to discover or rediscover the classics.
The infamous show about nothing is actually a masterclass in observational humor. Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer are four terrible people, who are somehow a blast to hang out with — probably because they say the things that we mere mortals, who don’t exist in a sitcom, could never get away with.
Dan Goor and Michael Schur’s cop comedy is the perfect mix of slapstick and feel-good humor. The cops at the Nine-Nine feel like a family, which makes spending time with them a treat. Thanks to genius Halloween episodes, the sheer perfection of Andre Braugher, and a never-ending stream of laugh out loud cold opens, this show never disappoints.
If you’ve never joined Dorothy, Sophia, Rose, and Blanche for a slice of cheesecake and sarcasm, then what are you doing with your life? These four women are icons, and the show is a timeless reminder that comedy only gets better with age.
Absurd, crude, and always hilarious, It’s Always Sunny is a rag-tag comedy series that’s not for the easily offended. Set largely in a bar, this show is Cheers with less heart and way more weirdness.
Anthony Anderson leads a cast that’s unafraid to tackle tough issues, while never straying from the fact that at its core, the show is about the Johnson family.
6. 30 Rock
Liz Lemon, the patron saint of giving hot dogs to the good people and having it all (including her beloved sandwich), is an inspiration. She’s the boss geek woman who spoke to a generation on a show about a show that viewers rarely ever saw. In short, 30 Rock is an absurdist masterpiece that only gets better with age.
Set in a mobile hospital unit during the Korean War, M*A*S*H was among the first comedies to blend social issues, bleak reality, and smart humor to create a cohesive series about a group of people the world didn’t mind hanging out with for 11 seasons.
Leslie Knope and the folks of Pawnee never fail to deliver on optimism. If any comedy will restore your faith in humanity, it’s this one.
See also: Superstore
A spin-off of Cheers, Frasier focuses on the erudite Crane brothers and their working-class father. The mix is a potent one that relied heavily on farce to generate serious laughs.
See also: Detectorists
10. I Love Lucy
Not all old school sitcoms hold up, but there’s no touching the legacy of Lucille Ball. If you can watch the chocolates on a conveyor belt scene without laughing, there might just be something wrong with you.
Want to go somewhere where everyone knows your name? Cheers with its will-they-or-won’t romance, brash waitress0 and eccentric group of bar regulars is that place.
See also: Wings
Donald Glover is reinventing the half-hour comedy with his surreal, inventive, and critically-acclaimed series about a young man working to break into the rap industry.
The true successor of Friends, How I Met Your Mother is far from perfect, but it made sure the hang-out comedy lives on. For that alone, sitcom fans should be grateful for Barney, Ted, Robin, and the rest of the gang.
Cringe-inducing and addictive, the original version of The Office is legendary for a reason.
See also: Peep Show
The genre-smashing comedy from the somewhat twisted mind of Dan Harmon is so full of standout episodes that it would be easier to name the ones that didn’t work. Go forth and enjoy the paintball fights, the darkest timeline, and the great fort war — just steer clear of the gas leak season.