There are many shows about smart people that end up having ridiculously stupid humor (looking at you, Big Bang Theory!). But there are also many shows that seem stupid (at surface level) but actually have very high-brow humor. But then there’s the cream of the crop! There’s the smart shows with smart humor, but also a lot of stupid jokes. This article is about them.
Here are 10 smart shows with stupid humor!
Letterkenny is a show about Canadian hicks (think “rednecks” but in Canada). The show is very fast-paced. There’s a joke practically every 10 seconds. There’s jokes that build over several episodes, and then the punchline gets delivered in the season finale. There’s jokes that build over several seasons. But make no mistakes, there is also an incredible number of silly jokes about drinking, sex, farts, and awful puns.
Just like Letterkenny, BoJack Horseman is a show that combines high-brow humor with very stupid gags. Most of the characters in the show are animals, and the first two seasons of the show really go down the hole of making stupid puns about animals. Paparazzi birds constantly get distracted by bread. Dogs love peanut butter. Horses love sugar. Very business-oriented cats have scratchers in their office. This show is brilliant.
The Good Place
Here’s a show that takes a very simple concept (people make it into hell, but it’s presented to them as heaven), but the show runners really take the concept and run with it. There are season-length metaphors about the difference between good and bad. There are deep discussions about philosophy. But there is also an incredible amount of stupid jokes (like the fact that they can’t swear, so all the swear words come out as “ash” and “bull shirt” and “fork”).
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is the pinnacle of “Smart shows about stupid people”, and honestly that’s all I have to say about this show. All the jokes are incredibly dumb, but the show is greater than the sum of its part, and the writers actually tackle some serious issues with their episode scripts.
Rick and Morty
People joke that “you need to have a certain amount of intelligence to understand this show”, but really, it’s a show with silly jokes and a sci-fi twist. I mean, it has a character whose name is “Mister Poopy Butthole”. At the same time it explores concepts like parallel universes and time travel. It also explores deep subjects like depression and relationships within a family. So yeah, it definitely fits the bill as a “smart show with stupid humor”.
Parks and Recreation
Much like “The Good Place” this show manages to have a lot of silly jokes that are grounded in entertaining characters that are put in a ridiculous situation. And, I mean, of course it does! Both shows were created by the same person!
Oh man, if this list was actually numbered, this show would take the #1 spot. Or at least it would be a very close call between American Vandal and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Anyway, this show is about an act of vandalism on the premises of a school. Somebody spray painted a bunch of penises on teacher cars. Of course the suspicion falls on the school’s main, stupid jock. But the whole show is made like a documentary, and even though the premise is stupid (and so is the humor), the show ends up exploring some very serious subjects.
Ali G, Borat, and other Sacha Baron Cohen show
Sacha Baron Cohen has made an entire career out of making extremely stupid characters engage with equally important social issues. For example, in one of the episodes of Ali G, Sacha Baron Cohen talks to a DEA agent about drugs, and the whole time he’s making jokes about marijuana, but then the episode actually delves into deeper ideas of how the “war on drugs” is causing more damage in America than good. All of Sacha Baron Cohen’s shows are like that.
Simpsons & Futurama
Both the Simpsons and Futurama rely on extremely silly episode premises. However, if you’re aware of “The Simpsons Predicted Everything” meme, you should know that it’s actually a really smart show that relies on extremely stupid humor.
As a person whose main job is in the IT sector, this show really hit a nerve with me. The jokes are extremely stupid, but they’re also extremely accurate. The world of app developers and software makers really is that messy and hilarious, and it’s nice to see a show make fun of them for it! Now where’s my company-provided scooter and free coffee mug?!