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The 50 Best Sitcoms on Hulu (April 2018)

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If there’s a constant in the world of streaming media, it’s change. Okay, that’s a constant everywhere, but especially with sites like Hulu and Netflix. The shows available on demand change just about every month, and all that churn makes lists like this grow outdated with great frequency. That’s why we’re updating it here today: to help you find all the great sitcoms that are on Hulu today, without missing any great new additions, and without directing you towards shows that are no longer on the service.

If you’re a Hulu subscriber who loves sitcoms, you should be happy: the library here is shockingly deep, more so than Netflix or other competitors. It’s a killer line-up of shows from the ‘50s through today, including many of the best of all time that aren’t streaming elsewhere. (This is the only place you can stream every episode of Seinfeld, which, I’ll tell you right now, comes in pretty, pretty dang high on this here list.) Here’s how great the selection on Hulu is: there wasn’t enough room on this list for such long-running hits as How I Met Your Mother and Malcom in the Middle, or for cult classics like Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Workaholics. This pool is deep, and let’s quit chattering and just dive right in. Here are the 50 best sitcoms currently streaming on Hulu.

50. Happy Endings


Creator: David Caspe
Stars: Eliza Coupe, Elisha Cuthbert, Zachary Knighton, Adam Pally, Damon Wayans, Jr., Casey Wilson
Network: ABC

File Happy Endings under the dreaded “canceled too soon” category. Happy Endings could have and should have lasted far longer than three seasons, but sometimes the TV gods are cruel. Based in Chicago, the ensemble comedy had a pretty simple premise (“a group of friends in their early 30s hang out in the city”), with the clever twist that one of them (Elisha Cuthbert’s Alex) leaves another at the altar (Zachary Knighton’s Dave) in the pilot. They try to remain friends, hence the titular happy ending, and it adds a pretty strong “will they or won’t they” element to the show, but ultimately what made Happy Endings so great was the chemistry between its six leads. Sometimes “friends hanging out” is the only situation you need for a comedy to work. Also worth noting: this show doesn’t get nearly enough props for one of the least stereotypical portrayals of a gay character on a sitcom; Adam Pally’s Max is basically no different from Peter, the character he’d go on to play on The Mindy Project. He’s a goofy frat bro who just happens to be attracted to men, and that’s just one of the ways Happy Endings managed to subvert the standard sitcom formula, while still adhering to it. Bonnie Stiernberg


49. Scrubs


Creator: Bill Lawrence
Stars: Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke, Donald Faison, Neil Flynn, Ken Jenkins, John C. McGinley, Judy Reyes
Network: ABC, NBC

J.D. and the gang gave a completely absurd (and yet often the most realistic) look into the world of hospitals. Each episode didn’t center around some outlandish disease that everyone thought was lupus, only to find out it was something else in the last five minutes of the show. Instead Scrubs was character-driven. It was consistently overlooked by the Emmy Awards, and viewership dwindled throughout the seasons. Still, the witty writing and off-beat characters deserved more. When NBC canceled the show, ABC was confident enough to pick it up for two more (laborious, unwatchable) seasons. But in its prime, it was one of the best sitcoms on TV. Adam Vitcavage


48. Baskets


Creator:   Zach Galifianakis, Jonathan Krisel, Louis C.K.
Stars: Zach Galifianakis, Martha Kelly, Louis Anderson
Network: FX

Liking this dark comedy hinges a lot on how you feel about Zach Galifianakis’ peculiar brand of comedy. He plays twin brothers Chip and Dale Baskets, one of whom (Chip) dreams of becoming a professional clown. Louie Anderson plays Chip and Dale’s mother, Christine, and he’s giving one of the best performances on TV in the role—he won an Emmy for it in 2016. But it’s not called a “dark comedy” for nothing. Baskets is not going for outright laughs—it’s the series’ humorous-yet-sad situations that viewers may connect with. Andrea Reiher


47. Difficult People


Creator: Julie Klausner
Stars: Julie Klausner, Billy Eichner, James Urbaniak, Andrea Martin, Cole Escola, Gabourey Sidibe
Network: Hulu 

Nestled at the intersection of jaded Jewish comedies (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm), backstage comedies (The Larry Sanders Show, 30 Rock), and comedies about comedians (too many to name), Difficult People is, on the face of it, so familiar it might appear uninspired. As Julie (Julie Klausner) and her best friend, Billy (Billy Eichner), struggle to break into the New York scene, they’re beset by indignities large and small: bombed auditions, feckless agents, mercenary producers, SantaCon. What distinguishes Difficult People is Klausner and Eichner’s fluent, acerbic approach to a nebulous substratum of pop culture, situated at the center of a voluminous Venn diagram that includes gossip rags, E!’s red carpet coverage, reality shows, Broadway, old Hollywood, and what Netflix categorizes as “dramas with a strong female lead.” The series is the deepest of cuts from a small slice of the zeitgeist, but this precision is the key to its caustic charm. Sadly canceled at the end of its third season, it has the feeling of a time capsule in the process of being assembled: If I watch this again in five years, or ten, will it all be Greek to me? Matt Brennan


46. Speechless


Creator: Scott Silveri
Stars: Minnie Driver, John Ross Bowie, Mason Cook, Micah Fowler, Kyla Kenedy, Cedric Yarbrough
Network: ABC

Like the show’s fiercely overprotective mother Maya DiMeo (Minnie Driver), Speechless thrives because it refuses to treat JJ (Micah Fowler) as anything less than a full realized person. JJ, who is confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak, isn’t a character to be pitied. He’s a teen experiencing the joy and sorrow that comes with a first crush, learning how to navigate the high school social scene, and sparring with his parents over his independence. By giving JJ equal treatment and screen time, Speechless achieves what no other show has been able to do: JJ’s disability might be a facet of his character, but it’s not the defining one. And did I mention the show is hilarious? Speechless effortlessly avoids any cloying very special episode mentality. The always charming Driver is a force to be reckoned with and as JJ’s aide Kenneth, Cedric Yarbrough is the uproarious voice of reason in JJ’s wacky household. Fowler is terrific as are Mason Cook and Kyla Kenedy who play his siblings. We laugh with, but never at, the DiMeo family. Amy Amatangelo


45. Peep Show


Creators: Andrew O’Connor, Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain
Stars: David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Matt King, Paterson Joseph, Neil Fitzmaurice, Olivia Colman
Network: Channel 4 (U.K.)

Although Peep Show has a similar sense of humor to other British sitcoms that came in the wake of The Office, it uses the same sort of awkward comedy for a very different purpose. The show’s title comes from the peek we’re offered into its leads’ brains, as throughout the show we’re offered running monologues of their thoughts in a way that almost no other sitcom has tried. More important than this stylistic quirk, though, is Peep Show’s preference for long arcs, continuity and running gags of the sort Arrested Development and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia would envy. The show has a deep memory and an equally deep sense of morality, so its characters are never let off the hook, even if it takes a few seasons to see how their horrible actions karmically return for their undoing. Peep Show can be difficult to binge-watch, especially early on, but its short seasons make for filler-free writing, and Mitchell and Webb are so good that they lend their characters a strange likability that’s closer to the U.S. Office than the original. Sean Gandert


44. Fresh Off the Boat


Creator: Nahnatchka Khan
Stars: Randall Park, Constance Wu, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler, Ian Chen, Lucille Soong, Chelsey Crisp, Ray Wise
Network: ABC

It’s no wonder that Fresh Off the Boat continues to thrive in the network television environment. “Representation” is often tokenism, despite being a mainstream talking point for the industry, but FOTB is the real thing—and it shows. The specificity of experience written into characters we’ve grown to love over the past four seasons makes the sitcom able to navigate choppy emotional waters with a grace grown from reality. “Four Funerals and a Wedding,” a season highlight, is a perfect example of how dedication to not making a show solely about universal experiences makes Fresh Off the Boat one of the most complex, engaging, moving comedies on TV. Jacob Oller


43. Modern Family


Creators: Christopher Lloyd, Steven Levitan
Stars: Ed O’Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet
Network: ABC

When Modern Family premiered in 2009, it was coming off the heels of two shows that helped enforce its style: Arrested Development’s interconnected family comedy and The Office’s handheld, documentary-style approach. While not as good as its two predecessors, Modern Family learned from the shows that paved the way, combining the strengths of these two series and creating an overwhelmingly popular show—one of the few to get millions of people to watch each week and earn an insane amount of awards. But despite being quite hilarious, Modern Family’s success comes from evolving the way we see the American family. Whether its May-December romances or one of the best gay couples in television history, Modern Family’s warmth and humor brings light to the types of relationships that rarely get the attention they deserve on television. Ross Bonaime


42. Better Off Ted


Creator: Victor Fresco
Stars: Jay Harrington, Portia de Rossi, Andrea Anders, Jonathan Slavin, Malcolm Barrett, Isabella Acres
Network: ABC

Better Off Ted is a sharp parody of corporate culture driven by a fantastic performance from Portia de Rossi. It’s a more pointed show than Victor Fresco’s previous underrated sitcom, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, with brilliant fake commercials that are frighteningly believable as the tone-deaf messaging of a multibillion dollar company, and great performances from a game cast. It’s been gone for years and its satire of technology companies and big business is still prescient. Garrett Martin


41. Home Movies


Creators: Brendon Small and Loren Bouchard
Stars: Brendon Small, H. Jon Benjamin, Melissa Bardin Galsky, Janine DiTullio
Network: UPN; Adult Swim 

Before he launched Bob’s Burgers, Loren Bouchard hooked up with stand-up comedian Brendon Small to create Home Movies for UPN. It didn’t last long, getting yanked off that failed netlet’s schedule after only five episodes. Adult Swim gave it a new life, though, relaunching the show alongside the entire programming block in 2001. (Indeed, it was the very first show to air under the Adult Swim name.) It was a show worth saving—the kind of low-key, realistic, character-centered show that’s rare in animation, focused on an elementary school student named after Small who takes his video camera with him everywhere he goes. Like with King of the Hill, don’t expect the joke-a-second blitzkrieg pace of Family Guy or The Simpsons, but something that feels a bit more like a traditional sitcom. Garrett Martin


40. The Venture Bros.


Creator: Jackson Publick
Stars: Christopher McCulloch, Michael Sinterniklaas, James Urbaniak, Patrick Warburton, Doc Hammer, Steven Rattazzi, Dana Snyder
Network: Adult Swim 

While The Simpsons and South Park get most of the love when it comes to animated satire, The Venture Bros. deserves a seat right there with them. From an initial premise of “Just how fucked up would someone like Johnny Quest be once he reached adulthood?”, Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer’s series quickly expanded in tone and topic to explore pretty much every trope and cranny of comic book cliché. In the process, Venture Bros. has done things seemingly beyond the ability of DC and Marvel, diving into the action in medias res and trusting viewers to figure it out as we go along. (The series’ riffs on The Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom are arguably truer takes than anything Fox has crapped out.) Now in its sixth season (spanning 13 years), The Venture Bros. may never possess the cross-demographic appeal of some of its animated brethren, but as the MCU especially continues to spread the billion-dollar comic book gospel, Publick and Hammer’s creation should continue to find new converts for its brand of genre madness. Michael Burgin


39. The Mighty Boosh


Creators: Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding
Stars: Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding, Michael Fielding, Rich Fulcher, Dave Brown, Richard Ayoade, Matt Berry
Network: BBC Three

There’s a fine tradition of British sitcoms that are essentially sketch comedy shows—think The Young Ones—and The Mighty Boosh is one of the very best. Yeah, it has regular and strongly defined characters that appear in every episode, but all standard notions of storytelling are basically tossed in the bin in favor of absurd situations and plots that can shoot off in unexpected angles at any moment. There’s a strong focus on music—Barratt’s Howard Moon is an annoying would-be jazzbo, Fielding’s Vince Noir is a supremely confident hipster who was raised in the forest by Bryan Ferry and calls himself the King of the Mods—including original songs and complex musical sequences. It’s probably an acquired taste, but if you can dial into it it could easily become one of your favorites. Garrett Martin


38. You’re the Worst


Creator: Stephen Falk
Stars: Chris Geere, Aya Cash, Desmin Borges, Kether Donohue
Network: FXX

In the midst of its second season, Stephen Falk’s acerbic sitcom announced its grand ambitions, slowly setting the line for its artful depiction of clinical depression—culminating in a pair of poetic, painfully funny episodes, “There Is Not Currently a Problem” and “LCD Soundsystem,” that were among that year’s very best. The third season only intermittently matched these heights (see the gorgeous bottle episode, “Twenty-Two,” in which Desmin Borges’ PTSD-afflicted veteran, Edgar, pulls back from the edge of despair), but You’re the Worst has, along with the likes of Lady Dynamite and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, come to define the medium’s newfound interest in the humorous nuances of mental illness. It also features, in the form of Kether Donohue, a Judy Holliday of the modern age; her Lindsay Jillian is crass, self-seeking, featherbrained, and one of the funniest characters on television. Matt Brennan


37. Futurama


Creator:   Matt Groening  
Stars: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, David Herman, Frank Welker
Network: Fox

Totally underappreciated in its original run, which just caught the tail end of the ’90s, one gets the sense that Futurama at first suffered from misplaced expectations. Knowing it was coming from Matt Groening, perhaps people expected a futuristic version of The Simpsons, but Futurama is fundamentally different in quite a few aspects. Although it was similar in its satirical lampooning of modern (or futuristic) daily life and media, it was also capable of being surprisingly—even shockingly—emotional at times. Just ask anyone who remembers the end of “Jurassic Bark” or “The Luck of the Fryrish,” among other episodes. Likewise, its self-contained continuity was unlike almost every other animated sitcom, with events unfolding in both its first and second run on TV that fundamentally affected the viewer’s perception of earlier plot points. It’s now rightly recognized as one of the best animated comedies ever. Jim Vorel


36. The Last Man on Earth


Creator:   Will Forte  
Stars:   Will Forte, Kristen Schaal, Mary Steenburgen, January Jones, Mel Rodriguez, Cleopatra Coleman
Network: Fox

Somehow Will Forte and his partners on The Last Man on Earth slipped one of the most absurd anti-comedy shows ever made onto a major broadcast network’s schedule, and have been able to keep it alive for four seasons now. Forte is one of the sharpest and most unpredictable writers in comedy today, and his spirit courses through this show’s constant twists, turns and detours. Whether it’s a long lost brother floating in space, the instantaneous murder of a guest-starring Jack Black, or a cannibal being blown to bits by a bomb hidden in a long-dead Mexican drug lord’s Rubik’s Cube, The Last Man on Earth hasn’t lost a bit of its verve or inspiration over the years. And the whole time it still made us care about its characters, due in part to the talent of such actors as Mary Steenburgen, Mel Rodriguez and January Jones. This is the show most likely to make future generations wonder how it ever made it to air. But, like, in a good way. Garrett Martin


35. Bob’s Burgers


Creator: Loren Bouchard
Stars: H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, John Roberts
Network: Fox

Bob’s Burgers, from creator Loren Bouchard, runs the risk of being shoehorned into the middle ground between its brethren: The Simpsons, now more American institution than mere TV program, and Family Guy, the rat-a-tat gag factory devised by Seth MacFarlane. That it nonetheless manages to carve out a distinctive identity—with the Belchers goofily surviving crisis after crisis at the titular diner through a heady brew of whip-smart puns, witty musical numbers, gross-out humor, and real, true kinship—is only surprising if you’ve never seen it. Once you have, its warm, sentimental streak, so deftly balanced with its zanier elements, is impossible to miss: As Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) says in the Season Two finale, reading a review of the titular diner, “We did did have a rather unique and strangely inspiring experience while we were there. This shabby little dive seems to hold a special spot in the dingy town’s heart.” Matt Brennan


34. The Boondocks


Creator: Aaron McGruder
Stars: Regina King, John Witherspoon, Cedric Yarbrough, Gary Anthony Williams, Jill Talley
Network: Adult Swim 

Based on writer, producer and cartoonist Aaron McGruder’s popular comic strip of the same name, The Boondocks’ four season, 55-episode run saw brothers Huey and Riley—transplants of inner city Chicago—navigate black culture in the fictional white suburb of Woodcrest. Part of Cartoon Network’s late-night comedy block on Adult Swim, the series was a brazen attack on the white American establishment and an unabashedly black satire that honed in on the complicated conversations surrounding racial identity, stereotypes, class, celebrity and viewpoint. From November 2005 to the end of its run in June 2014, the series unquestionably earned its reputation as one of the most controversial and culturally significant pieces of modern American comedy through its unapologetic approach to blackness, painfully honest humor, and clever subversion of traditional cultural dialogue. Abbey White


33. Rick and Morty


Creator:   Dan Harmon  
Stars: Justin Rolland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer, Sarah Chalke
Network: Cartoon Network 

Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon’s series is one of the most brilliant shows on television. Unlike The Big Bang Theory, it uses its nerdiness and intelligence not as a gimmick, but as a way to open the (literal) dimensions of creative possibility, whether the ideas are original (interdimensional cable, a sentient gas cloud named Fart) or tongue-in-cheek homage (to The Purge, Inception, even its own interdimensional cable episode). But behind the innovation is a Eugene O’Neill-ian dysfunction that probes the depths of familial unhappiness, and it’s when Rick and Morty leans into this (especially in episodes like “Total Rick-all” and “The Wedding Squanchers”) that it reaches its most sublime moments. Season Two, in particular, took protagonist Rick Sanchez into a profound depression matched only by BoJack Horseman among animated series. Zach Blumenfeld


32. Broad City


Creators: Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson
Stars: Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson, Hannibal Buress, Arturo Castro
Network: Comedy Central

For the last few years, Comedy Central has consistently presented us with great comedy duos: Key & Peele, Kroll and Daly, and now Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. Broad City gives us two unforgettable characters who are desperately trying to become the boss bitches they are in their minds. This epic friendship is instantaneously contagious, and the brilliant plots, centered on the two twenty-somethings scraping by in New York City, makes this one of the great series of the decade. Staff


31. Brooklyn Nine-Nine


Creators: Michael Schur, Dan Goor
Stars: Andy Samberg, Melissa Fumero, Andrew Braugher, Terry Crews, Steaphanie Beatriz, Chelsea Peretti, Jo Lo Truglio
Network: FOX

“Consistency” might not be the most flattering virtue you can ascribe to a sitcom, but consistency is a big part of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s greatness. Week in and week out, Dan Goor and Michael Shur’s half-hour cop comedy manages to hit just the right notes without losing its groove. Some episodes hit higher notes than others, and yes, in the series’s lifespan, there have in fact been a few off-key episodes intermingled with the others. But when Brooklyn Nine-Nine is good, it’s good, and it’s good with an impressive regularity. When it’s great, it’s arguably the best sitcom you’ll find on network television, thanks in part to sharp writing, but mostly to an even sharper cast. Consistency is what fuels Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s motor, but the characters are the ones steering the ship. The show is enormously diverse in terms of not only gender and ethnicity, but also in terms of comic styles: There’s career sad sack Joe Lo Truglio, the stoically hilarious Andre Braugher, king of the clowns Andy Samberg, master of badassery Stephanie Beatriz, and that only covers a little less than half the team. Since Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s debut back in 2013, each character on the show has developed and grown, and in the process we’ve come to care about all of them in equal measure. At the top of its game, Brooklyn Nine-Nine harmonizes our attachment to these people with great gags, and occasionally even sharp (if brief) action. There’s a lot the series has to offer, in other words, and that just drives home how vital its constancy really is to its success. Never underestimate well-regulated humor. Andy Crump


30. Everybody Hates Chris


Creator:   Chris Rock, Ali LeRoi
Stars: Tyler James Williams, Terry Crews, Tichina Arnold, Tequan Richmond, Imani Hakim, Vincent Martella
NetworkS: UPN, The CW

Chris Rock  is one of the funniest comedians of all time. This is far from a controversial stance. Upon developing a period sitcom about his Brooklyn childhood for the (now defunct) UPN back in the mid-2000s, however, the question emerged of whether or not his brand of knowing, acerbic comedy could survive the transition to network TV. The answer proved to be both yes and no. From the opening seconds of its pilot, Everybody Hates Chris positions itself as an incisive, utterly confident comedic tour-de-force that is perfectly in line with Rock’s brand. And yet, in the hands of co-creator/showrunner Ali LeRoi, the show aimed to be much more than simply the comedian’s stage work reformatted into TV storylines. The result was a family sitcom that both harkened back to the Norman Lear comedies of old, while still retaining the rapid pace and tight construction of the best single-camera productions. The show was never more successful, however, than when it came to its casting, with Tyler James Williams demonstrating immense charisma and comic timing as a young Chris; meanwhile, Terry Crews and Tichina Arnold would promptly enter the pantheon of great TV couples as Chris’ larger-than-life parental units. And though low ratings and frequent schedule shifts would ultimately snuff Chris out after four seasons, it quickly sketched out its place as one of the greatest sitcoms of the new millennium. Mark Rozeman


29. Blackadder


Creators: Richard Curtis, Rowan Atkinson
Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Tim McInnerny, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie
Network: BBC1

Leave it to the Brits to find humor in World War I. The fourth season of this show—which featured comedy heavyweights like Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry—took place during that Great War, but each prior season was set in a different historical era, with the Black Adder cast poking fun at the Middle Ages, the Elizabethan age and the Regency period. Bonnie Stiernberg


28. Absolutely Fabulous


Creators: Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French
Stars: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julie Sawalha, June Whitfield, Jane Horrocks
Network: BBC

Jennifer Saunders’s scathing satire of modern excess, vanity and the pursuit of fame feels more relevant today than it when was made in the 1990s. Beyond the hilarity of its dark humor, Ab Fab’s legacy rests on the strength of the friendship between Patsy and Edina; no matter how horrible they might be, or how far they fall into debauchery, the two always have each other’s backs. Few shows, comedy or drama, have focused so fully on the friendship between two middle-aged women.—Garrett Martin


27. Black-ish


Creator: Kenya Barris
Stars: Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown, Marsai Martin, Jeff Meacham, Jenifer Lewis
Network: ABC

To enjoyBlack-ish is to enjoy all that the show has to offer in the name of entertainment. The sitcom about an upper class, black family is especially hilarious when the child stars (Marsai Martin and Miles Brown) are leading the plot. But when the show veers to address topics that reflect America’s race relations and systematic injustices, it shines brightest, because the writers are not afraid to be strikingly honest and come at an issue from different angles (without losing any of the writers room wit). Season Two’s “Hope,” stands apart, as the police brutality episode that examines the emotional tolls that arise as the Johnsons wait to see if a police officer will be indicted for the murder of a black child. Simultaneously conscious and comedic, it’s going to be pure joy to see what future season have in store for this series. Iris Barreto


26. The Carmichael Show


Creators: Jerrod Carmichael, Ari Katcher, Willie Hunter, Nicholas Stoller
Stars: Jerrod Carmichael, Amber Stevens West, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish, Loretta Devine, David Alan Grier

The Carmichael Show came and went with barely any attention outside of critics, airing 32 episodes across the summers of 2015, 2016 and 2017 before coming to an early and disappointing end. It is, in this one writer’s mind, the most underrated TV show of the decade. As brave as it was hilarious, it regularly tackled serious social and political issues, including gun control, trans rights and Black Lives Matter, during one of the most contentious times in recent history. It was s an unapologetically black show about real life on a major broadcast network, and despite being shot as traditionally as a sitcom can (a studio audience, multiple cameras, a studio soundstage) it felt more daring and realistic than the flashier (and almost as great) Black-ish. If you miss the era of Norman Lear sitcoms that were about something more than just making you laugh, you should watch The Carmichael Show. It also had one of the best casts of any sitcom on TV, with hilarious work from Loretta Devine, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish (before and after her Girls Trip explosion) and Jerrod Carmichael. If the Emmys had any sense, David Alan Grier would’ve won two or three of those awards. Garrett Martin


25. Spaced


Creators: Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson, Edgar Wright 
Stars: Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson, Nick Frost, Mark Heap, Julia Deakin
Network: Channel 4 (U.K.)

Prior to blowing the film world out of the water with Shaun of the Dead, the creative partnership of writer/director Edgar Wright and actor/writer Simon Pegg first crystallized back in the late’90s with the British sitcom Spaced. Conceived by Pegg and co-lead Jessica Stevenson with Wright directing every entry, Spaced centers on a pair of aimless Londoners who decide to fake a relationship in order to secure a “couples only” apartment. Over the course of its 14 episode run, the series gleefully subverted the popular image of twenty-somethings leading cushy, comfortable lives with burgeoning careers (as evidenced by the likes of Friends) in favor of depicting a world filled with squalid living spaces, drug use and various artistic aspirations gone to seed. More notably, Spaced arguably served as the first post-modern sitcom in terms of how it employed specific, cinematic vocabulary as an extension of the characters’ interior lives (i.e. a horrible work experience turns into a One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest parody, while a competitive game of paintball escalates into a dramatic action sequence straight out of Platoon or Saving Private Ryan). In a landscape where older, out-of-touch TV execs were frantically trying to appeal to erstwhile, younger viewers, Spaced was a show all about the less savory experiences of being a broke twenty-something; adding to its authenticity was the fact that it was being written and produced by individuals who were going through these specific experiences firsthand. Mark Rozeman


24. The IT Crowd


Creator: Graham Linehan
Stars: Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson, Chris Morris, Matt Berry, Noel Fielding
Network: Channel 4 (U.K.)

Stuck in a small, chaotic basement office, IT nerds Roy Trenneman (Chris O’Dowd) and Maurice Moss (Richard Ayoade) are always happy to help;well, Moss is, Roy is a lot happier sitting on his arse doing nothing. Head of the IT department Jen Barber (Katherine Parkinson) really has no idea of what she’s doing and is convinced that typing “Google”; into Google will “break the internet.” Moss is your typical school-yard-bully victim. While he’s extremely articulate and proper in his way of speaking and dressing, he seems to have been overly coddled by his mother with whom he still lives. You might not necessarily want these guys to take a crack at fixing your computer, but you should definitely reserve them a place on your screen. Roxanne Sancto


23. Living Single


Creator: Yvette Lee Bowser
Stars: Queen Latifah, Kim Coles, Erika Alexander, T.C. Carson, John Henton, Mel Jackson, Kim Fields
Network: FOX

In a ‘90s kind of world, I’m glad I’ve got my girls! During a decade with many successful black sitcoms, Living Single was the flyest. It remained in the top five most-watched programs by black audiences throughout its five-year run and eventually knocked Martin out the No. 1 spot. The beloved series had unforgettable style, unparalleled verbal sparring between Kyle (T.C. Carson) and Max (Erika Alexander), and a theme song by Queen Latifah that has since become iconic. Yvette Lee Bowser, a producer on A Different World, drew on experiences from her life to create Living Single, which followed six single black twentysomethings living in a brownstone in Brooklyn, N.Y., and figuring out their personal and professional lives. The cast’s group chemistry produced comedy perfection, introducing a special kind of humor, personality, and heart to network TV that still hasn’t been exactly replicated. Ashley Terrell


22. Party Down


Creators: John Enbom, Rob Thomas, Dan Etheridge, Paul Rudd 
Stars: Adam Scott, Ken Marino, Lizzy Caplan, Martin Starr, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge, Megan Mullally, Ryan Hansen
Network: Starz 

Party Down boasts a formula so simple and ingenious, it’s absolutely insane that no one had attempted it before. The general premise centers on a gang of aspiring LA-based actors, writers and entrepreneurs who make ends meet by working at a catering company. This being Hollywood, their assignments veer from the mundane (corporate retreats, birthday parties, weddings) to the absurd (backstage concert parties, porn awards, orgies). No matter what the setting, however, the lackadaisical crew of Party Down catering can always be counted on to ruin the occasion, frequently in ways that leave the audience crying from laughter. Taking cues from the best Judd Apatow productions, however, beneath all the crass, scatological humor and cringe-inducing scenarios lies a bittersweet story of dreams deferred and the lengths people go to, in order to find validation and acceptance. Boasting an insanely talented main cast that included Adam Scott, Ken Marino and Lizzy Caplan, the show also employed its “new week, new location” structure to recruit guest turns from the likes of J.K. Simmons, Kristen Bell, Rob Corddry, Thomas Lennon and Steve Guttenberg. In the end, despite strong critical reviews and a devoted cult following, the show’s ratings were nothing short of anemic and Starz pulled the plug after two seasons. Though both fans and critics would bemoan the show’s short existence, there’s no denying that it lived fast and left a great-looking corpse. Mark Rozeman


21. Archer


Creator: Adam Reed
Stars: H. Jon Benjamin, Jessica Walter, Judy Greer, Aisha Tyler, Chris Parnell, Amber Nash
Network: FX

Archer has succeeded as a hilarious parody of both James Bond and Mad Men with the comedic sensibilities of FX’s best. Season Two was full of surprising twists like Archer’s breast cancer. The mini third season “The Heart of Archness” trilogy following Archer’s revenge on the man who killed his Russian love made Archer one of the few story-driven animated series that actually delivers. Ross Bonaime


20. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia


Creator: Rob McElhenney
Stars: Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, Kaitlin Olson, Danny DeVito
Network: FX

The idea behind Sunny is simple yet brilliant—bring together the most narcissistic and cruel characters imaginable and let them wreak havoc on the world. Dennis, Dee, Mac, Charlie, and Frank all run Patty’s Pub together, though that endeavor never seems to keep them occupied for long. To entertain themselves, the group hatches one scheme after another. “The D.E.N.N.I.S. System,” for example, is Dennis’ foolproof method for manipulating women’s emotions so that they’ll fall in love with him. Riley Ubben


19. Delocated


Creator: Jon Glaser
Stars: Jon Glaser, Jacob Kogan, Nadia Dajani, Eugene Mirman, Steve Cirbus, Kevin Dorff, Zoe Lister-Jones, Janeane Garofalo,

Delocated was a brilliant show that never fully got its due. Early this decade the best comedies on TV were also some of the harshest dramas, and the often brutal Delocated could be as powerful as Party Down or Eastbound & Down. It could switch from inspired silliness to extreme tension in a single scene, as Jon Glaser’s beef with the Russian mob regularly erupted into graphic violence. Delocated mocked reality TV and everyday people’s desire to be famous, but what made it great is that, like Eastbound and Eagleheart, it was an insightful attack on the absurdities of masculinity. Jon wore a mask to hide out from the mob, but making him faceless only reinforced how he stands in for all men who love classic rock, bar food and trash culture. Also it’s one of the few Adult Swim shows that benefited from a longer runtime, as it got better as it expanded to a half-hour. Garrett Martin


18. The Good Place


Creator: Michael Schur
Stars: Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, D’Arcy Carden
Network: NBC

With a second season that was at least as excellent as the first, The Good Place has earned a permanent spot high in the sitcom canon. Michael Schur’s latest show in a string of classic hits has the believable character dynamics and great joke density of a classic MTM-style sitcom, but with a philosophical depth unusual for the genre. There have been dozens of sitcoms about bad people in the post-Seinfeld era, but The Good Place is the only one to show a true interest in morality and what it means to be good. Also the entire cast is hilarious, from Ted Danson as an anxious supernatural being, to Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil and Manny Jacinto as the souls who may (or may not) belong in the Good Place. And oh yeah, D’Arcy Carden was our favorite TV character of 2017 for a reason. Garrett Martin


17. The Golden Girls


Creator: Susan Harris
Stars: Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty
Network: NBC

If you were born in the 1990s, you probably missed out on this gem of a comedy. Now all seven seasons are available finally on a streaming platform. The story of four senior citizens—the sarcastic Dorothy (Bea Arthur), her take-no-prisoners mom Sophia (Estelle Getty), the flirtatious Blanche (Rue McClanahan) and the daffy Rose (Betty White)—resonates to this day because it’s an honest story about friendship and building a family out of your community. And the show was surprisingly progressive tackling topics including gay marriage, teen pregnancy and the AIDS epidemic during its seven season run. But mostly it was hilarious. Once you’ve watched, you’ll thank these four amazing women for being your friend. Amy Amatangelo


16. The Thick of It


Creator: Armando Iannucci
Stars: Peter Capaldi, Chris Langham, Rebecca Front, Chris Addison, Joanna Scanlan, James Smith
Networks: BBC Four, BBC Two

If you’re a fan of Veep, and find yourself jonesing for some more Armando Iannucci, then The Thick of It is definitely in your wheelhouse. A hilarious take on the British political system, it could be argued that it’s an even more biting take on politics than Veep. The show may have run from 2005 until 2012, but it was a sporadic run, as there are only 24 episodes. However, those 24 episodes are excellent. If you don’t know British politics, you might not fully understand every bit, but chances are you can still understand awful, stupid people saying awful, stupid things. Malcolm Tucker, as played by Peter Capaldi, remains Iannucci’s greatest creation. And if you’ve ever wanted to see the current Doctor saying the c-word a whole bunch, then this is the show for you. Chris Morgan


15. Will & Grace


Creators: David Kohan, Max Mutchnick
Stars: Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, Sean Hayes
Network: NBC

Will & Grace remains a pivotal show for gay culture and the representation of gay characters on a sitcom. It received an absurd 83 Emmy nominations throughout its original run—the series returned for a ninth season in the fall of 2017—and each of the four regulars, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally, won an individual Emmy, making it one of only three sitcoms ever to achieve that feat. The stories, revolving around life and love in New York City, may have been sitcom boilerplate, but the subject matter (gay/Jewish identity), the rat-a-tat one-liners, the blockbuster guest stars, and the main cast’s chemistry were anything but: Will & Grace isn’t just a landmark TV series, it’s a rollicking good time. Jim Vorel and Matt Brennan


14. Frasier


Creators: David Angell, Peter Casey, David Lee
Stars: Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, John Mahoney, Peri Gilpin, Moose
Network: NBC

Many classic sitcoms are paeans to blue-collar family life, but Frasier was the odd show that made cultural elites and eggheads somehow seem like lovable characters to a mass audience. Both Frasier and his brother Niles can be infuriatingly snobbish, but audiences soon found that when their petty jealousies were directed at each other, they could also be hilarious. The show soon became an off-hand representation of the idea of “smart comedy” on TV, but it was also still a sitcom full of relationship humor. Viewers waited a hell of a long time in particular for the long-teased relationship between Niles and Daphne to finally come to fruition (seven full seasons). Frasier, on the other hand, is never really lucky in love, but he was always better as a semi-depressed single, turning his probing mind on himself. Jim Vorel


13. Newhart


Creator: Barry Kemp
Stars: Bob Newhart, Mary Frann, Jennifer Holmes, Julia Duffy, Tom Poston, Peter Scolari
Network: CBS

Bob Newhart had the best second act in sitcom history. Newhart ran for most of the 1980s, longer than The Bob Newhart Show did, and despite resting heavily on Newhart’s patented brand of deadpan exasperation, the two shows had strong enough settings and casts to stand out from each other. Newhart featured career work from Tom Poston, Julia Duffy and Peter Scolari, and its remote Vermont setting lead to the creation of three of the most memorable breakout sitcom characters of the 1980s: Larry, his brother Darryl, and his other brother Darryl. Newhart was a smart, confident, hilarious show, and people still talk about the ingenious twist in its final episode decades later. Garrett Martin


12. Community


Creator:   Dan Harmon  
Stars: Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Chevy Chase, Ken Jeong, Jim Rash
Network: NBC, Yahoo

As a half-hour sitcom, Community didn’t merely break the fourth wall; it broke it, openly commented on the fact that it broke it, only to then build a fifth wall for the express purpose of further demolition. Yet, if deconstructing the sitcom formula was all creator Dan Harmon’s magnum opus had to offer, it would have been a fun, if superficial lark. Instead, in telling the story of a ragtag group of community college students, the show used its vast pop culture vernacular as a vessel for telling surprisingly resonant stories about outcasts attempting to find acceptance, a sense of belonging and, yes, community. Whether the Greendale study group was participating in an epic game of paintball or being confined to their study room in search of a pen, Harmon and Co. perfected the art of taking gimmicky concepts and transforming them into strong, character-driven gems. And while only time will tell if the show will ever fulfill the “movie” segment of its #sixseasonsandamovie battle cry, the strange, winding saga of Community will forever stand as the stuff of TV sitcom legends. Mark Rozeman


11. Taxi


Creators: James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels, David Davis, Ed. Weinberger
Stars: Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Danny DeVito, Marilu Henner, Tony Danza, Andy Kaufman, Christopher Lloyd, Carol Kane
Network: ABC

Let’s just pause for a minute and remember that somebody once convinced a network to put Andy Kaufman on the air. I just wish it had been live TV. Like M*A*S*H, Taxi often tackled serious social issues like drug and gambling addiction, but did it with a wonderfully strange cast of characters from the alien-like Latka Graves (Kaufman) to drugged-out hippie Reverend Jim (Christopher Lloyd) to misanthrope Louie De Palma (Danny DeVito). Josh Jackson


10. The Bob Newhart Show

Creators: David Davis, Lorenzo Music
Stars: Bob Newhart, Suzanne Pleshette, Marcia Wallace, Peter Bonerz, Bill Daily
Network: CBS

Like many a sitcom star, national treasure Bob Newhart made his name as a comedian first, thanks to his best-selling series of standup albums including the Grammy-winning The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart. As his celebrity rose, Hollywood came a-calling leading to several dalliances with TV shows and the occasional film appearance. But what cemented his legacy in the small screen universe was this titular sitcom, on which he played a frequently put-upon psychologist barely putting up with his troubled clientele, his sharp-witted assistant (played by the late great Marcia Wallace), and the other folks that worked in his office building. Even better was the repartee Newhart had with his TV wife, played winningly by Suzanne Pleshette. There was such a lived-in quality to their on-screen marriage that made their tart interactions completely believable. Robert Ham


9. 30 Rock


Creator:   Tina Fey  
Stars: Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, Scott Adsit, Judah Friedlander
Network: NBC

The spiritual successor to Arrested Development, 30 Rock succeeded where its competition failed by largely ignoring the actual process of creating a TV show and instead focusing on the life of one individual in charge of the process, played by show creator Tina Fey. 30 Rock never loses track of its focus and creates a surprisingly deep character for the its circus to spin around. But Fey’s not the only one that makes the series. Consistently spot-on performances by Tracy Morgan—whether frequenting strip clubs or a werewolf bar mitzvah—and Alec Baldwin’s evil plans for microwave-television programming create a perfect level of chaos for the show’s writers to unravel every week. 30 Rock doesn’t have complex themes or a deep message, but that stuff would get in the way of its goal: having one of the most consistently funny shows on TV. Suffice to say, it succeeded. Sean Gandert


8. The Office (U.K.)


Creators: Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant 
Stars: Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook, Lucy Davis, Oliver Chris, Patrick Baladi, Stacey Roca, Ralph Ineson, Stirling Gallacher
Network: BBC

Before there was Steve Carell’s Michael Scott and endless “that’s what she said” jokes, there was Ricky Gervais’ equally clueless David Brent and his fantastical dancing. Before there were John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer’s adorable Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly, there were Martin Freeman and Lucy Davis’ star-crossed Tim Canterbury and Dawn Tinsley. And, of course, before there was Rainn Wilson’s assistant [to the] regional manager, Dwight Schrute, there was Gareth Keenan—Mackenzie Crook’s retired Territorial Army member, who is both obsessed with his slightly senior workplace status and his one-sided friendship with his boss. The series synonymous with the use of the mockumentary format on TV (see also: Modern Family, Reno 911!) is a tightly compacted version of the long-running, Emmy-winning American spinoff (This is the U.K., after all, so there’s only two six-episode seasons, a Christmas special and a reunion episode). Fans of the latter will recognize similar plot points here. Whitney Friedlander


7. I Love Lucy


Creators: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz
Stars: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley, Richard Keith
Network: CBS

I Love Lucy is one of the most iconic sitcoms of all time. It’s a show so well-structured, and so beloved, it continues to air in 2017, even though the last new episode premiered in 1957. It was the first show inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, and multiple publications, including TV Guide and TIME, have named it one of the best television shows of all-time. Many series have clearly been (and still are) influenced by the wacky adventures of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, but I Love Lucy also played a major role in what would become a staple of the sitcom genre;reruns and syndication, born out of necessity after Ball became pregnant while filming. Ball and Arnaz were consistently determined to bring their unique vision to television, which ultimately resulted in a reinvention of the modern sitcom. Even if the generations to come don’t get to experience the magic in the same way that some of us have, the legacy of Ball and Arnaz, and how they made and re-made television, will always be apparent. Chris Morgan


6. Arrested Development


Creator:   Mitch Hurwitz  
Stars: Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Portia de Rossi, Tony Hale, David Cross, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Alia Shawkat, Ron Howard
Networks: FOX, Netflix 

Mitch Hurwitz’s sitcom about a “wealthy family who lost everything and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together” debuted six weeks after Two and a Half Men but never gathered the audience to keep the show alive. Still, Hurwitz packed a whole lot of awesome into three short seasons. How much awesome? Well, there was the chicken dance, for starters. And Franklin’s “It’s Not Easy Being White.” There was Ron Howard’s spot-on narration, and Tobias Funke’s Blue Man ambitions. There was Mrs. Featherbottom and Charlize Theron as Rita, Michael Bluth’s mentally challenged love interest. Not since Seinfeld has a comic storyline been so perfectly constructed, with every loose thread tying so perfectly into the next act: The Oedipal Buster spiting his mother Lucille by dating her friend Lucille, and eventually losing his hand to a hungry loose seal; George Michael crushing on his cousin only to have the house cave in when they finally kiss; the “Save Our Bluths” campaign trying to simultaneously rescue the family and rescue the show from cancellation. Arrested Development took self-referencing postmodernism to an absurdist extreme, jumping shark after shark, but that was the point. They even brought on the original shark-jumper Henry Winkler as the family lawyer. And when he was replaced, naturally, it was by Scott Baio. Each of the Bluth family members was among the best characters on television, and Jason Bateman played a brilliant straight man to them all. Josh Jackson


5. Parks and Recreation


Creators: Greg Daniels, Michael Schur
Stars: Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Rashida Jones
Network: NBC

Parks and Recreation started its run as a fairly typical mirror of The Office, but in its third season, the student became the master. As it’s fleshed out with oddballs and unusual city quirks, Pawnee has become the greatest television town since Springfield. Parks flourished over the years with some of the most unique and interesting characters in modern comedy. And the beloved comedy accomplished the near-impossible and went out on top in 2015 when the series came to an end. Comedies, in particular, have a difficult time knowing when it’s time to take a bow. But Leslie Knope and her merry band of friends kept us laughing (and crying) right up until the series finale, which offered a powerfully good farewell to one of the most creative and beloved network series. Ross Bonaime and Amy Amatangelo


4. The Mary Tyler Moore Show


Creators: James L. Brooks, Allan Burns
Stars: Mary Tyler Moore, Ed Asner, Valerie Harper, Gavin MacLeod, Ted Knight, Betty White, Cloris Leachman
Network: CBS

Even if you were born long after the show premiered, you probably are familiar with its most iconic moments—Mary triumphantly tossing her hat in the air, the death of Chuckles the clown or the traveling group hug that ended the series. Mary Richards (Moore) remains iconic as the first single, career woman to ever be the subject of a television show. She lived by herself! Made her own decisions! And wasn’t worried about getting married! Can you believe it? Set in the newsroom of WJM in Minneapolis, Mary’s co-workers included her irascible boss Lou Grant (Asner), affable news writer Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod), and goofy anchorman Ted Baxter (Knight). This was an office-based comedy in a time when family comedies were all the rage. The groundbreaking series paved the way for shows as varied as Murphy Brown, 30 Rock and The Mindy Project. Plus Mary had spunk, and we love spunk. Amy Amatangelo


3. Cheers


Creator: James Burrows, Glen Charles, Les Charles
Stars: Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Kirstie Alley, Rhea Perlman, Nicholas Colasanto, John Ratzenberger, Woody Harrelson, Kelsey Grammer, George Wendt
Network: NBC

Like many long-running sitcoms, the Cheers of the 1990s was really a fundamentally different show than it was in the 1980s, less about the dating life of Ted Danson’s Sam and much more of an ensemble device, full of characters who were by this point beloved by all. The final years of Cheers were when all these characters got to shine, especially Rhea Perlman as Carla and Kelsey Grammer, who joined the cast full-time before spinning off into Frasier. The finale episode received mixed reactions at the time, but nostalgia has pushed it into favorable territory, especially given the happy endings that most characters receive. The fact that Sam decides not to get married and “stays with the bar;it is of course his one true love. Jim Vorel


2. The Dick Van Dyke Show


Creator: Carl Reiner
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam, Larry Mathews, Richard Deacon
Network: CBS

Before Dick Van Dyke became the toast of Disney live-action films and the star of every senior citizen’s favorite crime procedural Diagnosis: Murder, he was the titular star of this fantastic sitcom. The classic half-hour gave viewers two shows in one: a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a TV variety show and a warm-hearted family comedy. The former allowed for plenty of sharp dialogue and fast-paced jokes courtesy of show creator Carl Reiner and co-stars Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie, all playing comedy writers. The latter took full advantage of the winning chemistry between Van Dyke and former dancer and TV bit player Mary Tyler Moore. Robert Ham


1. Seinfeld


Creators:   Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David
Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, Michael Richards
Network: NBC

On any given weekday, the likelihood is high that I watch a Seinfeld rerun that I’ve seen at least 20 times before, and I’m not alone in that habit. The fact that the show has been in continual reruns and syndication since its 76-million viewer finale proves how beloved it remains to this day: Seinfeld is still making money for networks 20 years after it ended. Its grasp on pop culture minutia was on another level entirely, as was its distaste for typical sitcom conventions. Long-term relationships and love triangles were practically non-existent on Seinfeld. Never did characters offer sappy apologies to each other. Never did they even learn from their mistakes! Larry David and company were instead committed to telling stories of everyday, casual misanthropy from people who viewed themselves as generally decent or average, but were in reality pretty terrible individuals. Without even going into depth about the show’s transformative effect on the cultural lexicon, known as “Seinlanguage” it’s easy to see how Seinfeld uniquely stood out from every one of its peers. Jim Vorel

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