Grown-Up Toons: the Top 5 Animated Sitcoms
5 “Family Guy” (1999-2001, 2004-Present)
If you take the average sitcom family, add a talking dog and an evil-genius/sexually ambiguous baby, you’ve got “Family Guy.” Originally airing on Fox from 1999 to 2001, “Family Guy” was resurrected in 2004 thanks to Adult Swim reruns and massive DVD sales. The Griffin family has been on the air ever since, supplying the world with an infinite amount of non-sequitur jokes about pop culture, taboo subjects, and extended, violent fistfights with giant chickens. The show launched creator Seth MacFarlane into super-stardom and gained him enough good will that fans are still willing to forgive him for “The Cleveland Show.”
4 “Archer” (2009-Present)
If you’ve ever wondered what James Bond would be like if he were an inconsiderate, alcoholic, self-obsessed, American jackass, then you clearly haven’t met Sterling Archer. Set in the fictional spy agency ISIS, “Archer” offers more ridiculously quotable lines than any other animated show on TV today, and would likely have been even higher on this list if not for the fact that it’s still fairly new. But if you’re into the idea of a show that openly jokes about erotic asphyxiation, parental neglect, dead hookers, butler abuse, gay paraplegics, cyborg sex, and the difficulties of ocelot ownership, it’s high time you got on board.
3 “Futurama” (1999-2003, 2010-Present)
While it hasn’t always brought in the biggest audience, “Futurama” has always had the respect of critics and die-hard fans. So much so that the show was brought back into existence after a seven-year hiatus in production. Set in New York City at the turn of the 31st century, “Futurama” offers a world and cast of characters that is arguably deeper and more creative than any other animated sitcom ever made. Another brainchild of “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, “Futurama” might be an acquired taste, but eventually it will leech onto you like a parasitic brain slug from, you guessed it, the Brain Slug Planet.
2 “South Park” (1997-Present)
Of all the animated sitcoms, “South Park” offers the most social and political commentary by far. Oh, and also it’s easily the filthiest animated show in history. Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s creation was born of an animated short that featured Jesus Christ fighting Santa Claus, and it has maintained the same ridiculous tone on Comedy Central ever since. Stan, Kyle, Kenny, Cartman, and all of the nut-job adults that inhabit the small mountain town have provided some of the most outrageous moments, and “South Park” has pushed the boundaries of decency more than any other show in television history.
1 “The Simpsons” (1989-Present)
“The Simpsons” have been on television since 1989. That’s all you really need to know. Say what you will about the supposed fluctuation of quality between their prime years in the 90s and the episodes today, but “The Simpsons” are the original gangsters of adult-targeted animation. And frankly, you’d be hard pressed to find an overall funnier sitcom dad in TV history, live-action or animation, than Homer Simpson. For 24 years, Springfield’s craziest family has set the bar for every other show on this list, and in spite of dissenter’s opinions, they are still turning out laughs today.