Reviewing Rolling Stone’s Top 100 All-Time TV Shows

Posted: October 19, 2016 in Humor, Opinion, TV


So the Rolling Stone came out with their Top 100 TV Shows of all-time list, and as usual it’s clear a bunch of morons voted. First off, The Office is #48? B-W-H-A-H-A-H-A-H-A-H-A-H-A-H-A! That, my friends is an absolute sin. Other sins include the following:

Inexplicably, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson is ranked #30, well below #13 Late Night With Letterman. Hey, as much as I loved the original Letterman, Johnny was the King of Late Night. Betcha Dave would even agree with me.

And explain this one to me. There was no Andy Griffith Show listed. W-h-a-a-a-t? That’s just awful, man.

Other notable shows missing from the list were Benny Hill, The Carol Burnett Show, St. Elsewhere and Laugh-In.

And wait. What about Ozzie & Harriet? My Three Sons? WKRP in Cincinnati? The Outer Limits? Night Gallery?

The mind reels.

Trust me, when you see the list you’ll be stunned at the shows they picked ahead of these classics. Let us begin . . .

100. Eastbound and Down

  • Good show. Big fan of Kenny Powers.

99. Oz

  • I have never seen Oz, unless you’re counting the Michael Jackson version of the 1939 movie.

98. The Golden Girls

  • Wasn’t a fan. Plus Maude and her manly voice creeped me out.

97. Portlandia

  • Never saw an episode. Wouldn’t know where to find it either.

gunsmoke_thumb96. Gunsmoke

  • Great show. I remember everybody wanted Marshall Dillon and Miss Kitty to get together. Alas, they did not. Gunsmoke was not my favorite Western, though. That honor would go to The Big Valley. Audra was smokin’.

95. Key & Peele

  • LOVE Key & Peele. Had no idea they had a show though. Bummer.

94. Jeopardy

  • Wait. Game shows are allowed? That’s weird. On a related note, Alex Trebek is a pompous ass.

93. Mystery Science Theater 3000

  • I absolutely loved this show. The humor was right up my alley. Should be way higher.

92. American Idol

  • What? Another game show? Bogus, man.

91. Broad City

  • Not only have I not seen Broad City, I’ve never heard of it until this minute.

90. The Dick Van Dyke Show

  • Really good show, but I can name 10 other sitcoms from the same era that are, in my opinion, better.

89. Homeland

  • I have never seen Homeland. Sorry kids.

88. Party Down

  • Party Down I’ve never heard of. Party Down South I have heard of. Man I feel out of touch.

87. Doctor Who

  • I watched Dr. Who back in the 1970s when it starred Tom Baker, and even he wasn’t the first to portray the doc. I approve, and I wish it were higher.

86. Good Times

  • Oh yeah! Good Times! It was dy-no-mite! Good Times was a spin-off of Maude, which is itself a spin-off of All in the Family. TV’s Golden Age, man. Great show.

85. The Real World

  • This is a reality show! No plots and no actors! I don’t get it. However, I did watch it.

84. Real Time With Bill Maher

  • I happen to like this show. What can I say, people arguing politics and whatnot entertain me endlessly.

83. House of Cards

  • Haven’t seen it, but my friends tell me I’d love it. I feel a binge viewing coming on soon.

82. The Jeffersons

  • Just a terrific show which was also a spin-off of All in the Family. George and Weezy were the best, man. Hilarity.

81. Dallas

  • Yeah, I watched it. I also watched Knots Landing and Dynasty, and I watched all because the woman I was dating watched them. Dynasty introduced me to the fetching Heather Locklear as well. Yowza.

80. The Fugitive

  • The Fugitive was an awesome show. After watching Richard Kimble fugitive_s3v1_dvd_front1chase the real murderer of his wife for 4-years (he was accused of it and was on the run), the finale was must-see TV. I distinctly remember watching it with my father.

79. In Living Color

  • Awesome show from the early 90s. From the Wayans boys to Jim Carrey, several actors went on from this show to make it big. Cutting edge for its time.

78. Thirtysomething

  • God, did I hate this series. It ran from 1987 to 1991, and it was 4-years of listening to whiny, self-absorbed weaklings bitch about their lives. Blech.

77. The Walking Dead

  • Hands down one of my favorite TV series of all-time. And if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times – it’s not about zombies, it’s about the characters. Ranked far too low.

76. Late Night With Conan O’Brien

  • I like Conan. I think his show has some of the most intelligent humor of all the late night talk shows. I especially love his short films.

75. American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson

  • Pretty good series, but no way does it belong in the Top 100. Plus, John Travolta as Robert Shapiro was just creepy.

74. The Ren & Stimpy Show

  • Hey-O! Ren and Stimpy were out there, man. I can’t believe they got away with half the stuff they did. Legendary show.

73. Transparent

  • Never heard of it. Wait. Is this that show with Jeffrey Tambor about the transgender dude? Ah. Timely. Still, it’s been on TV for about a minute, does it deserve #73? It does not.

72. Girls

  • I swear to God I’m losing my mind over here. There’s a show called “Girls”? Even if I don’t watch I usually have heard of a show due to my relentless research for this site. Alas, nothing.

71. Mr. Show

  • I never watched Mr. Show, but it starred Bob Odenkirk so it had to have been stellar. That is all.

70. Roseanne

  • You know, I was never a fan really. I mean, it was OK I guess, but I was never really a fan of her whiny, rolling-eyes type of humor. Meh.

69. The Ed Sullivan Showed

  • How in the HELL dould Ed Sullivan be this low. Outrageous. This show brought Elvis and The Beatles to the American masses, man! These people are idiots.

68. The State

  • Apparently this was on MTV in the mid-90s for a couple years. It’s one position ahead of Ed Sullivan. I have nothing else to say.

67. The Odd Couple

  • Solid choice. It was perfectly cast with Tony Randall as the snooty neat-freak Felix Unger and Jack Klugman as the sloppy curmudgeon Oscar Madison.

66. Downton Abby

  • Not only have I never watched Downton Abby, I always thought it was Downtown Abby until about 3-seconds ago. Admit it. You did too.

65. Happy Days

  • Yes! One of the joys of my life from years 17 to 25 was watching Happy Days on Tuesday nights. Sadly, it got worse as it progressed. In fact, the phrase “jumped the shark” originated from the episode in which Fonzie jumped a shark. And what the hell happened to Chuck?

64. Chappelle’s Show

  • Funny show. Not Top 100.

63. The Wonder Years

  • Yeah, The Wonder Years was a good show. Very nostalgic. Fun Fact: The girl who played Winnie Cooper, Danica McKellar, is now a mathematician and education advocate. Cool.

62. Sex and the City

  • Never watched an episode.

61. Your Show of Shows

  • It was before my time, but the old clips of Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca are classic.

60. Beavis and Buttheadbeavis_butthead

  • The boys that influenced a nation of teenagers. Poorly I might add. Funny stuff though.

59. Hill Street Blues

  • Never a fan and I’m not sure why. Didn’t some actor bare his ass on national TV on this show or something? Missed out on this one I guess.

58. Roots

  • I remember that the hoopla surrounding this mini-series was intense, man. Pretty ground-breaking for the 70s.

57. Fawlty Towers

  • Wasn’t this a PBS show or something? Really, other than Monty Python I’ve never been into the whole British comedy thing. Then again, I usually got a chuckle or two out of Benny Hill. Mr. Bean not so much.

56. 24

  • There was one reason and one reason only I couldn’t watch this show, and that was because of Kiefer Sutherland’s insufferable whispering. Ever notice that? SPEAK UP, man!

55. Six Feet Under

  • Barely remember it. Couldn’t have been that good.

54. The Muppet Show

  • Probably have seen 3 in my life, and those were the shows hosted by Alice Cooper, Vincent Price and Elton John. Good kid’s show I guess.

53. The Bob Newhart Show

  • Now we’re talkin’. I love this show and anything Bob Newhart has ever done. Bravo, greatest TV show choosers!

52. The Colbert Report

  • I cannot lie. I know it was the cool thing to do, but alas, I wasn’t a huge fan. So shoot me.

51. Fargo

  • I LOVED the movie, but for the life of me I couldn’t get into the TV series. Perhaps nobody could replace movie characters William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi and the rest, I d not know.

50. E.R.

  • Was this the one with Clooney? These hospital shows all run together, man. In my humble non-expert opinion, no medical series was ever better than St. Elsewhere. Period.

49. Taxitaxi

  • Oh, how I loved this show. Louie (Danny Devito), Elaine (Marilu Henner), Reverend Jim (Christopher Lloyd), Latka (Andy Kaufman), Bobby (Jeff Conaway), Alex (Judd Hirsch), Tony (Tony Danza), Simka (Carol Kane) they were all good and went on to stellar post-TV careers. The episode where Reverend Jim went to take his driver’s test is an all-time classic.

48. The Office

  • My favorite TV sitcom of all-time, period. That it’s ranked at #48 makes me want to hurt people, not even kidding. I’ve seen every episode multiple times, swear to God. Loved all the characters but none were better than Michael, played by Steve Carell. He carried the show. The humor was sometimes unsettling, uncomfortable, awkward and made you a little queasy. In other words, just the way I like it.

47. The Rockford Files

  • Great detective series about a PI who lived with his dad in a trailer on the beach and who happened to be excellent at his job.

46. The Mary Tyler Moore Show

  • One of the greatest casts in the history of television. Mary, Ed Asner, Ted Knight, Valerie Harper, Betty White, Cloris Leachman, Gavin MacLeod, Georgia Engel . . . come on, man. None better. And the Chuckle’s the Clown Funeral episode was TV Gold.

45. Battlestar Galactica

  • Not gonna lie, I’ve never been a big Star Trek kinda guy. All those outer space shows sort of run together for me. Sorry, space nerds.

44. Columbo

  • Columbo was great. You could always count on him stumbling around and looking like an idiot, then miraculously solving the case at the very end. Good stuff.

43. The Americans

  • I’ve never seen this show. I guess it’s about Cold War Era spies from Russia or something, and that sounds sort of cool I guess.

42. NYPD Blue

  • I always get this show confused with Hill Street Blues, perhaps because of the whole “Blue” thing. I’m easily confused, man.

41. The Honeymooners

  • Ah, The Honeymooners. Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton, man. It was on before I was born but I’ve seen a ton of reruns. Hilarious stuff.

40. The Shield

  • I’m sort of shocked that this is rated so highly. Why? Seemed like another cop show to me.

39. Lostlost

  • Big “Lost” guy here. Watched it from beginning to end, even though I had no idea what the hell was happening the last couple seasons, Show totally lost me, not gonna lie. And the finale was just awful. Were they all dead? I never did figure it out.

38. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  • Please. #38? These people are out of their minds.

37. Orange is the New Black

  • I’ve heard this is good but I haven’t seen an episode. Sorry.

36. Law & Order

  • Quite possibly the best cop show ever, period. That weird music alone should put it in the Top 50.

35. My So-Called Life

  • Good Lord. A show about teen angst? But see, the people at Rolling Stone probably watched this as teenagers so it makes sense. Then again, I have no idea who voted so there’s that.

34. 30 Rock

  • Loved 30 Rock. Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan? Can’t go wrong with that cast.

33. South Park

  • Well, der. Of course South Park has to be on the list. It’s the second greatest cartoon in the history of television. They also killed Kenny by the way.

32. I Love Lucy

I LOVE LUCY Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. September 21, 1954. Copyright CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Credit: CBS Photo Archive.

  • The fact that “I Love Lucy” is rated this low is an outrage, a desecration, an abomination and an indignity to humanity. Nobody could have argued if this show had been in the #1 spot, amirite?

31. Sesame Street

  • Never a huge fan. Big Bird was rather terrifying to me.

30. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

  • Carson at #30 makes this whole list illegitimate, and no talk show should be ahead of him. Period, end of story.

29. Monty Python’s Flying Circus

  • I’ll tell ya, when we first got PBS on Channel 13 in addition to 4, 6 and 10 I felt like I’d died and gone to 7th Heaven (not on the list either, for good reason). For a young man, Monty Python was wild, man. Just crazy, off-color humor like you read about. As my dad once put it so succinctly, “What in the HELL are you watching?”

28. The X-Files

  • You how I’m into weird stuff, right? Then it might shock you to discover that I never watched an episode of The X-Files. Odd I know.

27. Arrested Development

  • Another show I simply never got into. Everyone says it was great, blah-blah-blah. I know it won Emmys and stuff, but I also know it got low ratings. What does that tell ya?

26. Friendsaniston

  • Yeah, I watched Friends. Because of Jennifer Aniston. Honestly, it seems like Friends doesn’t hold up with time, ya know? I watch it now and it seems sort of lame. Maybe it was a 90’s thing.

25. Veep

  • Have never seen it, don’t care about it, have no information on it. That is all.

24. Friday Night Lights

  • I know, I know, as a coach I should have liked this series. However, after watching a few episodes I gave up on it. Sorry everybody.

23. Deadwood

  • Western, right? Never saw an episode.

22. Louie

  • Another critically acclaimed show that I’m ambivalent about. Sorry not sorry.

21. The Office (UK)

  • As I mentioned, I loved the US version so I’m pretty sure I’d like this one, partially because I think Ricky Gervais is a riot.

20. Cheers

  • Ah, no we’re into the Top 20. Hallowed ground, man. As for Cheers, I watched it and liked it a lot. Woody and Coach before him, Sam, Norm, Cliff, Diane and the rest were awesome. There’s something about a neighborhood bar that’s intoxicating, you know? A place where everybody knows your name.

Larry David, man. Hilarious.

19. Curb Your Enthusiasm

  • One of my all-time favorite series, hands-down. Like The Office, it was often uncomfortable and awkward to watch. In other words, right in my wheelhouse. Larry David is great in this show, and I absolutely love it.

18. Star Trek

  • I watched Star Trek but was never obsessed with it like a lot of people. Plus, it seems like that stuff all started after the series was over. Loved the episode called “The Trouble With Tribbles” though.

17. Twin Peaks

  • I watched Twin Peaks. I thought it was a was a quirky little show with an odd way of filming scenes and whatnot. Plus it had Sherilyn Fenn, so there’s that. Yowza. Still, #17? For realz?

16. M*A*S*H

  • One of my Top 5 shows of all-time, hands down. Loved the dark, sometimes political humor. And the episode in which Colonel Henry Blake died was shocking. Never saw it coming.

15. The West Wing

  • I’m a pretty liberal guy but I could never get into this show. Not sure why, the characters just seemed way too smug for me.

14. The Larry Sanders Show

  • I absolutely loved this show. Still watch it in reruns when I can. The whole premise was unique for its time – a behind the scenes look at a late night talk show. Fascinating stuff and funny as hell.

13. Late Night With David Lettermanlate-night-with-david-letterman-1982-bill-murray

  • Not the “Late Show” that was on CBS from 1993 to 2015, but “Late Night” that ran from 1982 to 1993. In this one Letterman was more caustic, never smiled a lot, and was sarcastic as hell. It ran from 12:30 am to 1:30 am so he could be a lot more off-color. LOVED this show and taped it every night. Fun fact: I have every episode on VHS tape.

12. Game of Thrones

  • I haven’t watched a single episode of Game of Thrones, therefore I am appalled that it’s ranked this high.

11. Freaks and Geeks

  • Seriously, they’re just messing with us now, right? Freaks and Geeks ranked ahead of M*A*S*H and The Office? I’m dying a little inside.

10. The Daily Show

  • Let me tell you a secret about myself – I liked Craig Kilborne as a host of The Daily Show better than John Stewart. There, I said it.

9. All in the Family

  • Fantastic, controversial show that could never run in today’s politically correct world. It somehow made racism, anti-semitism and close-minded right-wingers funny. #9 may actually be a little low for this show.

8. Saturday Night Live

  • I’ve been off and on with SNL for years. I loved the early years, liked Eddie Murphy, and liked the late 90’s to early 00’s with Will Ferrell. Other years I’ve barely watched. Honestly, sometimes it can be excruciating to watch.

7. The Twilight Zone

  • Never missed an episode, and the “Living Doll” episode with Talking giphyTina still chills me to the core. And “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet“? Terrifying.

6. The Simpsons

  • Yep, I agree wholeheartedly. Just groundbreaking stuff. It’s amazing how much more you can get away with when the show features cartoon characters, ya know? My favorite scene is when Homer is being chased by a bear and he screams, “You can’t eat me! I have a wife and three kids! EAT THEM!”

5. Seinfeld

  • I was a fan of the show, but not a big a fan as some. I mean, I can’t repeat lines from the show and stuff, but the show was show iconic that we all repeat catchphrases like “close talker” and “yada yada.” And who can forget The Soup Nazi? Well, hell, maybe I’m a bigger fan than I thought. Whatever. It deserves the 5-spot.

4. Mad Menmad-men

  • My second favorite series of all-time. The clothes, the set designs, the way the characters talked, the plotlines, I loved every single thing about this show. And the ending was spectacular. There was only one show that could beat Mad Men, and that was . . .

3. Breaking Badbreaking-bad

  • I don’t know what first got me interested in Breaking Bad. Maybe it was the fact that the lead character was a teacher, I’m not sure. However, once I started watching I couldn’t stop. It was intoxicating, man. After the best-ever series finale I actually watched every single episode again. Incredible series.

2. The Wire

  • I’m sad to report that although many of my friends say I’ll love it, I’ve never watched The Wire. However, I shall do so post haste.

1. The Sopranos

  • I watched The Sopranos and I liked The Sopranos. I even enjoyed the finale, which seemed to upset so many people. However, it would not be #1 in my rankings. That honor would go to Breaking Bad. Sorry Tony.

I sort of feel like there should be different categories for drama, comedy, cartoons, talk shows and others though, you know? It seems odd comparing Letterman to The Simpsons or The Wire to Seinfeld. Totally different.

So, all-in-all the Rolling Stone list had some major omissions (no Andy Griffith or The Walking Dead?), some odd choices (Freaks and freaking Geeks?), some misplaced shows (Letterman ahead of Carson?) and quite a few shows that I’d simply never seen before.

I’ll give it a C+.


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