50 funniest Web series
The best and funniest Web series, from Burning Love to Planet Unicorn, show us the future of a young medium perfect for the Internet.
50. On Cinema
One of the first projects from Adult Swim’s Thing X, On Cinema features Tim Heidecker (of Tim and Eric fame) and Gregg Turkington (a.k.a. Neil Hamburger) as ham-fisted reviewers tackling whatever movie strikes their fancy. The public-access production values that have been Heidecker’s trademark are on display, though the bizarre elements found in his other work have been toned down in favor of a casual but catty back-and-forth between the two hosts. The ridiculous rating system alone (which includes bags of popcorn, sodas, rolls of pennies or anything else that strikes their fancy) is worth it.—Matthew Love
One of the brightest and most charming young comics working today, Emily Heller hosts this newish but growing-by-the-day series, playing a fortune teller who provides tarot readings to comedian pals such as Reggie Watts and John Mulaney. Yes, it’s essentially one comic interviewing another, but Heller also delves smartly into the mythology (and utter bullshit) of mysticism, gamely snapping at her guests for calling out her hypocrisy.—Steve Heisler
48. The Actress
Ann Carr’s vision of a performer’s life in the city—the auditions, the workshops, the callbacks—is a fairly subtle slice-of-life featuring a constant parade of odd characters and uncomfortable situations. As Hannah, Carr plays the put-upon everyactor coping with egocentric acting teachers, sleazy photographers and demanding tween costars. It’s played pretty straight and can be moody, but there are rewarding laughs in its carefully drawn portraits. According to its successful recent Kickstarter campaign, the series is set to begin a third season shortly.—ML
47. Vag Magazine
Costarring a pre–Saturday Night Live Kate McKinnon, Vag Magazine spoofs alternative magazines targeted to women and run by people who could not be more wrong about what modern women want. In addition to its timely mockery of publications that put out think pieces not grounded in reality—such as Jezebel’s attack on The Daily Show for not employing enough women—Vag Magazine plays up the ivory-tower nature of print journalism—and though its pace can be slow at times, the series has panache.—SH
46. Henry's Kitchen
Poor Henry Phillips. Even when he puts his best foot forward, he can’t seem to maintain any friendly or romantic relationships. Seeking validation and connection through a low-budget series of painfully awkward instructional cooking videos, his chili comes out blackened, his sushi unraveled, his gluten-free vegan pizza (containing flour, eggs and chicken) upside down on the floor. A musical comedian in real life, Phillips’s wrist-slitting soundtrack includes the original ditties “Nobody’s Birthday,” “It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas Anymore” and “Help Me!”—Julie Seabaugh
45. Tiny Apartment
The couple inhabiting this minuscule space often complains about its size, but it’s the breezy chemistry between Mike O’Gorman and Jessie Cantrell that drives the series forward, not their cramped living quarters. In perhaps the finest episode of the run, the two rehash all the arguments people make in favor of watching The Wire, sit down on their tiny couch for a marathon session, and are immediately disappointed. Other episodes are more whimsical, like the one that ends with a hastily constructed anti-smoking PSA. The show would work in a mansion, but the small space adds just the right amount of intimacy; Comedy Central thinks so too, and has picked up the pilot.—SH
44. Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager
From the first moment Chad Vader—grocery-story employee and Darth’s identically dressed younger brother—uses the Force to send an apple from the produce bin into his black-gloved mitt to inspect its shine, this series lets the viewer know exactly where it’s headed. Over the course of 38 episodes split into four seasons, it moves from novel joke to in-depth world, with warring factions and lots of minor characters. Though the conceit does wear thin, part of the show’s charm is that it feels like something coworkers might do with a digital camera at their workplace after hours, and there’s a laugh at least every couple of minutes.—ML
43. Five Second Films
Limitations are essential in creativity, and the inherent premise of Five Second Films plays right into that. Five seconds, one film, over and over. Foreshadowing Vine’s six-second allotments but eschewing the ramshackle nature of DIY video, Five Second Films are polished and interesting, even if not all of them hit their punch lines with enough ferocity to be memorable. Still, the series wouldn’t have it any other way—this is the risk it took, and that risk has mostly paid offwith videos unlike anything else on the Internet. See: Patton Oswalt’s mailman exploding when The Room’s Greg Sestero mentions that it’s Sunday.—SH
Capturing improv comedy on film is a tricky beast, because the art form is meant to be seen once and then let go. Shrink finds the middle ground between overly scripted improvisation and constraintless play. Following the sessions of an unlicensed amateur psychoanalyst (the unflappable Tim Baltz), Ted Tremper’s series allows Chicago improv heavyweights like TJ Jagodowski and Greg Hollimon to freewheel their character work, editing down the funniest bits without losing the natural ebbs and flows of a true improv experience.—SH
41. Penelope Princess Of Pets
Before this Dr. Dolittle tale was produced for BBC Three, it was a series on the now-defunct aggregator site Super Deluxe powered by the surreal whimsy of creators (and stars) Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal. The titular animal lover, her drunken bird and her orphan pal try to locate and kill an evil senator, goofing through a world of assassin sheep; a cupcake-loving worm named Edward Norton; and a cardboard box that is actually an apartment with all-cardboard accoutrements. PPoP also earns bonus points for being the first, as far as we can remember, to use a Reggie Watts-created theme song.—ML
You are missing "Rack & Ruin"... I think it just launched and it's brilliant. Hilarious take on the high-end fashion world... set in a NYC SoHo boutique with Markie Post ("Night Court", as the manic store manager. She kills it! http://www.womenyoushouldknow.net/wysktv/
Why didn't DATING IN THE MIDDLE AGES make the list. Hysterical…http://datinginthemiddleages.com
Thanks for the list! I just finished up Burning Love and now I'll have plenty of pickings for how to waste more hours of my life. :)
How come red vs blue by roosterteeth here they were making the best of content befor the term web series was been used and were the first to actualy do a web series.
I enjoyed the list. A new series that we just released is "Street Academy"; a brand-new original sitcom about recent college graduates who fall for the sexy world of Social Media. "The Office" meets "Mad Men". Let us know what you think. #StreetAcademyTV http://www.glassshackfilms.com/street-academy-sitcom
Great list. Also excited about #SexPoseMan. Its about an inspired male gigolo trying something wonderful out every night. Watch The Trailer here. http://bit.ly/136V14j
Good list. you can also see more web series @ http://www.shortz.tv
Very happy to see Strong Bad E-mails at #4. Today's YouTube fans are missing out. Nothing on YouTube right now even comes close to being as good as the Strong Bad E-mails are, or homestarrunner.com is.
Yo- where's East Willyb on here? WWW.EASTWILLYB.COM. One of the BEST shows online RIGHT NOW! Get with it Time Out!
Really surprised that East WillyB is not on here since it was named by the NY Times as one of the best webseries to watch. What happened Time Out NY?
Epic Rab Battles are AMAZING! There was a time they weren't so funny, but the new ones are very good.
web sitcom "The Diner" is must-see computer tv... the pilot "Somebody's Somebody" rocks... as do the other 9 episodes www.youtube.com/dinerseries
how come THIS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSA1H3tk6H8 is nowhere mentioned?
You are missing a fantastic, comedic series "EastWillyB" -- First Latino, Comedic series that takes place in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Featuring Flaco Navaja, Johnny Rivera, Rick Gonzalez, Joe Budden and others! Check it out: http://www.eastwillyb.com
OH GOD. how is this not number one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTs5eKZ0i1E
By the way, sweet-heart Penny didn't think the show was all that Funny neither, bless her. siggy2... Penny - "It's OK. Captain Hammer will save us."
Actually, no, the glorious DrH Musical's sequel continues to be indefinitely delayed. As Joss has repeated elsewhere, he's gonna be busy for the next few years doing his Avengers sequel. --------- Siggy: "With my Freeze Ray I will STOP the world."
@Katrina M YESSSS!!!! This is the best... for people in the know (a-hem Time Out!)!
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