Fact: It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is the funniest show on tv.
Now before you start arguing, let me explain. I’ve chosen my words carefully. I didn’t say “Best Sitcom” (still Parks and Recreation), and I didn’t say “Most Important Funny Show” (The Daily Show). I said funniest. And it is. Untethered from any sort of cohesive plot requirements, character development, or legal and ethical standards, Always Sunny is consistently the most laugh-inducing show on television, and has been for the past 10 seasons. (Sorry, Archer, The Goldbergs and black-ish. We’ll see if you’re still in contention a few years from now.)
A big part of the charm is the show’s unwillingness to rest on a joke or gimmick. I mean, yes, they were able to produce one of the most astounding long tracking shots in television history, but in the middle of all of the trick editing and frenetic energy was some really serious comedy. My personal favorite?
They do the same thing with their callbacks. And, guys, there are a shitton of callbacks. Instead of merely referencing them and moving on, the Gang works them into the current show’s plot. This week’s episode “The Gang Misses The Boat” used a dizzying number of callbacks to execute one of the show’s oldest plots: The Gang Breaks Up. They recycled the same plot and same jokes, and it was amazing. If any other show has been as good at keeping the same story fresh, I haven’t seen it. And if any other show can make its callbacks feel more like inside jokes between it and the audience, that show should be burned at the stake for witchcraft.
Side note: I’ve watched this episode 5 times, twice while taking notes. I’m sure I missed something. Feel free to add in the comments.
Second side note: The first person who can find GIFs of Dee and Charlie’s wonderfully horrific make out or Dennis’ delusional monolog wins the internet for the day.
Underage drinking scheme
Not a call back, but this meta moment
Dennis: All of us have gotten so goddamn weird. Frank: I think we’re just hitting our stride.
That has to be a response to general criticism of the show, right? It’s used to be about four bar owners, and now they have “more costumes than kegs?” Sort of like when “The Gangs Tries Desperately To Win An Award”?
“When was the last time, like, just you and me went out to eat?”
Guys Dee won’t bail on by sneaking out of the bathroom window? Charlie.
Guys Dee will bail on by sneaking out of the bathroom window? Ben. Poor Ben.
Frank’s toupee and dancing
Dee and Charlie artistic endeavors (def poetry went over significantly better than stand up)
Mac won’t burn his mesh shirt, Dennis won’t burn the duster
Seriously, Mac, it’s so much more comfortable when someone’s gay and open about it
I’m still pretty sure you shouldn’t refer to people as “a Jew”
Second meta moment: To the best of my knowledge, Charlie has never said anything on camera about a ferret in the basement.
The health inspection