NBC and The Paley Center for Media have announced that “TV’s Funniest of the Funniest: A Paley Center for Media Special” will air from 9-11PM on Sunday, September 1st. The two-hour special will count down the top 30 funniest moments in television history. My first reaction upon reading about the special was that two hours is a long time to count down just 30 moments. I then wondered how many moments would be from the 1950s or 1960s. From the Paley Center’s press release:
With sixty years of hilarious television show moments to choose from, this entertaining special focuses on the top thirty, ranked in a countdown format and leading to the #1 funniest moment in television history. Unforgettable scenes are humorously captured from televisionâ€™s most popular comedies, including Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory, The Simpsons, Friends, Will & Grace, Everybody Loves Raymond, Cheers, Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, The Cosby Show, and Modern Family, as well as unforgettable classics like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Love Lucy, The Carol Burnett Show, and All in the Family. The lively laughfest will also include clips from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Taxi, Malcolm in the Middle, Married with Children, Spin City, The Office, In Living Color, How I Met Your Mother, Roseanne, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
There are 26 shows named, so either four additional shows weren’t included in the press release or several shows will have multiple moments in the countdown. All of the big classics are included — I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show — with the possible exception of M*A*S*H (although I may be biased). Of those 26 shows, only one is from the 1950s, two are from the 1960s and four are from the 1970s. The other 19 are from the 1980s forward. Here’s a breakdown:
1950s – 1
1960s – 2
1970s – 4
1980s – 6
1990s – 6
2000s – 7
It’s certainly not surprising that most of the shows listed are more recent fare or that all of them are well-known. That’s par for the course with this sort of special.