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An informal survey of family and friends on which show was the funniest TV comedy of all time, brought unanimous agreement: Seinfeld. That doesn't happen very often in my family, but they are not alone in their opinion. Seinfeld claims the top spot on TV Guide's 2002 list of “50 Greatest Shows of All Time.” Entertainment Weekly placed Seinfeld third of the best TV shows of the last 25 years.

While it's true that the show, according to the IMDB website has won 58 awards and 120 nominations, there are several other long-running TV comedies, draped in awards that could vie for this coveted spot, the funniest TV show of all time. So why Seinfeld, hands down?

The funniest TV comedy shows are often centered around a life situation, ritual or relationship: the field hospital in M*A*S*H; life with your too-close-for-comfort family in “Everything About Raymond”; the single woman trying to make a new life as in, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. All fodder for funny TV comedy.

But Seinfeld is not a situation comedy in this traditional format and therein lies a clue to the show's genius and why it holds the title by so many as the funniest TV comedy show ever. As the now famous line from one of its own episodes, Seinfeld is “a show about nothing.” That is, it's more about the mundane minutes in-between the everyday events of life than the events themselves. As Jerry Seinfeld once said in an interview featured on, “it's a show about conversation….a show about being a human being,”

With that deceptively simple formula, Jerry Seinfeld and his co-creator and producer, Larry David, cooked up some complex subplots and twists to illustrate the failings of its ensemble cast of characters. There is no one especially flawed character, no character the audiences love-to-hate. Instead, through the minutiae of everyday life, the audience sees how each character fails, so pathetically, to end the day honorably. Yet, does the viewer snub George or Jerry for their shortcomings? Do we sneer at Kramer because he fails to find life's purpose, or even a job? Or Elaine, because she appears so vain and shallow? No! The show makes no condemnations, and neither, in the end, do we. And again, that is the genius of the show at work and why it should carry the crown as the funniest TV show ever. As the best TV comedy ever, Seinfeld mirrors life, through its witty dialogue and insightful self-examiniation, revealing our faults to ourselves, being careful not to reject itself, or us, for who we are.

Perhaps that is part of the reason why teenagers today, too young to enjoy the show in its first airing, still enjoy it in reruns. According to, Seinfeld still airs in over 200 markets around the U.S., and is especially popular among men and young adults. The show doesn't play favorites; viewers get to frown at the entire cast, every last self-absorbed one of them -and empathize with all of them too. There's a little bit of Jerry and his friends in all of us; and that is why Seinfeld leads the pack as the best TV comedy show ever. Its humanity endures.

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