One person’s punch line is another’s sucker punch — comedy is perhaps the most personal cultural form. Then there’s the complicating notion that on TV lately a lot of ostensible comedies aren’t even trying for laughs. But despite the fact that comedy is increasingly hard to pin down, here’s what 137 performers, writers, producers, and executives deemed TV’s best.
Survey respondents: Carlos Alazraqui, Dan Amboyer, Stephen Amell, Marie Cecile Anderson, Carol Barbee, Derrick Baskin, Samantha Bee, Lynn Bixenspan, Rachel Bloom, Desmin Borges, Alex Borstein, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Guy Branum, B. J. Britt, Mehcad Brooks, Sterling K. Brown, Jere Burns, Sarah Wayne Callies, Linda Cardellini, Aya Cash, David Caspe, David Chase, Michael Che, Deon Cole, Gary Cole, Eliza Coupe, Elisha Cuthbert, Elizabeth Daily, Luke Del Tredici, Michelle Dockery, Colin Donnell, Kether Donohue, Lena Dunham, John Early, Dave Ebert, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Cole Escola, Raúl Esparza, Stephen Falk, Ben Feldman, Joel Fields, Katy Frame, Lyle Friedman, Ana Gasteyer, Chris Geere, Nick Gehlfuss, David Giuntoli, Jon Glaser, Ben Gleib, Gideon Glick, Dan Goor, Peter Gould, Chris Geere, David Alan Grier, Frank Grillo, Jonathan Groff, Meredith Hagner, Lena Hall, Dan Harmon, Briga Heelan, Megan Hilty, John Hodgman, Josh Holloway, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Jason Jones, Rashida Jones, Jeremy Jordan, Ellie Kemper, Keegan-Michael Key, Candice King, Julie Klausner, Zachary Knighton, Jenni Konner, Padma Lakshmi, Damon Lindelof, Lisa Ling, Jay Martel, Andrea Martin, Tatiana Maslany, Debi Mazar, Rose McIver, Michael McKean, Aline Brosh McKenna, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Breckin Meyer, Lea Michele, Mandy Moore, Larry Murphy, Shakina Nayfack, Trevor Noah, Marti Noxon, Conan O’Brien, John Oliver, Adam Pally, Tom Perrotta, Luke Perry, Adina Porter, Danny Pudi, Andrew Rannells, Shonda Rhimes, Krysten Ritter, John Roberts, Vincent Rodriguez III, Melissa Rosenberg, Josh Sapan, Chris Schleicher, Adam Schlesinger, David Schwimmer, Campbell Scott, Rhea Seehorn, Matt Senreich, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, Alia Shawkat, Christian Slater, Scott Speedman, Yvonne Strahovski, Matt Thompson, James Urbaniak, Timothy Van Patten, Milo Ventimiglia, Damon Wayans Jr., Carl Weathers, Joe Weisberg, Dan Wilbur, Jessica Williams, Casey Wilson, Philip Winchester, Constance Wu, Natalie Zea, Ian Ziering, Constance Zimmer.
Reporting by Samuel Anderson, Heather Buckley, Ericka Goodman, Bennett Marcus, Kelly Marino, Jenni Miller, Trupti Rami, Vicki Salemi, Hilary Sheinbaum, Fawnia Soo Hoo, Jennifer Vineyard, Katherine Ward, Tolly Wright, and Jada Yuan.
*This article appears in the June 13, 2016 issue of New York Magazine.