As we approach the end of the living nightmare known as “2017,” let’s take a moment to remember the good times, shall we?
We needed laughs more than ever this year, and our small-screen favorites were more than happy to oblige. From Broad City‘s animated mushroom trip to Will & Grace‘s, ahem, “shower scene,” we’re still laughing over the 20 moments included in our best-of gallery.
Heck, one of the year’s funniest TV moments wasn’t even supposed to be funny. (Spoiler alert: the scene in question is from a Shondaland drama. And involves a dinosaur.)
Sam verbally castrated her short-term significant other in this hard-to-forget breakup scene, sharing explicit details of their unsatisfying sex life with complete strangers before parting ways. It was as funny as it was savage.
Talk about a hard pill to swallow! We guffawed throughout this particular sequence, as Jules, incapable of downing the pill needed to terminate a pregnancy, tried a series of different methods — including chewing at it with just one side of her mouth and covering her nose to mask the chalky taste.
Seeing Barry get flummoxed by this, that and the other speed suit “upgrade” — flotation and lockdown modes included, and to the point that he had to seek out a payphone — almost made us forget that he was in some jeopardy throughout.
Abbi and Ilana’s trip on magic mushrooms started out slowly, with just a few minor visual tweaks, before exploding into a colorfully psychedelic wonderland. The gals, in animated form, took a magical mystery tour around New York City, philosophizing about the meaning of life — and just generally spreading good vibes, man.
The Season 3 premiere hit a timely note with “Let’s Generalize About Men,” an upbeat ’80s-style tune about how all men are terrible. (But not gay men! They’re adorable!) The lyrics took aim at our tendency to paint entire groups of people with an unfairly broad brush before building to a hilariously dark ending — and those ’80s fashions were totally tubular, too.
THE GOOD PLACE
Overwhelmed by existential dread, Michael had the immortal-demon version of a midlife crisis: He reinvented himself as a free-wheeling party animal, buying a Ferrari and getting a ridiculously gaudy diamond earring. (“Man, repressing your feelings is great!”) It was a joy to see Ted Danson back in Sam Malone mode, and to see a newly blonde Janet — sorry, “Jeanette” — as his ditzy arm candy.
Kelli got served more than French fries when she and her latest hookup joined her friends for a post-day-party meal. And, thanks to her hilarious attempts to keep the under-the-table action on the DL — from covering a moan by clearing her throat to shutting her eyes before they rolled back in delight — yes, it was good for us, too.
Luci’s all-emoji text to his brother Amenadiel really was (well, mildly) self-explanatory: “I ignited the flaming sword, used it to cut a hole in space and time, Mum’s light flooded through it, then it closed up behind her. All good!”
MASTER OF NONE Dev just couldn’t help himself when Denise brought her social media-obsessed girlfriend to Thanksgiving, prolonging an awkward exchange about the spelling of her outrageous Instagram handle, NipplesAndToes23.
Bonnie rediscovered her love of skipping, then taught Christy how to skip for the very first time — after accidentally getting stoned.
After performing a beautiful piano piece he wrote to go with his Fashion Week runway show, Kentaro explained the inspiration behind his musical creation: “I found a dead cat on the street. After I buried the cat, I put my ear to the ground, and this is the kind of sound I heard.”
Lest you think he was joking, Kentaro confirmed the incident during a this post-finale interview with TVLine.
Need any more proof that Kathleen Rose Perkins is an unsung comedic genius? Look no further than ex-network exec Carol reminiscing about her glory days hooking up with Wilmer Valderrama at an Upfronts party.
Not since Anthony Michael Hall was trapped under a table in Sixteen Candles had we heard squealing as hysterical and high-pitched as Dustin’s after he was, for lack of a better term, sneezed on in the infected tunnels beneath Hawkins. But even funnier than his panic was the way he turned on a dime and suddenly declared that he was OK after all.
Shelly Pfefferman’s foray into improvisational comedy blessed us with “Mario,” a character she created in class, then tried out for size when she went out for lunch and ordered a “big, long, hard roll with a lot of stuff on it.”
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Barely two weeks into Donald Trump’s presidency, (much of) the nation was at its wit’s end, due in part to Sean Spicer’s ineptitude as White House press secretary. We didn’t know we needed Melissa McCarthy to storm onto the scene, mouth full of chewing gum, and masterfully mock “Spicey,” but just seconds into her send-up, we couldn’t imagine life any other way.
One thing’s for sure: By the time Scandal takes its final bow in 2018, there will be no scenery left un-chewed. We defy you not to laugh at Papa Pope’s ludicrously over-the-top delivery of “I. Want. My. Bones!” after Olivia, well, stole his bones.
UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
The good news: Titus got a paying gig! The bad news: It was singing backup for a demented conspiracy theorist, whose song lyrics were, well, a little out there. (“Benghazi! Benghazi! Hillary was there!”) The barrage of insanity ranged from fluoride turning kids gay to the Supreme Court wearing robes to hide their octopus bodies, but Titus didn’t mind… as long as the check cleared.
The foul-mouthed Uncle Jeff berated Jonah during an unforgettable hospital visit, referring to his nephew as an “epileptic Picasso painting” who should be ashamed of his “mangled abortion coat hanger” of a body. That was somehow the least offensive thing he said over the course of three gloriously vulgar minutes.
WILL & GRACE
Debra Messing and Megan Mullally’s gift for physical comedy was never more apparent than in the revival’s second episode, “Who’s Your Daddy,” when Grace and Karen found themselves submerged in shower stall, with nothing but their arms, legs and biting banter keeping them alive.
Just as Josh and Claire were settling in for some post-date sex, Josh felt a burning sensation on his penis — and quickly realized his new girlfriend was to blame, as she’d handled some super-spicy jalapeños at dinner that night. The solution? Submerging his entire manhood into a tub of yogurt to cool it down. (Poor Kelsey and her corrupted groceries!)