We're going to need everyone reading this to take a deep breath, slowly take a seat, let out that breath you took, and get yourself to a place of calm because we have some surprisingly good news. Believe it or not, FXX's long-running and soon-to-be-record-breaking sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is getting some love from the mainstream media. Seriously. We're not kidding. And while it may not be the Entertainment Weekly cover that Charlie Day was after, we would say making Rolling Stone's "100 Best Sitcoms of All Time" is pretty damn impressive- and clocking in at #29, no less (which means RS was only off by 28 spots- not too shabby).
Compiled by Alan Sepinwall, Maria Fontoura, David Fear, and Rob Sheffield, it's important to know what the criteria were for consideration. First up, "hard" and "soft" sketch comedy shows like Saturday Night Live, The Muppet Show, and The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show were taken out of the mix. In addition, hour-running "dramedies" like Freaks and Geeks and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Dramadies that hit the half-hour mark were judged for consideration on a case-by-case basis and dependant on the percentage of comedy made up the series (Sorry, Enlightened and The Wonder Years– congrats, Atlanta and Better Things). Also, the list only covers English-language comedies- mostly American, but with some British and Canadian shows included.
But rules and scorecards aside, the group was "looking for a consistent group of characters and settings." From there, the group "considered not just how much these series made us laugh, but also how much they influenced the shows that followed, how well they reflected the world around them, and, on occasion, how deeply they made us feel emotions beyond mirth." So what did Sepinwall, Fontoura, Fear, and Sheffield have to say about The Gang from Paddy's?
A spectacularly smart comedy about unbelievably stupid people. Rob McElhenney created Sunny as a showcase for himself and buddies Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day, legendarily filming a DIY pilot episode for $200 in 2004. The three of them and co-stars Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito are not only still making the series 14 seasons later, but its irreverent approach to topical comedy is somehow still funny, long past the age when most great comedies are already running on fumes. Just don't let Charlie huff any of those fumes on the way to Paddy's Pub. A.S.