Will audiences of the future find 30 Rock funny, the way we still enjoy I Love Lucy and Cheers? That’s the question Salon critic Matt Zoller Seitz poses in a smart piece arguing that today’s cultural reference-laden sitcoms, or “footnote shows,” as he calls them, all come with an expiration date. In fact, Seitz points out, early episodes of the show that launched the trend, The Simpsons, are already incomprehensible to kids.
While we agree that series like Community may not have decades-long shelf lives, we do believe that plenty of 21st-century sitcoms have what it takes to make generations of fans laugh. After the jump, we list ten shows we think will pass the test of time. Add your suggestions (and feel free to take exception with ours) in the comments.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Larry David’s long-running HBO series picked up where Seinfeld (which, by the way, will also still be funny forever) left off. In just about every episode, a curmudgeonly, self-centered, somewhat fictionalized Larry totally blows some social norm or another and reaps the out-of-proportion consequences of his actions. Although the show does draw on current events (Hurricane Katrina, the Broadway revival of The Producers), the recurring theme — that if we just did whatever we wanted instead of conforming to accepted etiquette, life would be chaos — is timeless.