Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NOT ON YOUR LIFE, MY HINDU FRIEND:  Splitsider's Best Sitcom Episode Ever Tournament brackets have been winnowed down via reader voting from their original 32, as beloved favorites involving an impostor marine biologist, a Gordon Gartrell shirt, a Judy Doll, Harry the Hat's greatest con, and Eric Cartman's favorite chili have fallen by the wayside to leave this final four:
Community, "Remedial Chaos Theory" vs. Fawlty Towers, "The Germans" (vote now!)
The Simpsons, "Marge vs. the Monorail" vs. Arrested Development, "Pier Pressure"


  1. christy in nyc9:19 AM

    It's impossible for me to imagine choosing between those four episodes. (Spent a few minutes sitting here recalling the details of each one). UGH THEY'RE ALL SO GOOD

    And so are most of the 32 original contenders. I kind of want to just watch them all right now.

    Did you guys see on Jeopardy! a couple days ago, there was an answer that was basically like "name the sitcom where a clown named Chuckles dies" and NONE OF THEM RANG IN? Those teachers are wasting their lives.

  2. Marsha10:23 AM

    That's an excellent bracket. The only one I would have put on there that they didn't was HIMYM"s "Slap Bet," and I would have either swapped P&R's "April & Andy's Fancy Party" for "The Fight," or just added the former. But they nailed a few of my favorites - "Pick a Con," "The One with the Embryos," "Modern Warfare," and "The Contest," of course.

  3. I wasn't happy with the Newsradio entry -- The Cane has maybe the funniest subplot, but is not the best episode -- but up against Marge vs. the Monorail, which will be the eventual winner, nothing would have survived.  Nice to see "The One with the Embryos" recognized, though!  

  4. When they did the original call for nominations, here's what I listed (trying to focus on ones others might not):

    <span>Larry Sanders Show, "Off Camera" (or "Flip")</span>
    <span>The Office, "The Injury"</span>
    <span>Cheers, "Pick A Con, Any Con"</span>
    <span>The Cosby Show, "The Shirt Story"</span>
    <span>Curb, "The Doll" or "The Survivor"</span>

  5. I am sure people who follow college basketball have given this much more thought than I have, but this underscores that the bracket approach is really only good for choosing the "best" (and is probably flawed for that, as well).  I say this because, among Community fans, I suspect very few people believe that "Remedial Chaos Theory" (an excellent episode, to be sure) is better than "Modern Warfare."  (Yes, I am sure SOME prefer RCT, and I'm sure they will comment here...). 

  6. Jordan12:30 PM

    It may be the truest form of comedy greatness when you can telegraph a joke, but still land it so well that the audience can't help but lose it.  Every time they watch it.  Which is to say "You started it."

  7. christy in nyc12:44 PM

    <p>Yeah, Remedial Chaos Theory is actually my fave Community episode, but it's a pretty close shave between that, Modern Warfare, and Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking.
    </p><p>My favorite Fawlty Towers episode is Gourmet Night, but I started thinking about that moose head from the Germans and started giggling, so it can't be a bad choice. (I am actually laughing right now--"I CAN SPEAK ENGLISH!")
    </p><p>The Injury is my favorite US Office episode as well, tied with Cafe Disco.
    </p><p>And with P&R, I'd have to go with Flu Season, but remembering that the Fight had all the drunk scenes, well, I get why it was the choice.

  8. kd bart2:38 PM

    "Head of the Household" for The Honeymooners?  "Chef of the Future" was the best Honeymooners of them all.  "Can it core an apple?"

  9. Fawlty Towers -- I'd also pick Gourmet Night. Probably my favorite comedy scene is him threatening the car with a thrashing, running off-screen, and returning with a small tree.

    For this final 4, it's Fawlty Towers over the Simpsons in overtime.

  10. Marsha4:27 PM

    I'm totally happy with all those P&R choices, but I'm a total sap, thus April and Andy's Fancy Party.

  11. Hannah Lee8:42 PM

    How did I miss this until now?

    Also, somehow I spaced out and forgot the Cosby Show "The Shirt Story" included repeated references to someone named "Gordon" and seeing a reference to 'Shirt' and 'Gordon' and immediately thought of a Sports Night episode.  And though I'm not sure if that episode which came to mind would have survived up against some of the other episodes here, I'm pretty sure one line from it could take on individual lines from a lot of other episodes (in terms of the power of its meaning in context, surprise, delivery, etc) if there were a bracket that focused on individual lines.    Then again, it might just get it's Sorkinese/Peter Krause heart stomped out by  "Mom, I'm going to have to call you back" or random nostalgia for "Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pie!"

  12. victoria8:41 AM

    I don't think I would've picked "Pier Pressure" for Arrested Development, either. I know it's one of Mitch Hurwitz's two favorites, and it's definitely good, but I think I would've chosen "Afternoon Delight" or "The Immaculate Election" over it.

    And no "Racial Sensitivity"?