Television shows have been using the workplace as a source of comedy for decades, making audiences laugh at the humorously mundane characters and occurrences that often dominate their own nine-to-five jobs. From offices and retail stores to television studios and the White House, no workplace is off limits for the memorable jokes that keep viewers tuning in every week. And there's none more famously than "The Office," the NBC series that documented the frustrated employees of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in a hilarious mockumentary style. The hit series based on a beloved British comedy of the same name ran for nine seasons. It won countless accolades including Emmys, SAG Awards, a Golden Globe and even a Peabody Award. Rolling Stone went on to name it one of the 100 greatest television shows of all time. All 201 episodes can be streamed on Peacock.
Now join Wonderwall.com as we take a look at other great workplace sitcoms that you can stream…
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Coming from the creator of "The Office," the long-running comedy "Parks and Recreation" takes the same mockumentary approach to a regular workplace and applies it to the hijinks of a local governing body. It follows the disgruntled staff of the Parks Department of the fictional small town Pawnee, Indiana, and their painfully perky and optimistic leader, Leslie Knope. The show underwent some retooling after a disappointing first season, building a winning ensemble that includes Nick Offerman, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe and Chris Pratt. Critics were bowled over by the program's ability to balance laugh-out-loud moments with immense heart, and it received numerous Emmy nominations as well as a Golden Globe Award during its seven-season run. It even attracted real-life political figures such as John McCain, Joe Biden and Michelle Obama to join in on the fun with cameo appearances. All 126 episodes can be streamed on Peacock.
"Designing Women" is one of television's most beloved female ensembles from the late '80s and early '90s. It hilariously centered on the lives of four women and one man working together at an interior design firm in Atlanta called Sugarbaker & Associates. The sitcom made stars out of cast members Delta Burke, Annie Potts, Jean Smart and Dixie Carter and became one of the most watched shows on television during its run. As Yahoo described the beloved characters, "they were smart, opinionated, man-loving feminists who defied the stereotypes of women — and Southerners — on TV." Cast changes and timeslot shifts caused viewership to decline as the series went on, but critics agreed that the excellent brand of humor never subsided. All seven seasons can be streamed on Hulu.
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Retail employees are among the most thankless workers and "Superstore" celebrated their daily existence with six seasons of hilarious escapades. America Ferrera led a fantastic ensemble of employees working at Cloud 9, a fictional big-box store franchise in St. Louis. The show provided an inside look at the lives of those who spend their days inside a massive retailer and all the crazy customer stories, unusual management requests and unexpected antics they encounter on a regular basis. It never garnered the same award attention as other shows on this list, but it developed a devoted following and glowing recognition from critics. Vox admitted that the show "is rarely discussed in the same breath as 'The Office' or 'Community' (well, unless I'm the one doing the talking), but it should be. It's just as good, just as smart, and just as funny, and it's been under the radar for way too long." All 113 episodes of the series, which came to an end in 2021, can be streamed on Hulu and Peacock.
Shortly after completing her tenure on "Saturday Night Live," Tina Fey used her experience as the basis for her first sitcom, "30 Rock," which she created and starred on. The series followed the writing staff of a fictional sketch-comedy program and the zany stars and executives who help put it on the air each week. The ensuing hilarity is known for its incredible characters and rapid-fire, surreal humor. Tracy Morgan, Alec Baldwin, Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer round out the main ensemble, providing far more laughs than their chaotic show-within-the-show. While it was never a ratings powerhouse, critics were quick to praise the series, which received more than 100 Emmy nominations, a Peabody Award and a Television Critics Association Award for best comedy. As Grantland put it, "For seven seasons it churned out brilliant jokes with the efficacy and precision of a finely calibrated fart machine… At its worst it was good. At its best it was transcendent." All seven seasons can be streamed on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Peacock.
Medical dramas are a television mainstay and it would be too hard to count how many have aired over the years. That said, medical comedies are a far more rare occurrence, but "Scrubs" proved it was a worthy gamble. Over nine seasons, audiences could barely contain their laughter as Zach Braff's young doctor, J.D. Dorian, struggled to navigate a hospital populated by nincompoops, blowhards and weirdos. The stories of J.D. and his colleagues at Sacred Heart Hospital often drifted into the absurd, but the hilarious silliness always gave way to touching pathos and life lessons. It served as the perfect series to make you laugh, weep and smile all in one episode. The A.V. Club wrote, "Like a lot of strong ensemble comedies, 'Scrubs' could coast through weaker storylines thanks to the chemistry of its cast, which found its footing, timing-wise, early in its run." All 182 episodes can be streamed on Hulu and Amazon Prime.
Some of the minds behind "Parks and Recreation" decided to put a comedic spin on the typical police procedural with "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." It starred Andy Samberg as a New York City Police Department detective in Brooklyn's 99th Precinct who often comes into conflict with his commanding officer, plus the surprisingly competent detectives that work alongside him. The series, which has been praised for its portrayal of serious issues while retaining a sense of humor, won multiple Golden Globe Awards throughout its run. A standout ensemble cast helped save the show when FOX originally canceled it, leading NBC to pick it up instead. As Rolling Stone wrote, "Where even great sitcoms tend to run out of steam by their fourth or fifth season, 'Brooklyn' feels as strong as it's ever been, with a simple-yet-sturdy foundation that seems designed to keep it funny for however long its second life on NBC lasts." It just finished its eighth season in 2021. All episodes can be streamed on Hulu and Peacock.
The HBO series "Veep," which is based on the British sitcom "The Thick Of It," left a major mark as the show followed Julia Louis-Dreyfus' journey as Selina Meyer, a fictional vice president of the United States and her team as they attempted to leave a legacy but often instead became mired in day-to-day political games. The hilariously brutal comedy, which debuted in 2012, provided a satirical look at the exploits of those who work inside the White House, and no one comes out unscathed. It received glowing reviews, with The A.V. Club writing, "Throughout its seven-season run, 'Veep' has been one of the most consistent, most densely-packed comedies around, delivering blistering political satire, the most creative profanity on TV, and regular acting masterclasses from its talented ensemble." It went on to nab a total of 68 Emmy nominations throughout its run as well as six straight wins for Julia. All 65 episodes can be stream on HBO Max.
Tina Fey followed her successful run on "30 Rock" with another workplace comedy, this time executive producing a behind-the-scenes look at a television news program with "Great News." It depicted an up-and-coming news producer who finds herself dealing with a new intern: her mother. Briga Heelan, Andrea Martin, Horatio Sanz and Nicole Richie led the large cast, which won over critics despite low ratings. Yahoo wrote in its review that the show "steamrolls over your reservations. The show is jammed with jokes; if you don't laugh at one, there for six more waiting to tickle you in the next 30 seconds." It gave viewers an opportunity to laugh at what happens behind the camera of ridiculous local news broadcasts, but still retained the touching, loving relationship between a mother and daughter that was at the show's core. Both seasons of the short-lived sitcom can be streamed on Netflix.
The tech-industry culture of Northern California received the parody treatment on HBO's comedy "Silicon Valley." The series focused on Thomas Middleditch's Richard Hendricks, a programmer who founds a startup called Pied Piper, and the group of friends and colleagues (played by Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, Zach Woods and T.J. Miller) with whom he develops the company. Over six seasons, it hilariously chronicled their struggles trying to maintain the company while facing competition from larger entities. The sharp-knived sendup received 41 Emmy nominations during its run and endless praise from critics like Mashable, which wrote that the show's "consistency is one of its most admirable qualities. It's still a treat to sit down to new episodes of this series, trusting that each new entry will deliver the laughs and thrills you've enjoyed this whole time." The Guardian added that it was an "astonishing" program. All 53 episodes can be streamed on HBO Max.
"Better Off Ted" explored the corporate offices and research lab of a soulless, evil megacorporation. While it sounds dark, the show was jampacked with quirky, sarcastic characters who scored big laughs by embracing silliness while still tackling important issues like corporate racial sensitivity policies. Jay Harrington, Andrea Anders and Portia de Rossi led the humorously earnest cast, who all play employees who are perfectly aware of their workplace's dark underbelly. Despite its low ratings, the sitcom won over a cult fan base that's only grown since its run was cut short in 2010 after two seasons. Critics were also impressed, with Entertainment Weekly writing, "I love everything about this show, from star Jay Harrington's delivery of Ted's straight-man lines with WASP ramrod posture to the show's up-front critiques of corporate capitalism." All 26 episodes of the underrated gem can be streamed on Hulu.
"Taxi" perfectly celebrated the aspirations of working stiffs as it followed a group of New York City cab drivers. It's a sitcom that didn't paint its setting — the Sunshine Taxi Cab Company — as a great place to work, often showing Danny De Vito's abusive dispatcher hurling insults at his disgruntled staff. The hit show made stars of its celebrated ensemble cast that included Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Marilu Henner, Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd and Andy Kaufman. It was a critical and commercial success that was nominated for 31 Emmys and won 13 including three straight outstanding comedy show trophies. TV Guide has repeatedly named it as one of the best shows in television history and Screen Rant called it "one of those brave sitcoms to start a new path in the world of television. It dared to be a bit darker and feature a rag-tag group of misfits instead of the white-picket-fence family next door." All five seasons are available to stream on Hulu.
"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" pushed boundaries for celebrating a female who chooses to pursue a career rather than a husband. The hit '70s sitcom turned spunky lead character Mary Richards into a cultural icon as it followed her life as an associate producer at a Minneapolis news station where she worked around a motley crew. Ed Asner, Gavin MacLeod, Ted Knight and Betty White are just some of the actors who joined Mary in the iconic ensemble. A central female character who was neither married nor dependent on a man was a TV rarity at the time and the show was hailed as a groundbreaking series in the era of second-wave feminism. The sitcom earned acclaim for its complex, realistic characters and earned 29 Primetime Emmys during its high-rated run, including outstanding comedy series three years in a row. "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" spawned three spinoffs and was ranked by the Writers Guild of America as one of the best written TV series of all time. All seven seasons can be streamed on Hulu.
One of the numerous shows directly influenced by the success of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" is "Murphy Brown." The popular sitcom, which initially ran from 1988 to 1998, starred Candice Bergen as the eponymous investigative journalist and anchor for a fictional television newsmagazine. Over its 10-season run, it often became part of the national conversation for its topical references and trailblazing portrayal of Murphy as a single mother who decided to raise her child all on her own. The plot became the subject of political controversy when it was criticized by then-Vice President Dan Quayle for "mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone." The show used Dan's remarks in an episode celebrating different kinds of families, which helped it earn some of its 18 Primetime Emmys. Time Magazine called Murphy the "feminist hero we needed" at the time, writing, "Brown's ruthless independence and sharp-tongued abrasiveness vaporized traditional notions of how a television heroine should behave." The hit nabbed a second life with an 11th season launched in 2018, but the new iteration was short-lived, getting chopped after one year. All 260 episodes can be streamed on DirecTV.
"Wings," which brought the big sky to the small screen, followed two brothers who ran a fictional single-plane airline out of a small airport in Nantucket. Tim Daly and Steven Weber starred as the handsome, charming pilot siblings at the center of the series, which also included breakout turns from cast members Thomas Haden Church and Tony Shalhoub. Over eight seasons, fans fell for the hilarious exploits of the airport's staff that came from the minds of the creators of TV hits like "Frasier" and "Cheers." While "Wings" never scored the same major ratings or critical success as those other shows, it remained one of the most dependable delights of the '90s, with Common Sense Media calling it "an entertaining sitcom that reminds us that even the most eccentric of people can come together and become an extended family." All 172 episodes can be streamed on Hulu.
A New York City AM news radio station may seem like an odd choice for a sitcom setting, but it worked for the NBC hit "NewsRadio," which ran for five seasons in the '90s. The comedy was chock-full of cast members who would become household names including Dave Foley, Maura Tierney, Andy Dick, Joe Rogan, Phil Hartman and Jon Lovitz. The eccentric-yet-hilarious ensemble was the show's main selling point, as were the fast-paced scripts that combined physical humor and visual gags with quick-witted dialogue and farcical storylines. While never a ratings powerhouse, it was always a critical darling, with both Vox and IndieWire declaring it the best sitcom of the decade. Yahoo wrote that "the cast had superb chemistry from the start, and as the seasons wore on, 'NewsRadio' found its own distinctive voice, blossoming into one of TV's last great three-camera network sitcoms." Episodes can be streamed on Roku and Plex.
The original misadventures of a struggling fictional radio station were documented in the late '70s and early '80s on "WKRP in Cincinnati." It followed a team of old business-minded staffers forced to co-exist with a new wave of music as they hilariously made the transition from easy listening to rock 'n' roll. The sitcom yielded its fair share of classic moments during its four-season run, receiving 10 Primetime Emmy Award nominations including three for outstanding comedy series. The casting of the core characters was pitch-perfect too. While it never amassed a big following when it was on the air, it became an unexpected success in syndication and outperformed many programs that had been more successful in primetime. The A.V. Club called it "one of TV's great hangout shows. Instead of following 'Moore' or 'Newhart' through their home and work life, the less-focused 'WKRP' let viewers feel they were simply part of the gang at the Midwest's most dysfunctional radio station." Licensing of the comedy's incredible soundtrack has made it difficult to find to watch, but episodes can be purchased on iTunes.
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" premiered back in 2005 and has gone on to become the longest running live-action comedy series in American TV history. Fans have spent years laughing at the narcissistic hijinks of Dennis, Charlie, Mac, Dee and Frank as they run South Philly's most dysfunctional Irish bar. The cult favorite has turned its ensemble cast of Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson into household names — and introduced veteran actor Danny DeVito to a new generation of TV viewers. While it's never received notable acclaim from award shows, it has a devoted following that would kill to score a job at Paddy's Pub. As the BBC wrote, the series "eschews both the middle-class minutiae of 'Seinfeld' and the will-they-won't-they romances of 'Friends' in favor of crystal meth, kitten mittens and accidental kidnappings. In the process, 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' has become the best sitcom in the U.S., tackling everything from gun reform to Time's Up with an irreverent, unmistakable lens." All seasons can be streamed on Hulu.
Michael J. Fox made his big television comeback in the '90s with the hit sitcom "Spin City," which focuses on the mayor of New York City and the people who work for him. Michael starred as the deputy mayor while his colleagues were played by an all-star lineup that included Heather Locklear, Barry Bostwick, Alan Ruck, Richard Kind, Michael Boatman, Connie Britton and Jennifer Esposito. The actor eventually left the show due to his battle with Parkinson's disease, but he was replaced by Charlie Sheen and the show retained its hilarious punch. It won multiple Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Awards during its six-season run and New York Magazine called the show "blessed with one of the better sitcom ensembles of the nineties. Plots are broad and the comedy is physical, but the show was well written and amazingly acted." All 145 episodes can be streamed on Pluto TV.
The courtroom has never been more absurd than it was on the '80s sitcom "Night Court," which ran for nine seasons on NBC. The show revolved around the employees who worked the night shift at a Manhattan municipal court presided over by a young, unorthodox judge. The colorful cast of players included Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, Markie Post and Richard Moll and the odd cases made it one of the most one-of-a-kind TV comedy experiences. It became a critical darling, winning numerous Emmys, and as The A.V. Club wrote, "for a few years in the mid-to-late '80s, one of TV's most popular comedies was also one of its weirdest." Bleeding Cool added, "'Night Court' was so over-the-top at times, it never needed to take itself too seriously and was always good for a slice-of-life laugh." All 193 episodes can be purchased on iTunes.
Garry Shandling gave a behind-the-scenes look at the production of a nightly talk show on "The Larry Sanders Show." The acclaimed HBO comedy was unsparing and dark and laid the groundwork for the dramedies that are far more frequent on television today. The tremendous cast also featured Jeffrey Tambor, Rip Torn, Janeane Garofalo, Jeremy Piven and Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Judd Apatow was a writer-producer on several episodes. It was one of the first notable scripted shows for the premium cable network — it receivEd 56 Primetime Emmy nominations during its six-season run in the '90s. "The Larry Sanders Show," which is regarded as an influential and landmark series, has been ranked as one of the greatest in TV history by both TV Guide and Time magazine. The Los Angeles Times hailed it as "extraordinary… one of the funniest, smartest comedies ever." The entire series is available to stream on HBO Max.
Law enforcement received the parody treatment with the Comedy Central series "Reno 911!" The mockumentary-style sendup of law enforcement reality shows like "Cops" featured comic actors playing the police officers. The incompetent fictional members of the Reno Sheriff's Department caused countless laughs during their six-season run and helped turn actors Thomas Lennon, Niecy Nash and Wendi McLendon-Covey into major stars. The show's cult success led to a feature film spinoff and a 2020 seventh season on the now-defunct streaming service Quibi. As Entertainment Weekly described it, "The largely improvised series is a jangly American version of 'The Office,' with its best comedy revolving around race, gracelessness, despair and a glorious lack of self-awareness, courtesy of the kinds of outsize characters who inhabit the typical workplace." Every episode can be streamed on HBO Max.
This British sitcom revealed what it was like to be lowly members of a corporate information technology department: "The IT Crowd." Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson starred as the employees relegated to the basement of a London office building in this cult favorite, which ran from 2006 to 2013. Critics fell for the lovable folks who worked at the bottom of the totem pole at the obscure conglomerate, and the show won multiple BAFTA Awards during its four-season run. The Guardian praised the series, writing, "Recorded in front of a studio audience, 'The IT Crowd' is, in many ways, an unashamedly traditional sitcom, but it still manages to feels fresh and different through its use of tech language and embrace of geek culture." It returned for a special farewell episode in 2013. All episodes can be streamed on Netflix.
Cater waiters finally got their chance to shine on the Starz comedy "Party Down," which ran from 2009 to 2010. It followed a Hollywood catering crew of aspiring actors and writers as they worked a different Los Angeles-area event each episode from birthday parties to corporate retreats to weddings. The show's biggest draw was its all-star roster of comedic talents including Adam Scott, Ken Marino, Jane Lynch, Ryan Hansen, Martin Starr, Lizzy Caplan and Megan Mullally. It provided a perfect balance of humor and cynicism that won over critics despite its small viewership. The New York Times called it "one of those special shows that gets better and better upon repeat viewing, and one whose characters seem different to you as you yourself mature." Sadly, the little-seen program only lasted two seasons, but both can still be streamed on Hulu.
"Getting On" found the heart, sadness and joy of working with the elderly and often dying patients in an extended care unit at a hospital. Laurie Metcalf, Niecy Nash and Alex Borstein starred on HBO's remake of the British dark comedy series of the same name, which received strong reviews but flew under the radar during its three seasons on the air between 2013 and 2015. Laurie and Niecy both received Emmy nominations for their work as medical staffers dealing with insurmountable hospital bureaucracy while providing care for those in need. As Entertainment Weekly wrote of the short-lived series, "'Getting On' finds great comedic tension between the gravitas of getting on (as in getting old and dying) and the levity required for getting on (as in just getting through the workday)." All episodes are available to stream on HBO Max.