The opening scene of Mad Men season six showed Don Draper sitting on a Hawaiian beach reading Dante’s Inferno. I love dark, bleak drama as much as the next guy, but I’d much rather forego the heavy literature and spend my summer with comedy shows with quirky characters that will probably make out with each other at some point.
There’s a lot of great TV comedies to choose from this summer. We’ve already told you about three great new or returning comedies, Arrested Development, Family Tree, and Whose Line Is It Anyway? But here are some more you should check out if you want this to be the summer of humor.
Adult Swim has new episodes of Rob Corddry and David Wain’s bizarrely funny hospital drama spoof Children’s Hospital, as well as Paul Scheer’s equally insane crime show spoof NTSF:SD:SUV. Adult Swim is also airing The Greatest Event in Television History, in which Adam Scott and Amy Poehler remake the opening title sequence to ’80s drama Hart to Hart. It’s incredibly entertaining, and only lasts about 15 minutes. Maybe you could watch it twice. There’s also a clever “making of” that goes along with it.
Then, if you like weird, short TV shows, you’ll love FOX’s new comedy block, modeled after Adult Swim, called ADHD (yeah, they went there), which features, among other offerings, Axe Cop, based on a webcomic written by a five-year-old. Axe Cop himself is voiced by the one and only Nick Offerman. There’s also Golan the Insatiable, about a young girl and her monster friend. Some familiar names lend their voices to the show, including Megan Mullally, Patton Oswalt, Ken Marino, and Mandy Moore.
If those options leave your head spinning, remember that late night comedy is still available all summer. There’s Conan, The Daily Show (hosted by John Oliver for the summer), The Colbert Report, Late Night, The Tonight Show, The Late Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and more.
The other thing I do in summer is think about classic comedy shows I’ve never seen or might like to revisit. Cable channels always have old shows playing. Set your DVR to record a classic show you never watched, and come home at night to a generous helping of laughs. TBS, for example, has Friends, Seinfeld, King of Queens, Home Improvement, The Big Bang Theory, The Office, Family Guy, and Everybody Loves Raymond, among others. If you don’t find at least one of these legendary comedy shows funny, you might enjoy sulking on the beach with Don Draper and a copy of Dante’s Inferno.