The 2000’s were an interesting time for the humble sitcom. While the 90s gave us some of the most famous sitcoms of all-time, such as Seinfeld, most of the classics of the era, like Friends and Frasier were in their waning days at the start of the decade.
But the 2000’s brought a fresh group of sitcoms, including the previously underrepresented category of the “dude” sitcom. You know, a sitcom that, really, is directed to dudes of all ages. You don’t have to be a dude to love these shows, and in fact many are great shows that everyone enjoyed, but there is definitely a dude component to the show’s DNA. And here are the best.
My Name Is Earl
Known more for Jason Lee’s mustache than anything else, My Name Is Earl had a good heart and a nice, small town dude appeal over the course of its four season run. It also had Jaime Pressly, which might have enticed some more dudes to watch it as well.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
While it’s still going strong, with its 13th season set to start shortly, It’s Always Sunny was a revelation when it first aired in 2005. Every single character is irredeemable, but also irredeemably hilarious. And every dude knows a Mac, a Dennis, and a Charlie, though hopefully not too many guys out there know a Frank. Knowing a Frank is an easy way to get into trouble.
Family Guy famously started in 1999, was cancelled after a few years, and then was brought back thanks to surging DVD sales. (Remember when DVD sales were a thing?) But every dude in the 2000’s quoted this show ALL THE TIME. Even if the charm of the show might have faded some 20 years later, there still was a time when everyone could agree that the show was Friggin’ Sweet.
Is there any better dude friendship on television than J.D. and Turk? This medical sitcom was occasionally zany, occasionally sad, but that one relationship is the purest distillation of dude love ever put to film. And, the first few seasons after it debuted in 2001 still put forth some of the best television of the decade. But there is one television show that has them all beat, and that is…
How I Met Your Mother
Ted Mosby had his “dude” moments before they started to mess with the character in later seasons, but truly what makes this such a dude sitcom is, of course, Barney Stinson. Neil Patrick Harris’ character spoke to dudes and bros so much that the show literally released a Bro Bible. The show ran forever, from 2005 until 2014, but its prime was squarely in the 2000’s, and it truly was the top dude sitcom of the decade.