- The Wire (2002-2008, 60 episodes over 5 seasons) HBO Created by David Simon
- The Simpsons (1989-Present, 601 episodes over 28 seasons) FOX Created by Matt Groening
- Seinfeld (1989-1998, 180 episodes over 9 seasons) NBC Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld
- Breaking Bad (2008-2013, 62 episodes over 5 seasons) AMC Created by Vince Gilligan
- The Daily Show (1996-Present, 3000+ episodes) COMEDY CENTRAL Created by Madeleine Smithberg and Lizz Winstead
- Game of Thrones (2011-Present, 60 episodes over 6 seasons) HBO Created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
- The Sopranos (1999-2007, 86 episodes over 6 seasons) HBO Created by David Chase
- Mad Men (2007-2015, 92 episodes over 7 seasons) AMC Created by Matthew Weiner
- South Park (1997-Present, 267 episodes over 19 seasons) COMEDY CENTRAL Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone
- The Larry Sanders Show (1992-1998, 89 episodes over 6 seasons) HBO Created by Garry Shandling and Dennis Klein.
- The Colbert Report (2005-2014, 1447 episodes over 10 seasons. COMEDY CENTRAL Created by Stephen Colbert, Ben Karlin, and Jon Stewart
- Family Guy (1999-Present, 273 episodes over 15 seasons) FOX Created by Seth McFarlane
- Law and Order (1990-2010, 496 episodes over 20 seasons) NBC Created by Dick Wolf
- The West Wing (1999-2006) NBC Created by Aaron Sorkin
- Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-Present, 80 episodes over 8 seasons) HBO Created by Larry David
- Arrested Development (2003-Present, 68 episodes over 4 seasons) FOX/NETFLIX Created by Mitchell Hurwitz
- Louie (2010-Present, 61 episodes over 5 seasons) FX Created by Louie CK
- Friends (1994-2004, 236 episodes over 10 seasons) NBC Created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman
- Chappelle's Show (2003-2006, 28 episodes over 3 seasons) Comedy Central. Created by Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan.
- 30 Rock (2006-2013, 138 episodes over 7 seasons) NBC Created by Tina Fey
- Lost (2004-2010, 121 episodes over 6 seasons) ABC Created by JJ Abrams
- NYPD Blue (1993-2005, 261 episodes over 12 seasons) ABC Created by Steven Bochco and David Milch
- The X-Files (1993-2002, 208 episodes over 10 seasons) FOX Created by Chris Carter
- Deadwood (2004-2006, 36 episodes over 3 seasons) HBO Created by David Milch
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005-Present, 124 episodes over 11 seasons) FX Created by Rob McElhenney
- The Shield (2002-2008, 88 episodes over 7 seasons) FX Created by Shawn Ryan
- Friday Night Lights (2006-2011, 76 episodes over 5 seasons) NBC Based on the book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger
- Key and Peele (2012-2015, 53 episodes over 5 seasons) COMEDY CENTRAL Created by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele
- Six Feet Under (2001-2005, 63 episodes over 5 seasons) HBO Created by Alan Ball
- SpongeBob SquarePants (1999-Present, 205 episodes over 10 seasons) NICKELODEON Created by Stephen Hillenburg
- (1997-2003, 56 episodes over 6 seasons) HBO Created by Tom Fontana Oz
- Twin Peaks (1990-1991, 30 episodes over 2 seasons) ABC Created by Mark Frost and David Lynch
- Frasier (1993-2004, 264 episodes over 11 seasons) NBC Created by David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee
- Black Mirror (2011-Present, 13 episodes over 3 seasons) CHANNEL 4/NETFLIX Created by Charlie Brooker
- Homicide: Life on the Street (1993-1999, 122 episodes over 7 seasons) NBC Created by Paul Attanasio and based on the book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon
- 24 (2001-2014, 204 episodes over 9 seasons) FOX Created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran
- ER (1994-2009, 331 episodes over 15 seasons) NBC Created by Michael Crichton
- Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993-2009, 2,725 episodes over 14 seasons) NBC Created by Conan O'Brien
- Fargo (2014-Present, 20 episodes over 2 seasons) FX Created by Noah Hawley
- Atlanta (2016-Present, 10 episodes over 1 season) FX Created by Donald Glover
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003, 144 episodes over 7 seasons) THE WB/UPN Created by Joss Whedon
- The Office (British) (2001-2003, 12 episodes over 2 seasons) BBC Created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant
- Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009, 75 episodes over 4 seasons) SCI-FI Based on TV series Battlestar Galactica by Glen A. Larson and developed by Ronald D. Moore
- Real Time with Bill Maher (2003-Present, 400+ episodes over 14 seasons HBO Presented by Bill Maher
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996, 148 episodes over 6 seasons) NBC Created by Andy and Susan Borowitz
- Mr. Robot (2015-Present, 20 episodes over 2 seasons) USA Created by Sam Esmail
- The Leftovers (2014-Present, 20 episodes over 2 seasons) HBO Created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta and based on the novel The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
- Sex and the City (1998-2004, 94 episodes over 6 seasons) HBO Created by Darren Star
- 30 for 30 (2009-Present, 91 episodes) ESPN Created by Bill Simmons and Connor Schell
- The Americans (2013-Present, 52 episodes over 4 seasons) FX Created by Joe Weisberg
- Parks and Recreation (2009-2015, 125 episodes over 7 seasons) NBC Created by Greg Daniels and Michael Shur
- American Crime Story (2015-Present, 10 episodes over 1 season) FX Developed by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski
- Sherlock (2010-present, 10 episodes over 3 seasons) BBC Created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat
- Pardon the Interruption (2001-Present, 3500+ episodes) ESPN Starring Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon.
- The Office (American) (2005-2013, 201 episodes over 9 seasons) NBC Developed by Greg Daniels and based on The Office by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant
- Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000, 293 episodes over 10 seasons) FOX Created by Darren Star, Aaron Spelling, and E. Duke Vincent
- The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (1992-2014, 4,610 episodes over 22 seasons) NBC Presented by Jay Leno
- Justified (2010-2015, 78 episodes over 6 seasons) FX Developed by Graham Yost and based on the short story "Fire in the Hole" by Elmore Leonard
- Modern Family (2009-Present, 171 episodes over 8 seasons) ABC Created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000-2015, 337 episodes over 15 seasons) CBS Created by Anthony E. Zulker
- In Living Color (1990-1994, 127 episodes over 5 seasons) FOX Created by Keenan Ivory Wayans
- Beavis and Butthead (1993-1997, 2011, 222 episodes over 8 seasons. MTV Created by Mike Judge
- Hannibal (2013-2015, 39 episodes over 3 seasons) NBC Developed by Bryant Fuller
- Chicago Hope (1994-2000, 141 episodes over 6 seasons) CBS Created by David E. Kelley
- Dexter (2006-2013, 96 episodes over 8 seasons) SHOWTIME Based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay an developed by James Manos Jr.
- The Knick (2014-2015, 20 episodes over 2 seasons) CINEMAX Created by Jack Ariel and Michael Begler
- The Real World (1992-Present, 591 episodes over 32 seasons) MTV Created by Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray
- Northern Exposure (1990-1995, 110 episodes over 6 seasons) CBS Created by Joshua Brand and John Falsey
- Veep (2012-Present, 46 episodes over 5 seasons) HBO Created by Armando Iannucci
- Orange is the New Black (2013-Present, 52 episodes over 4 seasons) NETFLIX Created by Jenji Kohan
- Broad City (2014-Present, 30 episodes over 3 seasons) COMEDY CENTRAL Created by Illana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson
- Malcolm in the Middle (2000-2006, 151 episodes over 7 seasons) FOX Created by Linwood Boomer
- Better Call Saul (2015-Present, 20 episodes over 2 seasons) AMC Created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould
- Vice (2013-Present) 58 episodes over 4 seasons HBO Created by Shane Smith
- Rick and Morty (2013-Present, 21 episodes over 2 seasons) ADULT SWIM Created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon
- Transparent (2014-Present, 30 episodes over 3 seasons) AMAZON Created by Jill Soloway
- The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (2014-Present, 560+ episodes over 3 seasons Presented by Jimmy Fallon
- That 70's Show (1998-2006, 200 episodes over 8 seasons) FOX Created by Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner, and Mark Brazill.
- Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014, 56 episodes over 5 seasons) HBO Created by Terence Winter
- Community (2009-2015, 110 episodes over 6 seasons) HBO/YAHOO Created by Dan Harmon
- The Walking Dead (2010-Present, 85 episodes over 7 seasons) AMC Developed by Frank Darabont and based on the comic book series The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
- Everybody Loves Raymond (1996-2005, 210 episodes over 9 seasons) CBS Created by Phillip Rosenthal
- King of the Hill (1997-2010, 259 episodes over 13 seasons) FOX Created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013-Present, 73 episodes over 4 seasons) FOX Created by Dan Goor and Michael Shur
- Futurama (1999-2013, 140 episodes over 7 seasons) FOX/COMEDY CENTRAL Created by Matt Groening
- Homeland (2011-Present, 60 episodes over 5 seasons) SHOWTIME Based on the Israeli drama Prisoners of War by Gideon Raff and developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa
- House of Cards (2013-Present, 52 episodes over 4 seasons) NETFLIX Created by Beau Willimon and based on British series and novel of same name
- In Treatment (2008-2010, 106 episodes over 3 seasons) HBO Developed by Rodrigo Garcia and based on the Israeli series BeTipul
- Last Week Tonight (2014-Present, 87 episodes over 3 seasons) HBO Presented by John Oliver
- Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014, 92 episodes over 7 seasons) FX Created by Kurt Sutter
- Jackass (2000-2002, 25 episodes over 3 seasons) MTV Created by Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, and Jeff Tremaine
- Silicon Valley (2014-Present, 28 episodes over 3 seasons) HBO Created by Mike Judge, John Altschuler, and Dave Krinsky
- Newsradio (1995-1999, 98 episodes over 5 seasons) NBC Created by Paul Simms
- Picket Fences (1992-1996, 88 episodes over 4 seasons) CBS Created by David E Kelley
- Animaniacs (1993-1998, 99 episodes over 5 seasons) FOX/THE WB Created by Tom Reugger
- The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991-1995, 52 episodes over 5 seasons) NICKELODEON Created by John Kricfalusi
- Eastbound & Down (2009-2013, 29 episodes over 4 seasons) HBO Created by Ben Best, Jody Hill, and Danny McBride
- Party Down (2009-2010, 20 episodes over 2 seasons) HBO Created by John Enborn, Rob Thomas, Dan Etheridge, and Paul Rudd.
- How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014, 208 episodes over 9 seasons) CBS Created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas
- Inside Amy Schumer (2013-Present, 39 episodes over 4 seasons) COMEDY CENTRAL Created by Amy Schumer and Daniel Powell
- Superman (first appearance: 1938) Created by Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster for Action Comics #1 (DC Comics).
- Mickey Mouse (1928) Created by Walt Disney and Ub Iworks for Steamboat Willie.
- James Bond (1953) Created by Ian Fleming for novel Casino Royale.
- Bugs Bunny (1940) Created by Warner Bros and originally voiced by Mel Blanc.
- Batman (1939) Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane for Detective Comics #27 (DC Comics).
- Dorothy Gale (1900) Created by L. Frank Baum for novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Later portrayed by Judy Garland in the 1939 film adaptation.
- Darth Vader (1977) Created by George Lucas for Star Wars IV: A New Hope.
- The Tramp (1914) Created and portrayed by Charlie Chaplin for Kid Auto Races at Venice.
- Peter Pan (1902) Created by J.M. Barrie for novel The Little White Bird.
- Indiana Jones (1981) Created by George Lucas for Raiders of the Lost Ark. Portrayed by Harrison Ford.
- Rocky Balboa (1976) Created and portrayed by Sylvester Stallone for Rocky.
- Vito Corleone (1969) Created by Mario Puzo for novel The Godfather. Later portrayed by Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro in Coppola's film adaptation.
- Han Solo (1977) Created by George Lucas for Star Wars IV: A New Hope. Portrayed most famously by Harrison Ford.
- Homer Simpson (1987) Created by Matt Groening for The Tracey Ullman Show, later The Simpsons as voiced by Dan Castellaneta.
- Archie Bunker (1971) Created by Norman Lear for All in the Family. Portrayed by Carroll O'Connor.
- Norman Bates (1959) Created by Robert Bloch for novel Psycho. Later portrayed by Anthony Perkins in Hitchcock's film adaptation.
- King Kong (1933) Created by Edgar Wallace and Merian C Cooper for the film King Kong.
- Lucy Ricardo (1951) Portrayed by Lucille Ball for I Love Lucy.
- Spiderman (1962) Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko for Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel Comics).
- Spock (1964) Created by Gene Roddenberry for Star Trek. Portrayed most famously by Leonard Nimoy.
- Godzilla (1954) Created by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Ishiro Honda, and Eiji Tsubaraya for the film Godzilla.
- Winnie-the-Pooh (1924) Created by A.A. Milne for verse book When We Were Young.
- Popeye (1929) Created by E.C. Segar for comic strip Thimble Theater (King Features).
- Forrest Gump (1986) Created by Winston Groom for novel Forrest Gump. Later portrayed by Tom Hanks in Zemeckis' film adaptation.
- Hannibal Lector (1981) Created by Thomas Harris for the novel Red Dragon. Portrayed most famously by Anthony Hopkins in the 1991 Jonathan Demme film The Silence of the Lambs.
- Big Bird (1969) Created by Jim Henson and portrayed by Carroll Spinney for Sesame Street.
- Tony Montana (1983) Created by Oliver Stone for film Scarface. Portrayed by Al Pacino.
- Tony Soprano (1999) Created by David Chase for The Sopranos. Portrayed by James Gandolfini.
- The Terminator (1984) Created by James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd for The Terminator. Portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- Charles Foster Kane (1941) Created and portrayed by Orson Welles for Citizen Kane.
- Scarlett O'Hara (1936) Created by Margaret Mitchell for the novel Gone With the Wind. Portrayed most famously by Vivien Leigh for the 1939 Victor Fleming film adaptation.
- Marty McFly (1985) Created by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale for Back to the Future. Portrayed by Michael J. Fox.
- Rick Blaine (1940) Created by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison for the unproduced stage play Everybody Comes to Rick's. Later portrayed by Humphrey Bogart in Michael Curtiz's film adaptation Casablanca.
- Man With No Name (1964) Created by Sergio Leone for A Fistful of Dollars, which was adapted from a ronin character in Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961). Portrayed by Clint Eastwood.
- Charlie Brown (1948) Created by Charles M. Shultz for the comic strip L'il Folks; popularized two years later in Peanuts.
- E.T. (1982) Created by Melissa Mathison for the film E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial.
- Arthur Fonzarelli (1974) Created by Bob Brunner for the show Happy Days. Portrayed by Henry Winkler.
- Holden Caulfield (1945) Created by J.D. Salinger for the Collier's story "I'm Crazy." Reworked into the novel The Catcher in the Rye in 1951.
- Phillip Marlowe (1939) Created by Raymond Chandler for the novel The Big Sleep.
- Jay Gatsby (1925) Created by F. Scott Fitzgerald for the novel The Great Gatsby.
- Lassie (1938) Created by Eric Knight for a Saturday Evening Post story, later turned into the novel Lassie Come-Home in 1940, film adaptation in 1943, and long-running television show in 1954. Most famously portrayed by the dog Pal.
- Fred Flintstone (1959) Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera for The Flintstones. Voiced most notably by Alan Reed.
- Rooster Cogburn (1968) Created by Charles Portis for the novel True Grit. Most famously portrayed by John Wayne in the 196
9 film adaptation.
- Atticus Finch (1960) Created by Harper Lee for the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. (Appeared in the earlier work Go Set A Watchman, though this was not published until 2015) Portrayed most famously by Gregory Peck in the Robert Mulligan film adaptation.
- Kermit the Frog (1955) Created and performed by Jim Henson for the show Sam and Friends. Later popularized in Sesame Street (1969) and The Muppet Show (1976)
- George Bailey (1943) Created by Phillip Van Doren Stern (then as George Pratt) for the short story The Greatest Gift. Later adapted into Capra's It's A Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart as the renamed George Bailey.
- Yoda (1980) Created by George Lucas for The Empire Strikes Back.
- Sam Malone (1982) Created by Glen and Les Charles for the show Cheers. Portrayed by Ted Danson.
- Harry Callahan (1971) Created by Harry Julian Fink and R.M. Fink for the movie Dirty Harry. Portrayed by Clint Eastwood.
- Tarzan (1912) Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs for the novel Tarzan of the Apes.
- Zorro (1919) Created by Johnston McCulley for the All-Story Weekly pulp magazine story The Curse of Capistrano. Later adapted to the Douglas Fairbanks' film The Mark of Zorro (1920).
- Moe, Larry, and Curly (1928) Created by Ted Healy for the vaudeville act Ted Healy and his Stooges.
- Mary Poppins (1934) Created by P.L. Travers for the children's book Mary Poppins.
- Ron Burgundy (2004) Created by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay for the film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Portrayed by Will Ferrell.
- Mario (1981) Created by Shigeru Miyamoto for the video game Donkey Kong.
- The Dude (1998) Created by Ethan and Joel Coen for the film The Big Lebowski. Portrayed by Jeff Bridges.
- Gandalf (1937) Created by J.R.R. Tolkien for the novel The Hobbit.
- The Joker (1940) Created by Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger, and Bob Kane for Batman #1 (DC Comics)
- The Grinch (1957) Created by Dr. Seuss for the story How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
- Willy Wonka (1964) Created by Roald Dahl for the children's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
- The Hulk (1962) Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for The Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel Comics)
- Scooby-Doo (1969) Created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears for the show Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
- George Costanza (1989) Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld for the show Seinfeld. Portrayed by Jason Alexander.
- Jules Winfield (1994) Created by Quentin Tarantino for the film Pulp Fiction. Portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson.
- Harry Potter (1997) Created by J.K. Rowling for the novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
- Travis Bickle (1976) Created by Paul Schrader for the film Taxi Driver. Portrayed by Robert De Niro.
- John McClane (1988) Based on the character Detective Joe Leland, who was created by Roderick Thorp for the novel Nothing Lasts Forever. Later adapted into the John McTernan film Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis as McClane.
- Ellen Ripley (1979) Created by Don O'cannon and Ronald Shusett for the film Alien. Portrayed by Sigourney Weaver.
- Ralph Kramden (1951) Created and portrayed by Jackie Gleason for "The Honeymooners," which became its own show in 1955.
- Edward Scissorhands (1990) Created by Tim Burton for the film Edward Scissorhands. Portrayed by Johnny Depp.
- Eric Cartman (1992) Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the animated short Jesus vs Frosty. Later developed into the show South Park, which premiered in 1997. Voiced by Trey Parker.
- Walter White (2008) Created by Vince Gilligan for Breaking Bad. Portrayed by Bryan Cranston.
- Cosmo Kramer (1989) Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld for Seinfeld. Portrayed by Michael Richards.
- Freddy Krueger (1984) Created by Wes Craven for the film A Nightmare on Elm Street. Most famously portrayed by Robert Englund.
- Shrek (1990) Created by William Steig for the children's book Shrek! Later adapted into the 2001 film starring Mike Myers as the titular character.
- Captain America (1941) Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for Captain America Comics #1 (Marvel Comics)
- Bambi (1923) Created by Felix Salten for the children's book Bambi, a Life in the Woods. Later adapted into the Disney film Bambi in 1942.
- Ronald McDonald (1963) Created by Williard Scott for a series of television spots.
- Waldo/Wally (1987) Created by Martin Hanford for the children's book Where's Wally? (Waldo in US edition)
- Frasier Crane (1984) Created by Glen and Les Charles for Cheers. Portrayed by Kelsey Grammar.
- Omar Little (2002) Created by David Simon for The Wire. Portrayed by Michael K. Williams.
- Cliff Huxtable (1984) Created and portrayed by Bill Cosby for The Cosby Show.
- Wolverine (1974) Created by Roy Thomas, Len Wein, and John Romita Sr for The Incredible Hulk #180 (Marvel Comics)
- Jason Voorhees (1980) Created by Victor Miller for the film Friday the 13th.
- Betty Boop (1930) Created by Max Fleischer and the Grim Network for the cartoon Dizzy Dishes.
- Bilbo Baggins (1937) Created by J.R.R. Tolkien for the novel The Hobbit.
- Tom Joad (1939) Created by John Steinbeck for the novel The Grapes of Wrath. Later adapted into the 1940 John Ford film and portrayed by Henry Fonda.
- Tony Stark (Iron Man) (1963) Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby for Tales of Suspense #39 (Marvel Comics)
- Porky Pig (1935) Created by Friz Freleng for the animated short film I Haven't Got a Hat. Voiced most famously by Mel Blanc.
- Hawkeye Pierce (1968) Created by Richard Hooker for the novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors. Famously portrayed by both Alan Alda and Donald Sutherland.
- Don Draper (2007) Created by Matthew Weiner for the show Mad Men. Portrayed by Jon Hamm.
- Jack Torrance (1977) Created by Stephen King for the novel The Shining. Later adapted into the 1980 Stanley Kubrick film and portrayed by Jack Nicholson.
- Terry Malloy (1954) Created by Budd Schulberg for the film On the Waterfront. Portrayed by Marlon Brando.
- Axel Foley (1984) Created by Danilo Bach for the film Beverly Hills Cop. Portrayed by Eddie Murphy.
- Tyler Durden (1996) Created by Chuck Palahniuk for the novel Fight Club. Later adapted into the David Fincher film and portrayed by Brad Pitt.
- Holly Golightly (1958) Created by Truman Capote for the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's. Later adapted into the 1961 Blake Edwards films starring Audrey Hepburn as Holly.
- Patrick Bateman (1987) Created by Bret Easton Ellis for the novel The Rules of Attraction. Most famously portrayed by Christian Bale in the 2000 film adaption of American Psycho.
- J.R. Ewing (1978) Created by David Jacobs for the show Dallas. Portrayed by Larry Hagman.
- Optimus Prime (1984) Created by Dennis O'Neil for the Transformers toy line.
- Keyser Soze (1995) Created by Christopher McQuarrie for the film The Usual Suspects.
Extracurriculars: The Colbert Report, The Late Show
Even Stephven, Produce Pete, Dollars and "Cents, We Love Showbiz, Slimmin' Down With Steve, Ad Nauseam
Extracurriculars: The Office, Anchorman, Foxcatcher, The 40 Year Old Virgin
Senior British Person; Wilmore-Oliver Investigates, Interim host
Extracurriculars: Full Frontal
Senior Black Correspondent, Wilmore-Oliver Investigates
Digital Watch, Ad Nauseam, Mark Your Calendar, We Love Showbiz
Extracurriculars: The Hangover, The Office
Back in Black
Extracurriculars: Standup, Root of all Evil, Inside Out
Resident Expert, Deranged Millionaire, You're Welcome, Exper-teasers ; Money Talks
Extracurriculars: Author, Mac Commercials, The Knick
Senior Military Affairs Correspondent
Extracurriculars: Anchorman, Hot Tub Time Machine
Dollars and "Cents, Mark Your Calendar, Mopinion.
Extracurriculars: CBS Sunday Morning, I Love the 70's/80's, My Grandmother's Ravioli
Senior Latino Correspondent
Extracurriculars: Flight of the Conchords
The Beth Littleford Interview
3) Will Ferrell (16 episodes)
4) Fareed Zakaria (21 episodes)
5) Bill O'Reily (13 episodes)
6) Paul Rudd (17 episodes)
7) John McCain (18 episodes)
8) Ricky Gervais (13 episodes)
9) Louis CK (8 episodes)
10) Richard Lewis (16 episodes)
Since 2008, there have been two kinds of people in the world: those who insist The Wire is the greatest television series ever, and those who insist that it's totally at the top of their Netflix queue but they just haven’t had the time to get around to it yet. For over half a decade, TV’s Greatest Of All Time was safe. Sure, The Sopranos and Mad Men were in the conversation, but that conversation usually ended once David Simon’s trump card was introduced. Today, that conversation just got a whole lot dicier. Breaking Bad has ended, and in doing so, has forced us to reopen the discussion anew.
Two great shows, but there can only be one G.O.A.T. Let the breakdown begin.
Final Season: It's not so much that The Wire’s final season was bad, just not quite up to the unprecedented, almost impossibly high standard it had previously set for itself. Breaking Bad did what perhaps no other show ever has been able to accomplish, get better and better the closer it got to the end. Whichever side you ultimately come down on (or maybe you’re just more of a Good Wife kinda guy), it seems almost impossible to argue with the fact that if nothing else, Breaking Bad had the most riveting, astonishing, and altogether masterful final season in television history. While The Wire was stumbling to the finish line with invented serial killers and numbskull reporters, Breaking Bad seemed to raise the bar to ever staggering heights with every successive episode. (Although the high water mark for me has to be the antepenultimate "Ozymandias", which might be the most harrowing, devastatingly brilliant hour ever committed to the small screen.) Time and time again, we have seen great shows reduced to impotent shells of their former selves by not knowing when to pack it in (Lost, Dexter, 24). Breaking Bad stepped away exactly as any show could ever hope to, with us all wanting more.
The worst thing you can say about the finale is that it ended perhaps a little too neatly, or a little too predictably. (Just imagine the mind-blowing shock had we never received those flash-forwards to puzzle over for so many months. All in all, I say it was a worthwhile peak.) While "Felina" might not quite belong alongside the pantheonic conclusions of say Six Feet Under or The Shield, it might also be that after having raised the bar so incredibly high in the preceding handful of episodes nothing short of Citizen Kane: ABQ could have possibly lived up to our expectations. (Actually that probably would have sucked pretty bad. You’re telling me Heisenberg was just the name of his childhood sled?!!)
Speaking on the rest of the casts, it's almost mind-boggling how ridiculously deep these benches of talent were. Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Giancarlo Esposito, Jonathan Banks all got their Emmy nods or better. As for The Wire, the fact that this series did not receive so much as one nomination throughout its run is the single greatest travesty in anything, ever. Michael K. Williams’ Omar, Andre Royo’s Bubbles, Michael B. Jordan’s Wallace...just top notch up and down the line.
Direction, Cinematography, and Music: As one of the last shows to still be shot on film, Breaking Bad often looked as impressive as anything being churned out of Hollywood. Directors such as Michael Slovis, Rian Johnson and most notably Michelle MacLaren elevated the craft to a level heretofore unseen on the small screen. The dazzling cook sequences, inventive camera work (think Roomba cam), awesome time-lapse shots, and magnificent landscape panoramas were truly things of beauty. And then there’s Dave Porter’s scoring. Whether it was the slow, trepidatious beat in "Crawl Space", or the frenzied fury that accompanies Jessie’s attempted foray into arson, Porter was simply a virtuoso at taking an already tense situation and introducing just the right amount of sonic accompaniment to leave your heart positioned firmly in your throat. The Wire didn't suffer in these departments, it just was never really all that a part of the equation the way it was with its counterpart. Reality didn’t need to be heightened by fancy camera work or scoring, and that’s perhaps the point. Still, Bad wins this one running.
Epic Quotes: Man, so much to choose from. Do you like Heisenberg's "Say my name" or Marlo's "My name is my name!"? Jesse's "I’m the bad guy" or Omar's "I got the shotgun. You got the briefcase. It's all in the game though, right?" And then of course, we have the iconic “I am the one who knocks” monologue and the equally unforgettable "Where's Wallace at? Where the fuck is Wallace? Where's Wallace, String? STRING!"
- Breaking Bad (2008-2013) AMC Created by Vince Gilligan.
- The Wire (2002-2008) HBO Created by David Simon. The Wire is television perfection, and if it's not the greatest series of all time it certainly is the most under-appreciated. How this never was even nominated for an Emmy is beyond all rationale. The Wire takes a brutal look at various aspects of life in Baltimore, exploring with harsh realism the interweaving worlds of street life, politics, education, poverty, law enforcement, and the media. What emerges is the sobering realization that from the drug cartels to the fractured bureaucracy tasked with combating them, all are players in the same game, mirrors of one another in a vicious cycle of ambition, dysfunction, and moral compromise.
- Mad Men (2007-2015) AMC Created by Matthew Weiner. Mad Men is like watching literature in hourly installments, replete with incisive symbolism and complex subtleties. It follows Don Draper, ad man extraordinaire inhabiting the world of 1960's Madison Avenue, a world of rampant smoking, drinking, and philandering. However, Mad Men is not so much a period piece as it is a series of character studies. Weiner seems to intimate that we all are searching for something to fill the void, whether it be that new car seen in a magazine, the next promotion, or woman at the end of the bar. Ultimately, when we run from ourselves we just end up out of breath.
- The Sopranos (1999-2007) HBO Created by David Chase. Long before The Jersey Shore was offending the sensibilities of Italians and Jerseyans everywhere, it was the Soprano family representing the Garden State. The Sopranos demonstrated what was truly possible for the television medium, raising production up to an almost cinematic level that single-handedly ushered in the era of premium television. Making that HBO subscription all but mandatory, it stands as the most financially successful program in cable history. Compiling 21 Emmys over six seasons, the Sopranos finally signed off in 2007 in a finale that can only be described as .
- Law and Order (1990-2010) NBC Created by Dick Wolf. T
- The West Wing (1999-2006) NBC Created by Aaron Sorkin. Just where do you think Charlie got that Adonis DNA from anyway? Papa Sheen is brilliant as Commander-in-Chief Josiah Bartlet, presiding over a series that would collect an astounding four consecutive best drama Emmys in its heyday. Taking on an array of real world issues, from the Israeli conflict to DOMA to North Korean nuclear ambitions, the West Wing is as relevant today as it was over a decade ago.
- Game of Thrones (2011-Present) HBO Created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
- Lost (2004-2010) ABC Created by JJ Abrams
- NYPD Blue (1993-2005) ABC Created by Steven Bochco and David Milch
- 24 (2001-2010) FOX Created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran. The way 24 plummeted after Season 5, it's hard to remember just how riveting those early seasons really were. There was always a certain degree of suspension of disbelief necessary with 24, but a guy can only go rogue, do the "there's no time to explain" routine, and end up saving the world so many times before things just descend into the ridiculous. Still, Jack Bauer was a hero for the new millennium
- ER (1994-2009) NBC Created by Michael Crichton. D
- Dexter (2006-2013) Showtime Based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay and developed by James Manos, Jr. When Dexter hit TV screens in 2006, all the world needed was another show about a crime scene forensic. However, when that forensic just happens to moonlight as a sociopathic killer of bad guys, things start to diverge from your average episode of CSI. Think Robin Hood as a hopeless kleptomaniac, channeling his uncontrollable inner demons into a public good. Fun fact: Michael C. Hall met his now ex-wife Jennifer Carpenter (Deb) on the set of Dexter, effectively marrying his sister.
- Six Feet Under (2001-2005) HBO Created by Alan Ball. Ironic that a show that revolves around death can penetrate with such poignancy what it means to be alive. This time Michael C. Hall plays a gay funeral director, running the Fisher and Sons funeral home in Los Angeles (what creator Alan Ball calls "the world capital of the denial of death") with brother Nate and partner Rico. Also in the picture are sister Claire, mother Ruth, and a host of significant others. All are eccentric, often demented, and always real, sometimes painfully so. Dealing with death on a daily basis is no easy gig. Dealing with life might very well be harder.
- The X-Files (1993-2002) FOX Created by Chris Carter
Signature sketches: Celebrity Jeopardy, More Cowbell, W. Bush, James Lipton, Harry Carry, Robert Goulet, The Lovers. SNL Rating: 10
Extracurriculars: Anchorman, Old School, Funny or Die. Post SNL Rating: 9.5
Total Score: 19.5
Signature sketches: Samurai Futaba, Blues Brothers, Olympia Restaurant, Joe Cocker, The Singing Bee. SNL Rating: 9.2
Extracurriculars: Animal House, Blues Brothers. Post SNL Rating: 7.2
Total Score: 16.4
4) Phil Hartman (1986 - 1994)
Signature sketches: Bill Clinton, The Anal Retentive Chef, The Sinatra Group, Ronald Reagan, Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. SNL Rating: 9.7
Extracurriculars: NewsRadio, The Simpsons. Post SNL Rating: 6.6
Total Score: 16.3
5) Bill Murray (1977 - 1980)
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Nick the Lounge Singer. SNL Rating: 7.4
Extracurriculars: Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, Lost in Translation. Post SNL Rating: 8.5
Total Score: 15.9
6) Chris Farley (1990 - 1995)
Signature sketches: The Chris Farley Show, Matt Foley Motivational Speaker, The Chippendales Audition, Bill Swerkski's Super Fans, Bennett Brauer, El Niño, Schmitts Gay Beer. SNL Rating: 9.6
Extracurriculars: Tommy Boy, Black Sheep. Post SNL Rating: 6.2
Total Score: 15.8
Signature sketches: Blues Brothers, Irwin Mainway, Beldar Conehead, Fred Garvin, Bass-O-Matic, Julia Child, and One Wild and Crazy Guy. SNL Rating: 8.3
Extracurriculars: Ghostbusters, Coneheads, Blues Brothers. Post SNL Rating: 7.3
Total Score: 15.6
8) Adam Sandler (1991 - 1995)
Signature sketches: Opera Man, The Hanukkah Song, Canteen Boy, Schmitts Gay Beer. SNL Rating: 7
Extracurriculars: Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Happy Madison Films. Post SNL Rating: 8.4
Total Score: 15.4
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Gerald Ford, Land Shark. SNL Rating: 7
Extracurriculars: National Lampoon, Caddyshack, Fletch, Community. Post SNL Rating: 8
Total Score: 15
10) Tina Fey (2000 - 2006)
Signature sketches: Head Writer, Sarah Palin, Weekend Update. SNL Rating: 7
Extracurriculars: 30 Rock, Mean Girls. Post SNL Rating: 7.7
Total Score: 14.7
11) Dana Carvey (1986 - 1993)
Signature sketches: Church Lady, Garth Alger, Hanz, The Grumpy Old Man, Chopping Broccili, Bush I. SNL Rating: 8.3
Extracurriculars: The Dana Carvey Show, Wayne's World. Post SNL Rating: 5.8
Total Score: 14.1
12) Seth Meyers (2001 - 2014)
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Head Writer. SNL Rating: 7.8
Extracurriculars: Late Night With Seth Myers, The Awesomes. Post SNL Rating: 6
Total Score: 13.8
Signature sketches: Wayne Campbell, Sprockets, Coffee Talk. SNL Rating: 6
Extracurriculars: Austin Powers Trilogy, Shrek Quadrilogy, Wayne's World. Post SNL Rating: 7.7
Total Score: 13.7
14) Kristen Wiig (2005-2012)
Signature sketches: The Target Lady, Kat, Penelope, Michele Bachmann. SNL Rating: 8
Extracurriculars: Bridesmaids, MacGruber. Post SNL Rating: 5.6
Total Score: 13.6
15) Chris Rock (1990 - 1993)
Signature sketches: The Dark Side With Nat X, I'm Chillin'. SNL Rating: 4.4
Extracurriculars: Stand-up, Everybody Hates Chris, The Chris Rock Show. Post SNL Rating: 9.1
Total Score: 13.5
16) Jane Curtin (1975 - 1980)
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Pymaat Conehead. SNL Rating: 6.7
Extracurriculars: Kate & Alley, 3rd Rock From the Sun, The Coneheads. Post SNL Rating: 6.6
Total Score: 13.3
17) Amy Poehler (2001 - 2008)
Signature sketches: Weekend Update. SNL Rating: 6.8
Extracurriculars: Parks and Rec, Baby Mama. Post SNL Rating: 6.4
Total Score: 13.2
18) Al Franken (1977 - 1980, 1985 – 1986, 1988 – 1995)
Signature sketches: Daily Affirmations With Stuart Smalley, Prolific writer. SNL Rating: 6
Extracurriculars: US Senator, Author, Radio commentator. Post SNL Rating: 7
Total Score: 13
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Barry Gibb, Sully and Denise. SNL Rating: 4.6
Extracurriculars: The Tonight Show, The Jimmy Fallon Show. Post SNL Rating: 8.2
Total Score: 12.8
Signature sketches: Lazy Sunday, Dick in a Box, Mother Lover, I'm On a Boat, Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals. SNL Rating: 7.5
Extracurriculars: Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Post SNL Rating: 5
Signature sketches: Brian Fellow's Safari Planet, Uncle Jemima, Star Jones, Woodrow the Homeless Man. SNL Rating: 6.6
Extracurriculars: 30 Rock, Stand-up, The Tracy Morgan Show. Post SNL Rating: 5.5
Total Score: 12.1
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Burt Reynolds, Bob Dole, Stan Hooper. SNL Rating: 6.7
Extracurriculars: Stand-up, Dirty Work, The Norm Show. Post SNL Rating: 5
Total Score: 11.7
23) Darrell Hammond (1995 - 2009) His fourteen seasons is by far the longest running tenure in the history of the show.
Signature sketches: Sean Connery, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Al Gore, John McCain, Dick Cheney. SNL Rating: 9
Extracurriculars: Assorted bit roles Post SNL Rating: 1
Total Score: 10
24) Julia Louis-Dreyfus (1982 - 1985)
Extracurriculars: Seinfeld, Veep, The New Adventures of Old Christine. Post SNL Rating: 8.2
Total Score: 9.7
25) Molly Shannon (1995 - 2001)
Signature sketches: Mary Katherine Gallagher, Schweddy Balls, Sally O'Malley. SNL Rating: 6.9
Extracurriculars: Superstar!, Assorted bit roles. Post SNL Rating: 2.2
Total Score: 9.1
26) Gilda Radner (1975 - 1980)
Extracurriculars: Gilda Radner - Live From New York. Post SNL Rating: 1.5
27) Kevin Nealon (1986 - 1995)
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Franz, Mr. Subliminal. SNL Rating: 6.2
Extracurriculars: Weeds, Adam Sandler movies. Post SNL Rating: 2.3
Total Score: 8.5
28) Jon Lovitz (1985 - 1990)
Signature sketches: Tommy Flanagan the Pathological Liar, Harvey Fierstein, Master Thespian, Hanukkah Harry. SNL Rating: 4.7
Extracurriculars: The Client, Newsradio, The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club. Post SNL Rating: 3.7
Total Score: 8.4
29) David Spade (1990 - 1996)
Signature sketches: Hollywood Minute, Buh-bye guy. SNL Rating: 4
Extracurriculars: Just Shoot Me!, Tommy Boy, Rules of Engagement. Post SNL Rating: 4.3
Total Score: 8.3
30) Garrett Morris (1975 - 1980)
Signature sketches: Chico Escuela, News For the Hard of Hearing Translator. SNL Rating: 4.5
Extracurriculars: The Jamie Foxx Show, 2 Broke Girls, The Downtown Comedy Club. Post SNL Rating: 2.8
Total Score: 7.3
Honorable Mentions: Tim Meadows (1991 - 2000), Ana Gasteyer (1996 - 2002), Jim Breuer (1995 - 1998), Chris Kattan (1996 - 2003), Joe Piscopo (1980 - 1984), Jason Sudeikis (2005 - 2013), Martin Short (1984 - 1985), Fred Armisen (2002 - 2013), Harry Shearer (1979 - 1980, 1984 - 1985), Chris Parnell (1998 - 2006), Rachel Dratch (1999 - 2006), Cheri Oteri (1995 - 2000), Dennis Miller (1985 - 1991), Horatio Sanz (1998 - 2006), Will Forte (2002 - 2010), Bill Hader (2005 - 2013), Jan Hooks (1986 - 1991), and Kenan Thompson (2003 - present).
Host Hall of Fame: Steve Martin (15 appearances), Alec Baldwin (16), John Goodman (12), Buck Henry (10), Tom Hanks (8), Christopher Walken (7) and Justin Timberlake (5).
Flashes in the Pan Who Went On To Bigger Things: Conan O'Brien (writer, 1987-1991), Robert Downey Jr (1985–1986), Billy Crystal (1984-1985), Steven Colbert (writer, voice in Ace in the Ambiguously Gay Duo), Steve Carell (voice of Gary in The Ambiguously Gay Duo), Christopher Guest (1984-1985), Michael McKean (1994-1995), Sarah Silverman (1993-1994), Chris Elliott (1994-1995), Joan Cusack (1985-1986), Gilbert Gottfried (1980-1981), Randy Quaid (1985-1986).
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