Comedy We’re Looking Forward to in 2016

Comedy Lists
Comedy We’re Looking Forward to in 2016

A lot of really smart people have probably said a lot of really smart things about comedy. Imagine we just quoted one of them. (If you can’t say something smart, you can at least repeat something smart that some other asshole said.) Like something about how comedy is the cold hard truth in chuckle form, or the hidden secrets of the universe captured in a Harold). Or how it’s like jazz. Comedy is like jazz. People who want to look smart talk about jazz. People who want to look smart compare things to jazz. Comedy is like jazz! Comedy is something you hear in elevators and imported beer ads at Christmas time.

2016 is a year that will have comedy in it. TVs, movie theaters, comedy clubs, books, records, comics—they are all places where comedy can crawl out and try to make us feel something. Here’s the comedy Paste’s comedy editors are looking forward to in 2016.

1. Man Seeking Woman
FXX, Currently Airing


Writer and creator Simon Rich has crafted the “dating comedy” to end all dating comedies, adding an exaggerated and absurdist bent to common frustrations, showing how epic heartache can feel rather than how ordinary it may look. When Jay Baruchel meets his ex’s new boyfriend, it’s actually Adolf Hitler; or when his sister, played by Britt Lower, feels like her date is a little stiff, it’s probably because he’s actually a ‘50s-style robot. The show’s sketch sensibility makes it a great showcase for comedian guest spots with memorable roles from Sarah Silverman, Eddie Pepitone, Jon Daly, Brett Gelman, Jorma Taccone and others. Also the presence of Eric Andre as Jay’s partying best friend was a major highlight of season 1. The first episode of Season 2 started this week and we’re looking forward to more.—Grant Pardee

2. Baskets
FX, Currently Airing


Any show that united the comic sensibilities of Louis C.K. and Zach Galifianakis would get our attention. Toss in Portlandia co-creator and Tim & Eric collaborator Jonathan Krisel, and the unique milieu of a rodeo in Bakersfield, and you have something that transcends the concept of a “must watch.” Baskets won’t feel like any other television comedy, and will probably be as depressing and emotionally harrowing as any good arthouse flick, but with these three involved it’s guaranteed to also be hilarious.—Garrett Martin

3. Hannibal Buress, Comedy Camisado
Netflix, 2/5/2016


Somehow between Broad City, The Eric Andre Show, his own Comedy Central show and various movie roles (dude steals Daddy’s Home), Hannibal Buress still finds time for stand-up. His latest special Comedy Camisado hits Netflix the first Friday in February, and despite his ever-increasing fame he still has the same low-key charm that made you dig him in the first place. As funny as Buress is on the screen, he’s at his best on stage, and if Comedy Camisado is anything like his previous specials, it’ll be one of the best of the year.—Garrett Martin

4. Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
TBS, 2/8/2016


Late night TV is, let’s face it, kind of dick party. A sausage festival. A testicle extravaganza, if you will. So the announcement that Samantha Bee, formerly of the Daily Show, would headline her own show on TBS was so welcome. But let’s put aside our feminist critiqutes of talk shows that air after ten pm—the really important takeaway is that one of the best correspondents from the Daily Show will be gracing our television screens on a nightly basis. Premiering February 8th, Full Frontal will emphasize field pieces and sketch comedy and cover political topics—playing to Bee’s strengths. In a post Jimmy Fallon late night landscape, I’m ready for Bee to shake things up.—Gita Jackson

5. Not Safe with Nikki Glaser
Comedy Central, 2/9/2016


Nikki Glaser’s stand-up has always been very frank, and very funny, on the subject of sex. Now she’s bringing that sensibility to Comedy Central in a mixed-format show, with panels, interviews, and investigative pieces exploring ideas and perceptions behind sexuality and modern dating. Like most shows now this one is looking to have a strong presence on social media and the things they’ve done so far have been fun, like Nikki watching porn you could send to her on Periscope. As for the show itself, we’ll find out what it will look like in February but we’re excited to see.—Grant Pardee

6. The Carmichael Show
NBC, 3/8/2016


The first season of Jerrod Carmichael’s sitcom was criminally overlooked. It dealt seriously but hilariously with such significant real world issues as gun control, transgender rights and Black Lives Matter, and joining a long but recently dormant lineage of politically conscious network sitcoms. Evoking real life doesn’t automatically make a sitcom great, though; smart writing and strong performances from Carmichael, David Alan Grier and Loretta Devine make even the more frivolous episodes into sitcom gold. The second season is already getting attention for an episode about the Bill Cosby scandal; hopefully the audience this show deserves eventually finds it.—Garrett Martin

7. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Netflix, 4/15/2016


It felt like this show took everyone by surprise last year, although it shouldn’t have. Tina Fey and Robert Carlock created a spiritual successor to 30 Rock with the same strengths in joke writing, but the change in setting and perspective possibly makes for an even better show. Instead of seeing New York from the perspective of well-off television producers, we see it through the lens of our outsider characters, from the bottom-up. Also you have to give major credit to Fey and Carlock for finally giving Ellie Kemper the perfect vehicle for her talents. When season 2 arrives in April, I’ll probably binge it all in two days again and have the theme song stuck in my head for weeks.—Grant Pardee

8. Keanu
In theaters 4/29/2016


It was sad to see Key and Peele leave our TV screens, but nice to see them leave with a little dignity. No one wanted to watch them slowly decline in quality until we lamented the sketch comedy of yesteryear, right? Fortunately, they’re not gone forever—in fact, their first post-Key & Peele project is slated for April 22nd. The movie Keanu, written by Jordan Peele and Alex Rubens from Rick and Morty has, so far, a cast and crew that makes me incredibly optimistic about the future. The movie, about two men posing as drug dealers for a gang to rescue their cat, not only stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, but features Will Forte, Gabrielle Union and (get this) Nia Long. Fuck me, right? Leaving TV is maybe the best move this duo has ever done.—Gita Jackson

9. Connor4real (The Lonely Island Movie)
In theaters 5/23/2016


None of the Lonely Island’s movies have had much success—say what you will for MacGruber or Hot Rod, they were duds at the box office. That all might change with Conner4real, the new joint effort from the trio. Described as a parody of fluff music documentaries like Justin Bieber: Never Say Never or Katy Perry: All of Me, Conner4real sees Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone take the real gem of their comedy stylings—their impeccable, hilarious, and actually good pop songs—to the big screen. Featuring Sarah Silverman and Tim Meadows, the movie will open in June.—Gita Jackson

10. The Presidential Election
Now through 11/8/2016

Okay, this is already the blackest comedy imaginable, and it’s completely unintentional. (Unless Trump is in on the joke, which is possible.) The cast of cartoon characters has slowly been whittled down, and more will fade away as the primaries start up over the next few weeks. With the personalities dominating the race on both sides, though, it’ll be impossible to not find some gallows humor down the stretch, no matter who wins the nominations.—Garrett Martin

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