Which Thursday-Night NBC Comedy Is the Best?

NBC's Thursday-night comedy block may seem like a harmonious two-hour laugh fest, but here at TV.com we think the four shows that comprise it are all over the place in terms of quality. Our heated cross-cubicle arguments haven't yet come to blows, but someone is going to lose an eye pretty soon... unless we determine once and for all which show is the cream of the crop.

We've assembled our opening arguments, and now we're enlisting your help in deciding which NBC Thursday-night comedy is the best. Will Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office, or 30 Rock reign supreme? Feel free to declare a winner in the comments section below.

Community

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury (by the way, you look handsome and/or pretty today), you will hear my opponents talk about how The Office has launched careers, and how Parks and Recreation has a guy with a funny mustache. But one thing you won't hear them talk about is heart. This, my friends, is what puts freshman comedy Community ahead of the pack. The way the show's writers have transformed a group of misfits into a tight-knit clique has been natural and heart-warming. More than just a series of non-sequitor jokes, Community puts its characters into action for a purpose and not just a chuckle. As for its competitors, The Office and Parks and Recreation are basically the same show, and 30 Rock is just an overblown Saturday Night Live sketch. Plus, what other TV show could end its Christmas episode with its cast bloodied up from a street brawl, yet still manage to be touching? Only Community. I rest my case. —Tim Surette

Parks & Rec

Like most of you, I was ready to all but dismiss Parks & Rec if the second season was anywhere near as slow as the first one. But the show came back in a big way, with a Leslie Knope far more kooky and well-intentioned than her TV predecessor Michael Scott. With an even more fascinating and strange Ron Swanson—complete with his love of breakfast food, an alter-ego named Duke Silver who plays smooth jazz saxophone, and the MO "I'm Ron F***ing Swanson." And with Andy Dwyer, who's sweetly naive to the rules of break-ups and pit-living. It's hard to fault Parks & Rec for being a mockumentary, because the whole is far greater than the sum of its familiar parts. It's a hell of a lot of fun—a live-action cartoon in the vein of Arrested Development—and by far the most consistently uproarious of the Thursday-night comedies. And with rumors swirling that Rob Lowe is joining the cast for its recently acquired third season, Parks & Rec is only going to get better. —Steve Heisler

The Office

Anything the other NBC sitcoms can do, The Office can do better. (And did first.) Fact: Only Tina Fey both writes for and acts on 30 Rock, while The Office boasts three actor-writers: Mindy Kaling, B.J. Novak, and Paul Lieberstein. How's that for working overtime? Fact: Community's Abed and Troy owe their nerdy, quirky existence to Dwight, Creed, Kevin, Toby, and the rest of The Office's nerdy, quirky male characters. Fact: Parks and Recreation, with its mockumentary-style and former SNL starlet in the lead role, is basically a rip-off of both The Office and 30 Rock. Need more proof? The Office has won a zillion awards; launched the careers of John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak (as well as the rest of the cast members, who've created characters I’ll be loyal to for life); created its own pop culture niche with just four simple words (That's what she said!); and it has just been renewed for a seventh season. It's the most consistently funny sitcom on television. Not bad for a remake, eh? —Stefanie Lee

30 Rock

Of all of the Thursday-night NBC sitcoms, 30 Rock is the thinking person's choice. Here's why: 30 Rock walks the line between meta-reality and fantasy, poking fun at both itself and the network that carries it. Sure, 30 Rock appropriates roles from classics like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, but it still cracks timely jokes that wouldn't make sense anywhere else on current television. Aside from Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock gets more A-list celebrities to perform goofy bit parts than any other show on TV. And its endlessly talented ensemble cast is perfectly suited for the show's silly nature, which manages to make use of every last cast member quirk—from Jane Krakowski’s Broadway chops to Jack McBrayer's down-home charm. Then, of course, there's Tina Fey, who is simply the most real person on television. Fey even won an Emmy for the show, one of a bunch of Golden Globe, SAG, and Emmy Awards 30 Rock has collected in just a few seasons. Seems to me the jury has already spoken. —Ilana Diamond

What do you think? Which Thursday-night NBC comedy is the best?

Comments (128)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
I love 30 Rock. Its the best (:
Tina Fey is just amazing!
Reply
Flag
The Office. 30 Rock should have died a death and Studio 60 should have been kept. It truly was a far superior show. Studio 60 that is.
Reply
Flag
My Name IS Earl should never have been canceled so Thursday night's to me suck on NBC!!!!!!!!
Reply
Flag
It's a toss up between Community and the Office!
Reply
Flag
Community, Community, Community!!!!

I watched the entire season, to date, this weekend, and loved every minute of it!! Great cast, great fun, great heart, great show!!!!
Reply
Flag
Except 30 Rock! overrated!
Reply
Flag
The Office !!! :D
Reply
Flag
Man... I'm loyal to The Office... but.. Community has been KILLING from the get go... hmm.
Reply
Flag
Tough to choose between The Office and 30 Rock...
Reply
Flag
30 Rock hands down.
Reply
Flag
The Office
Reply
Flag
Community is fine, but definitely The Office. It's one of the funniest show I've seen. Clearly better than the other three (even if they're good).
Reply
Flag
Community.
Reply
Flag
Community
Reply
Flag
I'd have to go with the powerhouse 30 Rock; Community SEEMS to be having an edge because of the freshness of characters, headed by Abed, but all in all as a comedy - nope.
Reply
Flag
Community
Reply
Flag
"Community"
Reply
Flag
Community
Reply
Flag
EASILY Community.
Reply
Flag
30 Rock, definitely!
Reply
Flag
The Office
Reply
Flag
Community of course
Reply
Flag
30 Rock is hands down my choice.
Reply
Flag
I may edit Parks and Recreation, but I have to go with 30 Rock. Parks and Rec is a veeeeererrrry close second, though.

TV.com people: watch Parks and Recreation on Thurdays at 8:30. You'll thank yourselves later.
Reply
Flag
The Office & 30 Rock in a dead heat!!!! Both are perfectly off-beat and quirky!!! Love Em Both
Reply
Flag
the OFFICEE!
Reply
Flag
definitely The Office
Reply
Flag
THE OFFICE! It's clearly the winner. It gets higher ratings tthan any of the other 3.
Reply
Flag
30 rock all the way!
Reply
Flag
COMMUNITY is the only show from Thursday night NBC-TV that is consistently watched. Our DVR is filled with episodes of THE OFFICE that have yet to be watched. But the gang at Community College have made a place in our weekly viewing and we never miss the most "human" of all the shows. 30 ROCK is good, just not as good. And we don't even bother with P&R.
Reply
Flag
The Office with Community in a close 2nd place!
Reply
Flag
Community
Reply
Flag
The Office. All day.
Reply
Flag
Love Community!!
Reply
Flag
The Office!!! Even though i will admit it has had kind of a downfall...
Reply
Flag
community!!
Reply
Flag
30 rock is overrated, the office is good but past its prime. park and rec is the worst of the 4 but Community is the suprise #1 these days. Way better than the rest
Reply
Flag
30 Rock. I watch all of them though.
Reply
Flag
The Office
Reply
Flag
i vote for 30 Rock.
Reply
Flag
Parks&Rec
Reply
Flag
community
Reply
Flag
parks and recreation for sure. never fails to make you laugh, but i'll be honest iv'e never seen community
Reply
Flag
Community is good tv, hope they can maintain a good quality so they don't get cancelled any time soon!
Reply
Flag
2nite's episode of Community proved why it is the best of them all.
Reply
Flag
Well The Office used to be the best, but now it's not. 30 Rock is the wittiest but lacks the heart of the other NBC comedies. Parks and Rec is adorable and gets better every week but it hasn't gripped me like other comedies have in the past. I want to say that Community is the best because when it's having a good week it is very good. However, when it's not so good, it's not so good. It's just too inconsistent to be the best. I say we all watch Friends re-runs!
Reply
Flag
#4 - The Office. All the juice has been squeezed out. There is no where else to go with this premise. The Michael Scott Character is the worst. #3 - Parks & Rec is coming on strong. It has good writing and characters. #2 - 30 Rock. Down from the number one spot. But, I still love show. ----> #1 - COMMUNITY. This show is fun. I hope it has a good long run. #1
Reply
Flag
The Office, I tried watching 30 Rock and I thought it was terrible, and the only two do not interest me!
Reply
Flag
I have many friends who love the office I dont know ANYONE who watches the other 3 exept for u guys of course. The office is a classic like scienfeld. LOVE CREEd funniest minor role in a t.v show ever. Although ihave to admit The office is not as funny as seasons 2 and 3 but i think it recently took a turn in the right direction by makig jim salesman
Reply
Flag
I dont even know why this is any debate at all. THE OFFICE OMG the other showes suck i watched them and said why the hell they are even on air. I have watched every Office episode and they have launched many careers. The office blowes away those other crappy showes.
Reply
Flag
Load More Comments

Like TV.com on Facebook