Sky Comedy launched last Monday in the UK, and it's well worth checking out if you consider yourself a bit of a comedy snob. As well as the main channel's regular airing of great modern-era US sitcoms, it's resulted in a payload of great comedy content being added to Sky on-demand and Now TV.
It's less the kind of place you'd watch broader nonsense like Two and a Half Men, and more somewhere you'd check out HBO shows like Veep or Ballers. Sky Comedy can be found on channel 113, or 121/122 on Virgin Media. If you're streaming instead, sorting by channel is the best way to get an overview of everything on there.
There are some real highlights outside of traditional sitcoms: two classic Chris Rock stand-up specials are on there, both funnier than his most recent Netflix effort. Both seasons of Flight of the Conchords are available to stream, as well as the more recent live special by the band. Not every show on there is a winner – we're not really in the mood to watch Entourage in 2020 – but everyone will find something to watch.
Below, we've picked out five of the highlights on there that we think you'll enjoy.
The Righteous Gemstones
Sitcom fans are likely familiar with Danny McBride and Jody Hill's lineage of HBO comedies, which began with Eastbound and Down and continued with dark school sitcom Vice Principals. This latest show is about a rich family of televangelists with plenty of skeletons in their closet. It co-stars John Goodman and Walton Goggins, and the style of comedy is a similar deal: dark jokes, gross humor and Southern accents.
The show airs every Wednesday on Sky Comedy (starting tonight at 9pm) as one of the channel's first major exclusives, and you can stream it on Sky and Now TV, too. It's already been renewed for a second season by HBO – it originally debuted last summer in the US.
AP Bio is about a failed Harvard professor (Always Sunny's Glenn Howerton) who's forced to teach the titular subject in the local high school of his deceased mother's hometown. Instead of doing that, though, he manipulates his students into wreaking vengeance on an old rival of his.
It's a touch nastier than most US sitcoms of the moment, like Brooklyn Nine Nine, and feels more in line with shows like Community from a decade ago. All 13 episodes of season one are available to stream on Sky and Now TV, and it's been renewed for a third season in the US.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Somehow, Curb Your Enthusiasm will be 20 years old this October, and in those two decades, we've had 10 seasons of Larry David's disastrously awkward social situations. Later seasons have been made more irregularly as David seems to return to Curb when he's got new ideas for the show, but it's still as funny as ever. Season 10 is airing every Tuesday on Sky Comedy, but you can stream it on Sky and Now TV too if you don't fancy tuning in live.
This classic NBC sitcom about the chaotic behind-the-scenes drama of a sketch comedy show never had a proper UK home during its seven-season run from 2006-2013, but now the show airs daily on Sky Comedy. It still has the sharpest joke writing of any sitcom of its generation, even if its peak comes early in its second and third seasons.
If you don't fancy watching live, you can also stream it all on Now TV and Sky until March 31. At 20 minutes an episode, you could quite easily burn through entire seasons of this in a weekend.
Parks and Recreation
The combination of 30 Rock and Parks and Rec bulk out the Sky Comedy daytime schedule, and it's a nice contrast to just seeing Friends, How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory occupying UK airwaves. Parks and Rec hails from the same generation of NBC sitcom as The Office and Community, and it's about the parks department of a fictional Indiana town. That's essentially a jumping off point for jokes about small town America and the various eccentrics that live in that world.
Parks and Rec ended up being a launching pad for many major comedy actors over the last ten years, from Amy Poehler to Rashida Jones and, of course, Chris Pratt.
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Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.