5. Other Space
The most recent entry on this list, the Yahoo! Screen original Other Space takes no time at all to prove itself worthy of its fellow list entries. Created by Freaks and Geeks brain Paul Feig, this low-key space-trekking comedy follows a group of outcasts whose voyage through a parallel universe is never quite as important as their in-ship arguments and romances. Beyond the core cast of “hey, I know that guy” actors, Other Space also gets Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Joel Hodgson and Trace Beaulieu back to the cosmos. Everything that makes sci-fi fun and chuckle-worthy is in this series.
4. Rick and Morty
Created by Community’s Dan Harmon and actor Justin Roiland (who plays both the massively intoxicated scientist Rick and his affably impressionable grandson Morty), Rick and Morty is one of Adult Swim’s most coherent series, despite the fact that the first season’s 11 episodes regularly take place in alternate realities, dream sequences and on distant celestial bodies. With enough pop culture references to balance the wackily twisted storylines, this series is routinely unpredictable. And with guest spots from actors like Alfred Molina and David Cross, the show can do no wrong.
Even with The Simpsons on the downward slope of its prime in 1999, it didn’t seem like any animated series could stand shoulder to shoulder with it. And there came Fry, Leela, Bender, Zoidberg, the Professor and the rest of the Planet Express crew, to remind us that The Jetsons was definitely not the peak of sci-fi animation. A show that combined genius jokes with dim characters, Futurama often brought the perfect amount of absurdity to every science fiction trope in the book, from parallel universes to time travel to cloning. The fact that “Jurassic Bark” is one of the most depressing cartoons ever doesn’t harm its placing on this list.
2. Red Dwarf
It’s not often that sci-fi series get extended runs, but the British insta-classic Red Dwarf has been making fans roar with intergalactic laughter since 1988, although its ten seasons (61 episodes) got increasingly scattered as time went by. Centering on the motliest of motley crews – including the slovenly Lister, the purr-fect Cat, the self-conscious hologram Rimmer, the droll A.I. Holly, and the lovably obedient Kryten – Red Dwarf bolsters its enjoyable situational plotlines with expertly crafted dialogue and excellent production designs. From stories involving Triplicators to DNA modifiers to discoveries of other ships, there was no circumstance this crew couldn’t take on, and the fact that there’s always a chance for more certainly helps keep the fandom growing.
1. Mystery Science Theater 3000
Despite the fact that “plot” doesn’t enter into Mystery Science Theater 3000, or perhaps because of it, this will presumably remain the funniest sci-fi series until the end of time. Created by Joel Hodgson – making a second appearance on this list – MST3K developed a massive cult fanbase by making 25-jokes-a-minute fun of B movies from cinema’s past. Even if 15 of those jokes were misses, and that was never the case, you still had rapid-fire wit and deep-cut pop culture references on a seemingly endless scale. The fact that there are 197 episodes is still baffling, and even after it ended, some of the writer/performers created both the similarly formatted RiffTrax and Cinematic Titanic.
Joel recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring back MST3K with a new season. Read more about it and how you can participate in this article.
Read Our Honorable Mentions List: More Hilarious Fantasy & Sci-Fi TV
courtesy of Cinema Blend