1. South Park
Air dates: August 13, 1997-present
Stars: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes, Eliza Schneider, Mona Marshall, April Stewart, Mary Kay Bergman
By now, if you're unaware of Trey Parker's and Matt Stone's animated series South Park, that rock from which you crawled out under might still be there, so you'd best head back thataway. Always peppered with seething indictments against politics, pop culture, and other real-life societal issues, the Comedy Central mainstay's humor—pushed forward by the young foursome of Cartman, Kyle, Stan, and Kenny—has provided the television with some of its smartest comedy for the last 15 years.
It takes a special kind of program to shift from a character that's literally a talking piece of feces (we miss you, Mr. Hanky) to unveiled indictments against everything from George W. Bush to Tom Cruise and The Human Centipede. Thanks to the collaborative genius of Parker and Stone, though (also see their current Broadway record-breaker The Book of Mormon for proof), South Park covers wide terrain with a consistent, always brutally funny intelligence.