Young Star

'Sunny' is the new funny

DEFINITELY MAYBE - Carl Francis M. Ramirez -

I asked a couple of my friends to name the funniest show on TV right now. Some said How I Met Your Mother. Some said The Big Bang Theory. Others said The Office or 30 Rock. I have an unpopular answer to this question. Ask me at gunpoint what the funniest show on television right now us, and I will tell you it’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Hands down.

 Notoriously described as “Seinfeld on crack,” It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia takes the whole concept of a gang of friends hanging out and supercharges it with equal parts of lewd and crazy. Disclaimer: Sunny is not for the very young, the very old or the weak of heart. It’s a drunken joyride of misadventure with five borderline-insane degenerates at the wheel. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a remarkable comedy not only for being fearless and frenetic, but also for having that rare, harmonious mix of intelligence and stupidity.

Sunny is the brainchild of Rob McElhenney (credited as creator), Glenn Howerton and Charlie Day, who, apart from being the executive producers, are the stars of the show. These three guys, along with Kaitlin Olson, who plays Sweet Dee, and Danny DeVito, who plays Frank, are fondly referred to as “The Gang.” The show revolves around The Gang getting into all sorts of misadventures that make the cast of Friends and Seinfeld look like schoolgirls.

In the latest season, in the episode entitled “The Gang Wrestles for the Troops,” The Gang puts on an independent, backyard wrestling show as a tribute to the US soldiers in town. Mac (McElhenney), Dennis (Howerton) and Charlie (Day) decide to dress up as “Birds of War” in order to look brave and patriotic. Instead they storm the ring in costumes that resemble the bastard son of a chicken and a pigeon and get beaten up by a wrestler dressed as a Middle Eastern terrorist. Sunny is unafraid of pushing the limits when it comes to jokes about sexuality, class, religion or race. The show has this uncanny ability to take sensitive and awkward topics and turn them into lighthearted, unoffensive joke fodder. South Park gets away with this because it’s a cartoon. Sunny can get away with this because you can tell it’s written and directed very deliberately.

In the episode “The Gang Gives Frank an Intervention,” Frank’s drinking gets so out of control that he starts to stalk his recently widowed sister-in-law and attempts to seduce her. When that fails, he settles for his black sheep niece. It’s all very lewd and crazy, but you have to see The Gang in action to realize the brilliance of all this stupidity.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has become such a cult favorite, the love has spread all over the Internet. The song Dayman (from the musical episode entitled “The Nightman Cometh”) has been covered and remade by hundreds of fans, including indie rocker Ted Leo and the band Of Montreal. The musical spawned such a huge following that the Sunny cast decided to do a live staging of “The Nightman Cometh” across the United States. These guys cannot be stopped.

To sum it all up, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a show you simply must watch if you’re a fan of the more mature side of comedy. It’s fearless, it’s charmingly idiosyncratic and it’s laugh-your-balls-off funny. Once you get hooked, I guarantee guys like Barney Stinson and Sheldon Cooper will look sober and stiff. Mac, Dennis, Dee, Frank and Charlie are comedy’s new royal family. It’s time for The Gang to be noticed.

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For questions, comments or corrections, please e-mail me at carlfrancisramirez@gmail.com.

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