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Everyone loves a good dynamic duo, and there’s no better duo than one that makes you laugh out loud. Here are some of my favorite pairs in 21st century comedy television. If you find yourself looking for something new, check one of these shows out!

Best Couple: Mitchell Pritchett and Cameron Tucker, Modern Family

All three couples in Modern Family are hilarious, but I adore Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) for several reasons, especially because they provide the much-needed representation of a stable, domestic gay couple in popular television. Every comedy show needs a straight man, and Mitchell fulfills this role with ease; his no-drama attitude and sarcastic demeanor contrasts perfectly with Cameron’s diva-like tendencies. Plus, their talking heads are some of the best in the show. Watch: Season 1, Episode 6, “Run for Your Wife” (Hulu).

Honorable Mention: Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt) and April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) (pictured), Parks and Recreation; Watch: Season 3, Episode 9, “Andy and April’s Fancy Party” (Netflix).

Best Friends: Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler, Broad City

Broad City is big on girl power, which I absolutely love. Watching Abbi (Abbi Jacobson) and Ilana (Ilana Glazer) navigate life in NYC as 20-something-year-olds across five seasons is consistently entertaining. Ilana, a weed-smoking risk-taker, often coerces the sensible, Bed Bath and Beyond enthusiast Abbi into plenty of sticky situations. No matter what unfolds, these besties always have each other’s back. I consider their friendship the most infallible one on television, and I can never decide which character I like more because they each have so many shining moments. Watch: Season 5, Episode 1, “Stories” (Hulu).

Honorable Mention: Maya Ishii-Peters (Maya Erskine) and Anna Kone (Anna Konkle), PEN15; Watch: Season 1, Episode 5, “Community Service” (Hulu).

Best Coworkers: Candace Devereaux and Toni Rose, Portlandia

Portlandia is a bit out there, as far as comedy shows go. It’s a sketch show that’s often hit or miss for me, personally. However, the one set of characters that never fails to make me laugh is Toni (Carrie Brownstein) and Candace (Fred Armisen), co-owners of a feminist bookstore called “Women and Women First.” Honestly, Fred Armisen in drag is the only thing I need in life to be content. Watch: Season 5, Episode 1, “The Story of Toni and Candace” (Netflix).

Honorable Mention: Larry David (himself) and Jeff Greene (Jeff Garlin), Curb Your Enthusiasm; Watch: Season 2, Episode 7, “The Doll” (HBO Max).

Best Family Duo: Drake Parker and Josh Nichols, Drake and Josh

Drake and Josh is the only show from my childhood that I can comfortably return to as a college sophomore, which says a lot about the quality of the material. The conflicts and shenanigans that unfold between the titular stepbrothers (Drake Bell and Josh Peck, respectively) always make me laugh out loud, despite the show’s target audience being third graders. On the other hand, they share several moments of love and support, which is simply heartwarming. “Hug me, brotha!” Watch: Season 2, Episode 1, “The Bet” (Hulu). 

Honorable Mention: Lucille (Jessica Walter, RIP) and Buster Bluth (Tony Hale), Arrested Development; Watch: Season 1, Episode 5, “Charity Drive” (Netflix).

Best Animated Duo: Andrew Glouberman and Maurice the Hormone Monster, Big Mouth

If you can look past the fact that Big Mouth is essentially animated pornography, then I highly recommend this show. It’s…refreshing, that’s for sure. The mentor/mentee dynamic between Maury (voice of Nick Kroll) and Andrew (voice of John Mulaney) is something else. Amidst the graphic content, it’s clear that Maury shows genuine concern for Andrew and wants the best for him as he navigates the intimidating world of puberty. Watch: Season 1, Episode 3, “Am I Gay?” (Netflix).

Honorable Mention: Brian and Stewie Griffin (voice of Seth MacFarlane), Family Guy; Watch: Season 8, Episode 1, “Road to the Multiverse” (Hulu).

I could have chosen from hundreds of combinations for this piece, so it was hard to narrow down the options. Let me know if you agree with my choices, or who you would have put instead! 

Grace Bertagna

U Mass Amherst '23

Grace Bertagna is a sophomore at UMass Amherst studying Spanish and Sociology. She enjoys painting, practicing yoga, cooking, and playing ice hockey.
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