5 Morally Decent Comedy Series: ABC’s ‘The Mayor,’ ‘Home Improvement’ and More

“The Mayor”

Need a laugh? Don’t we all. But unfortunately, a large portion of the comedy series available these days tend toward the crude and indecent. Half the the time, the comedy shows I try to watch end up containing material I’m not too crazy about watching myself, let alone allowing my kids to watch with me.

But don’t despair. Here are five titles that keep the laughs coming without so much filth as we often tend to find in modern comedies.

The Mayor

I’m optimistic about this one, though since it’s a new show that’s just premiered on Tuesdays on ABC (also available at the ABC Website and on Hulu), it’s a little early to say for sure that it’s a keeper. So far, this light comedy about Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall), an unknown rapper who runs for mayor of his California town to gain publicity, is pretty funny and surprisingly a little bit sweet, as he lives with his no-nonsense mom (Yvette Nicole Brown, an outspoken Christian) who gives him life advice and a swift kick in the backside as needed.

The mother character is a Christian, too, and her son gives at least lip service to faith. In a mayoral debate in the pilot, Courtney says, “There’s only one judge that matters” — points upward — “a young carpenter!”

The show is rated PG and so far has been pretty clean — and so far, eschewing partisan politics.

Read my full review here.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: I just watched the second episode, and it continued charming, clean and heartwarming.)

Check it out:

Home Improvement

Hulu recently added this Tim Allen ’90s sitcom to their selection of streaming titles. It’s a show about a hapless handyman with his own tool show, three boys and a wife. I remember watching this show growing up, and while there is occasionally some “grown up” material (like a couple of later episodes in which Tim Allen’s character has to talk to his sons about sex and drugs), that content is pretty rare.

Most of the comedy comes from Tim’s building mistakes and his blunders with his wife, but the comedy almost never feels cheap or cheesy. Definitely a good option for some clean laughs. Check out its trailer (which, incidentally is much more 90s cheese-arific than the show itself).

The Office

Note I’m talking about the considerably cleaner U.S. version of this show starring Steve Carell (not the smuttier British one). Currently available on Netflix, this is a show that’s so funny I find myself sticking around to re-watch if someone else has it turned on. It’s essentially just the ins and outs of a group of office workers, who all have varying levels of eccentricity, and yet the comedy is often rather genius.

This show does occasionally have mild sexual material, but the good thing is that its standalone episodes make it easy to skip around past anything you’d rather not watch without getting lost plot-wise. Read my full review here.

Here’s a clip of some moments from several seasons:

Family Matters

Let’s head back to the late ’80s for a second, for a classic family sitcom. As goofy as this show about a family and their extremely nerdy, accident-prone neighbor, Steve Urkel (Jaleel White) sometimes is, it also has some moments of hilarious comedy and creativity. This show really must have done quite a few things right to have lasted on ABC for nine years and 215 episodes.

Over all the show is pretty clean, though it does occasionally deal with some issues like drinking and racism. It’s currently available on Hulu.

Here’s a cheesy promo video:

Boy Meets World

If I didn’t already own all seven seasons of this show on DVD, I would be pretty excited about its recent arrival on Hulu. It’s a classic coming-of-age sitcom about a boy (Ben Savage) and his friends growing up, made before shows about teenagers had become incredibly lame — like most of today’s Disney-channel-type fare.

I’ll admit that this show does have some very occasional cheesiness, but it’s pretty clean and mostly just a whole lot of fun.

Image: Courtesy ABC

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