We could all do with a bit of joy and cheer in these unprecedented times. What better way to get guaranteed comic relief than to watch an all-time favourite comedy? Here’s a selection of fantastic comedies to turn to.

‘The Big Bang Theory’

The Big Bang Theory is an American sitcom that follows the lives of four socially awkward geniuses: Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), Leonard Hofstader (Johnny Galecki), Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar). Their lives get more interesting when Penny (Kaley Cuoco), a free-spirited, fun-loving, aspiring actress enters their world.
Creators: Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady
Cast: Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik, Melissa Rauch
Seasons: 12 (2007-2018)
Streaming on: Netflix

‘The Office’

The mockumentary-style sitcom is an adaptation of the original BBC series of the same name. The Office (pictured above) showcases the routine lives of a group of employees at the Pennsylvania branch of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Their boss is Michael Scott (Steve Carell), who can’t stop making a fool of himself.
Creator: Greg Daniels
Cast: Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B. J. Novak, Melora Hardin
Seasons: 9 (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
Streaming on: Amazon Prime

‘Two and a Half Men’

Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen), a well-off, self-indulgent jingle writer spends his days having a good time at his Malibu beach house. Unforeseen circumstances lead to his brother and nephew, Alan (Jon Cryer and Jake Angus T Jones), moving in with him. All kinds of drama ensue.
Creators: Chuck Lorre, Lee Aronsohn
Cast: Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, Angus T. Jones, Marin Hinkle, Melanie Lynskey, Holland Taylor, Conchata Ferrell
Seasons: 12 (2003-2014)
Streaming on: Netflix and Amazon Prime

‘Chuck’

Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) receives a coded email containing top American spy secrets, which get embedded in his brain. The Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency are forced to assign him handlers and use him for top secret missions.
Creators: Josh Schwartz, Chris Fedak
Cast: Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez, Sarah Lancaster, Adam Baldwin, Ryan McPartlin, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Scott Krinsky
Seasons: 5 (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011)
Streaming on: Amazon Prime

‘Parks and Recreation’

In this political satire, mid-level bureaucrat Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) wants to convert an abandoned construction site into a community park but faces numerous hurdles from various organisations and pesky neighbours.
Creators: Greg Daniels, Michael Schur
Cast: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Paul Schneider, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir, Retta, Billy Eichner
Seasons: 7 (2009-2015)
Streaming on: Amazon Prime

‘Seinfeld’

Seinfeld follows the daily life of stand-up comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, who plays a fictional version himself. The sitcom Seinfeld deals with everyday situations with the help of his friends George Costanza (Jason Alexander), Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards).
Creators: Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld
Cast: Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards
Seasons: 9 (1989-1997)
Streaming on: Amazon Prime and Sony LIV

‘The Mindy Project’

This American comedy follows Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling), an obstetrician and gynaecologist based in New York City as she tries to balance her personal and professional life.
Creator: Mindy Kaling
Cast: Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina, Ed Weeks, Anna Camp, Zoe Jarman, Amanda Setton
Seasons: 6 (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
Streaming on: Amazon Prime

‘Yes Minister’

A British comedy classic, Yes Minister takes a dig at British bureaucracy. Jim Hacker (Paul Eddington), a minister, struggles to put policies into action. He’s constantly opposed by the British Civil Service, especially his secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby (Nigel Hawthorne).
Creators: Antony Jay, Jonathan Lynn
Cast: Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Fowlds
Seasons: 3 (1980, 1981, 1982)
Streaming on: Amazon Prime

‘Coupling’

Coupling revolves around Susan Walker (Sarah Alexander) and Steve Taylor (Jack Davenport) and their four friends, whose lives are all about dating, relationships, sex and the baggage that invariably accompanies their romantic interests.
Director: Martin Dennis
Cast: Jack Davenport, Gina Bellman, Sarah Alexander, Kate Isitt, Ben Miles, Richard Coyle, Richard Mylan
Seasons: 4 (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004)
Streaming on: Amazon Prime

‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’

Will Smith plays a fictional version of himself, a street-smart, Philadelphia born and raised teenager. In the hope of leading a better life, his mother sends him to Bel Air, Los Angeles, to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle, the Banks. Smith’s background clashes hilariously with the opulence of Banks.
Creator: Quincy Jones, Andy Borowitz, Susan Borowitz
Cast: Will Smith, James Avery, Janet Hubert, Alfonso Ribeiro, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana M. Ali, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Ross Bagley
Seasons: 6 (1990-1995)
Streaming on: Amazon Prime