During my workshop on writing humorous dialogue, someone asked me which shows one should watch as good examples of funny character exchanges. Personally, I always enjoy shows that are funny, but aren't necessarily comedies. The Office, Community, and Parks and Recreation are all really good examples of dialogue-heavy comedies.
So here's a list of shows that focused in other areas, but have some really funny moments.
CSI franchise, particularly, CSI: NY. For some reason, Gary Sinise's Mac Taylor as the straight man is one of the funniest things ever.
The Glades and The Mentalist both employ the dry observational wit of a character who is missing the "tact gene." Jim Longworth and Patrick Jane say things that any reasonable person would know to filter out of conversation. But their intelligence and knack for offending bystanders drive most of the episodes.
Bones- Also uses the "missing tact gene" phenomenon" from Temprence Brennan, but also allows the characters to be human. The forensic team will often have that "ewww" reaction when discovering information about a particularly disturbing killer.
Castle, uses a lot of hyperbole, which is something I enjoy employing myself. Rick Castle is a giant man-boy with an unlimited budget, cool toys, and the kind of social connections you could only dream of. But he's at his heart, a very decent person, and the writers showcase both.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Joss Whedon is king. That is all.
It's possible to make a scary moment really funny, by allowing characters to under-react. For example, how much does it say about a character's history or personality when they are more upset by a lack of jelly doughnuts than the impending apocalypse?
Drama: Leverage and Breaking In aren't necessarily dramas, but they focus on very dramatic situations. (Security experts breaking into buildings, going undercover, and pulling off complicated scams.) Using hyperbole and character quirks, the writers create endearing and hilarious moments.
The Good Wife
Franklin and Bash,