I’ve always loved British humor (or maybe I should write, “humour”), and I think the brits have some of the best situation comedies ever to appear on TV. Here are my top ten:

10. The Office (Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, MacKenzie Crook, Lucy Davis)

Spawned the massive U.S. hit show, but like many fans, I prefer the U.K. version. Gervais is great as the abrasive and egotistical boss, David Brent, and the supporting cast is excellent. One of the first mockumentary-style TV shows.

9. Absolutely Fabulous (Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha)

Who’d think two obnoxious drunken middle-aged women could be so damned entertaining? Lots of drinking, drug-taking, bad decisions…and laughs. Saunders really shows off her comedic talents, and Lumley’s Patsy is a self-centered hoot.

8. Father Ted (Dermot Morgan, Ardal O’Hanlon, Frank Kelly, Pauline McLynn)

Great premise: three priests are banished to a remote Scottish island for improper behavior, and have to deal with the eccentric locals and a ditzy housekeeper. Very funny cast. Co-created by Graham Linehan, who also created The IT Crowd.

7. Extras (Ricky Gervais, Ashley Jensen, Stephen Merchant)

Another hilarious Gervais show, with many cameos of stars playing themselves. Follows Andy and Maggie, who eke out a living as movie extras — but Merchant, as Andy’s inept agent, Darren, really makes the show for me.

6. Peep Show (David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Matt King)

The Brits are known for keeping their sitcom seasons short (often 2 – 4), and this is the longest-running one at 8 seasons. Follows two twenty-something London roommates as they cope with life and love; the “gimmick” is that each narrates his thoughts. Very funny, and some great comedic situations.

5. The IT Crowd (Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson, Matt Berry)

Stumbled upon reruns of this on IFC many years ago and was immediately hooked. It’s about the tribulations of an understaffed and underappreciated IT department in a huge London corporation. Matt Berry is especially funny as the clueless and chauvinistic company boss.

4. The Young Ones (Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson, Nigel Planer, Christopher Ryan, Alexi Sayle)

One of the first “alternative comedy” britcoms, and “weird” doesn’t begin to describe it. Outrageous situations, musical numbers, and even some puppetry. Partake of some cannabis before you watch it and you just might pee your pants.

3. Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Tim McInnerty, Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry)

This ran for four seasons, and each follows the misadventures of Edmund Blackadder (Atkinson) through a different era in British history. Wonderful cast and some terrifically funny dialogue. Baldrick (Robinson) as Blackadder’s idiot sidekick is especially humorous.

2. Spaced (Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson, Nick Frost, Mark Heap, Julia Deakin, Katy Carmichael)

Precursor to the brilliant films Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End (Edgar Wright directed all the episodes). It’s about two broke Londonites (Pegg and Stevenson) who pretend to be a couple in order to rent an affordable apartment. The cast is superb, but Wright’s direction is what really makes it special.

1. Fawlty Towers (John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs, Connie Booth)

To me, Basil Fawlty is easily one of the greatest comedic characters of all time, which catapults this to #1 on my list. Cleese is masterful at both verbal banter and physical comedy. Follows the antics of the owners and staff of a hotel in the fictional town of Torquay. Cleese based the character on a real-life hotel owner he’d encountered, which is both amusing and a little scary.

Honorable mention: Coupling (Jack Davenport, Gina Bellman, Sarah Alexander, Kate Islitt, Ben Miles, Richard Coyle)

Forget Friends, this is the REAL funny three-guys-three-gals sitcom. Watch it if you can, it’s got some great relationship insights.