100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time

From time-capsule sitcoms to cutting-edge Peak-TV dramas — the definitive ranking of the game-changing small-screen classics

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29. 'Monty Python's Flying Circus'

1969-74
And now for something completely different. The perfect comedy cocktail – five British intellectuals and a token American clod, Terry Gilliam, running amok on the BBC. Monty Python were the Beatles of comedy, each one an indispensable element in the chemistry, from John Cleese's spluttering rage to Eric Idle's pointed-stick wordplay. The Pythons were godfathers to all ambitious jokers who followed – Lorne Michaels and Chevy Chase met in line for a Holy Grail screening. But these 45 episodes remain the comedic equivalent of Mount Everest: forbidding, aloof, terrifying, the mountain with the biggest tits in the world. 

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