8. 'Get a Life'
Airing between 1990 and 1992 on the still-blossoming Fox network, Get a Life looked like your average Fifties two-camera sitcom. But this Chris Elliott series had the continuity of a restless night of sleep: Characters died and reappeared, a long relationship can flourish and perish in a day, a journey's montage includes walking through the Gulf of Mexico. (In his first professional writing job, Being John Malkovich's Charlie Kauffman penned an episode about time travel.) Connecting the dots between The Jerk and Billy Madison was Elliott's hapless manchild, Chris Peterson. "I think they were hoping, at the time, to change their image at Fox, and sort of be considered more respectable, or more like the other big three networks," Elliott told the Onion A/V Club. "I don’t know why they thought I was the guy to do that."—CHRISTOPHER R. WEINGARTEN