Smiling Friends is the Greatest Comedy of All Time


Parker Traman

We live in a world where comedy is simultaneously at its absolute, dreadful worst, and its most wonderful peak. The majority of big network comedic programs are the same regurgitated garbage, commonly taking subtle “inspirations” from shows like The Office, Family Guy, and South Park, there a few diamonds in the rough. Sadly, shows like My Name is Earl and The Boondocks are long gone by now, so what comedies are there to lift us up in the new decade? Rick and Morty? Nice try. Bojack Horseman? Old news. No no, one show has caught my eye, and despite only being one season and nine episodes, Zach Hadel and Michael Cusack’s Smiling Friends is the prime example of comedy done right in the modern age. Allow me to go episode by episode and give you tiny tidbits as to why you should watch this masterpiece of a show.

Episode One: “Desmond’s Big Day Out”:

The perfect introduction to a comedic show, “Desmond’s Big Day Out” gives you a taste of everything Smiling Friends has to offer. Within the first scene we are acquainted with four titular Smiling Friends, Pim, Charlie, Alan, and Glep, along with their boss…uhm…Mr. Boss. Along with that, we are introduced to the absurdist humor of the show, along with dashes of relatable sensibilities. The entire episode involves Pim and Charlie trying to put a smile on a suicidal man named Desmond (who has a comically large revolver in his hand the whole episode), all while Alan tries to locate mouse stealing his precious little piece of cheese. The whole episode is life changing, and easily one of the better ones on the show.

Episode Two: “Mr. Frog”:

What’s better: meeting Jesus Christ himself or seeing episode two of Smiling Friends? The answer is quite simple, it’s the latter. Glep and the titular Mr. Frog take control of the episode as it takes jabs at cancel culture and modern day comedy culture. Mr. Frog is oddly one of the funniest characters in the entire show despite the fact that homie only says like four words per sentence, is addicted to pink cocaine, and is drawn as if Parker from 2008 decided to get artistic. Again, this episode excels (you’ll see that the first half of the season slams the second half).

Episode Three: “Shrimp’s Odyssey”:

This is the best episode of the show. The explanation will stop here.

Episode Four: “A Silly Halloween Special”:

Sadly, episode four is the first time the show takes a hit in its quality. Don’t get me wrong, this episode is fine, and its climax absolutely rules. Let’s just say that a tree demon getting cannibalized by an entire congregation of Halloween party goers due to his appearance makes for one spanktacular conclusion.

Episode Five: “Who Violently Murdered Simon S. Salty?”:

Slightly better than the previous episode, episode five parodies old 1930’s and 1940’s detective noir flicks, while also poking fun at fast food culture. Along with that, one of the funniest lines in the show, said by Cup, is present (I say “doo-doo feces” unironically now).

Episode Six: “Enchanted Forest”:

If The Lord of the Rings was actually good.

Episode Seven: “Frowning Friends”

Personally, I find this episode to be a bit back-and-forth. On one hand, it has some absolute gutbusters, and one of the more iconic scenes from the show (the “GET OUT OF MY HEAD!” scene). However, parts of it just don’t really hit as hard as usual. “GET OUT OF MY HEAD!” and the Puerto Rico parts carry this episode.

Episode Eight: “Charlie Dies and Doesn’t Come Back”:

The “original” season finale, the show picks itself back up back to the heights of episodes one through three. This episode follows Charlie as he travels through the many sections of Hell in search of the Devil so he can return back to Earth. Full of solid jokes, and the legendary Gilbert Gottfried in his final role ever as God himself. Need I say more?

Episode Nine: “The Smiling Friends Go to Brazil!”:

Zach and Michael decided to create a special episode that is now recognized as the season finale…and why? This episode actually sucks. It has zero jokes of note, and I was left sitting silently in bewilderment at how a great show made such an abhorrent episode.

Okay long story short, this show is life changing…if you skip the season finale.