Cold opens are nice since they give the fans a little more of their favorite shows to build up the episode in a way that leaves people actually wanting to continue so that they can find out how what they’ve already seen will fit into the episode. Sometimes it doesn’t, since a cold open can be a simple way to get the viewers to stick around and laugh a bit, but other times it’s seen that the cold open will build into the episode and introduce the main point early on. It’s usually a good idea to produce a laugh before a funny show kicks off since it loosens the mood and gets people in the right frame of mind to enjoy the show. Some of the shows on the air don’t really need that little extra push, but they use it anyway because it does manage to amuse their fans since that little extra laugh is sometimes needed. But a cold open in a comedy is almost always going to be something that will make people wonder just what else the coming episode is going to offer. Even if it has nothing to do with the plot, a comedic cold open is a lot of fun.
Here are some of the best comedic cold opens in TV history.
5. Malcolm in the Middle
Malcolm in the Middle was the highlight of many actors’ careers since it was insanely funny but knew when to dial it down for dramatic effect, which usually lasted for a few seconds before the comedy kicked in again. But the father, Hal, played by Bryan Cranston, was notorious for being kind of a chicken around his wife Lois and didn’t always take responsibility for the things that he did. In this opening, he dashes into the boys’ room to offer them a bribe in order to take responsibility for a mess off-screen that the viewers can’t see as Lois can be heard yelling “Oh my GOD!”. When Malcolm says to make it ten Hal tells him that he’s a good son and then proceeds to feed Malcolm to the wolves, so to speak.
4. Married With Children
Al Bundy was well-known for his desire to play professional football since his ‘impressive’ time as a Polk High School fullback was the highlight of his life, well, that and his four touchdowns in one game. But when Robert Englund shows up as the devil and answers Al’s call to play for the Chicago Bears after Al states that he would sell his soul for the chance, things get pretty wild as the devil up and ‘fixes’ the TV, to which Al replies that his wife Peg needs a bit of ‘fixing’ as well. From there the episode gets kind of dark but still insanely funny since Al does get to play for the Bears and takes them to the Superbowl, right before he’s killed and taken to hell. Hey, that’s Al’s luck.
3. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
If there was ever a police lineup that would willingly go along with singing an NSYNC song it would be something worth recording since the effort wouldn’t be nearly as good as this one likely. But when it does start going off without a hitch one can’t help but start laughing since the moment anyone starts singing this song it’s kind of hard not to sing along. But using this as a way to identify a suspect is by far and large one of the oddest ways that anyone, in ANY show or movie, has ever been able to ID a suspect since it probably wouldn’t be admissable in court, and Samberg’s character actually forgot what he was doing.
2. The Office
There are actually people that like Dwight Schrute, which proves that there are characters out there for each and every type of person since this guy is a certifiable nutjob. But then, a lot of the folks in The Office are flawed in some way, it’s just not as obvious. But when he’s trying to assess whether his coworkers know what to do in case of an emergency Dwight definitely takes things a little too far, like usual, since he not only traps them all inside the office space, but he does his best to stay calm and try to ‘hint’ at what people should be doing as the chaos begins to ramp up and up until he finally reveals what he did.
1. Parks and Recreation
Have you ever watched someone pull a tooth? It’s not pleasant, and it’s not without at least a little bit of blood since your teeth are actually connected to your gums. That’s a part of why this moment is so great since those in the room are simply grossed out by this event as many people would be, but they didn’t give it a second glance. But hey, back in the day and even now there have been people that would gladly pull out a pair of pliers rather than pay for a dentist.
The cold open is a great tool for any comedy sitcom.