Photo: John Johnson

5 of 9
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO, 2000–present)
Seinfeld co-creator Larry David as himself, cringingly violating social mores.

Why It Endures
Show dares viewer to side with Larry (you do, discomfitingly). Improv format feels potentially explosive (often is). Guest stars—Ben Stiller, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ted Danson, more—gamely portray exaggerated versions of themselves.

Cultural Touchstone
Larry's go-to accolade: "Prettay, prettay, prettay, prettay good."

One to Watch
"The Doll" (season 2). On Larry's watch, child cuts hair of porcelain doll, realizes permanence of act, freaks out; Larry hunts for new head, steals it from friend's kid's doll; kid's mom finds out, gives Larry profane, deserved chew-out.