15 Strangest TV Shows of All Time

Jasleen Kaur

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The Strangest TV Shows of All Time

A spate of strangely terrifying TV episodes from the past and present have gone undetected. The greatest of all time were ranked.

There’s a lot of weird things floating around these days, and a surprising amount of it has made it into mainstream media. Because a list of the 15 Weirdest Movies of All Time already exists, a list of the 15 Weirdest Movies of All Time for the little screen must be created. There’s a lot to sort through as well. Television has produced a host of totally odd programmes throughout the years.

When preparing this list, we looked for factors like overall entertainment value, scary situations, odd and mysterious characters, and fascinating stories in TV series. We’re not seeking bizarre programmes with a lot of gore but rather shows that employ shock and uncanniness to convey their unusual brand.

On this strange TV show compilation, there’s a lot of variation. This selection offers something for everyone, from silly comedies with an aesthetically odd flare to outright terrifying, dramatic tragedies. These shows may not suit the entire family, but they are entertaining for an unpleasant night.

My Strange Addiction

The Strangest TV Shows of All Time

This is the lone reality TV show on the list, but it’s more than deserving of its spot among the strangest of the strange. While many of the episodes are sad and depressing, a few are so bizarre and scary that they make us feel like a strange parallel reality has invaded our world.

My Strange Addiction is a TLC documentary reality series that looks at the lives of people from all walks of life who are dealing with addictions that aren’t related to traditional drugs. A widow hooked on eating her dead husband’s ashes and a child addicted to eating dirty diapers are two of the terrifying examples.

The strange episodes feature bizarre habits like a very cis straight older man hooked to donning head-to-toe rubber woman dresses or a young man who has walled himself off from society to pursue romances with blow-up pool toys.

Some milder instances, such as the lady addicted to eating cheesy potatoes, represent less serious addictions. That, my friend, isn’t an addiction; it’s simply being human.

Off the Air

Off The Air was initially seen by Adult Swim viewers by chance on New Year’s Day 2011, around four o’clock in the morning. 4 a.m. is one of those tired, peculiar hours when reality appears to shift a little depending on who you are, so coming into the LSD trip that is Off The Air in a graveyard slot without any context of what it was was truly unforgettable.

Off The Air is an anthology series developed by MTV Animation’s Dave Hughes. The show generally has a theme for each episode. Still, there is no explanation or narration, which makes the display of odd cartoons, stock footage, viral videos, PSAs, public access-style comedy, psychedelic images, and music even more surreal to watch. Each episode has a short gap between clips.

The programme has grown into a cult classic, and it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. The majority of The Air’s episodes are accessible on Adult Swim’s website, so feel free to catch up on one of the most bizarre series on television right now.

Jigsaw

This BBC children’s show from the 1980s should have been outright banned if Eerie, Indiana, was too disturbing for kids.

The jigsaw was mostly a pleasant instructional show for kids that featured entertaining puzzle-solving activities and kid-friendly comedy. Much of the show, like Dora the Explorer, was dependent on audience participation. However, there was one Jigsaw figure that could make even the bravest adults jump out of their skin.

Mr Noseybonk wore a dinner suit and a scary humanoid mask, replete with a not-so-subtle phallic-shaped nose, as portrayed by mime artist Adrian Hedley. Noseybonk never said anything, which just contributed to his eerie demeanour. Many of his moments were subtly sexual, like this gem of a scenario that sells Noseybonk’s creepiness to anyone.

Since then, the figure has developed a cult following on the Internet, and his picture and name have appeared in several creepypastas and online horror tales. While the character’s designers most likely had good intentions, they ended up giving us some real nightmare fuel.

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Cop Rock

The Strangest TV Shows of All Time

The 1980s and 1990s seem to have been the decades of Weird As Hell Television, and this 1990 ABC musical police drama series is confirmation of that.

Cop Rock didn’t have to be a musical or a drama to succeed, but it was all of these things and more. Hundreds of “Worst of” TV lists include the show, ranked #8 in TV Guide’s list of the 50 Worst TV Shows of All Time in 2002. It is, nonetheless, regarded as the oddest small-screen musical ever broadcast on television.

Cop Rock, like Law and Order, followed the LAPD on their everyday routine and through several cases. That is if musical numbers and dance were thrown in at random throughout each episode’s plot. After only eleven episodes, ABC terminated the show due to its critical and commercial failure. Who’d have guessed that merging musical theatre with a police drama would result in a flop? Almost everyone, right? OK, that’s OK.

Dark Shadows

Dark Shadows Review | Movie - Empire

It’s reasonable to assume that most of today’s youth are only familiar with Dark Shadows because of Tim Burton’s 2012 film adaption starring Johnny Depp. Of course, the picture was based on the same-named gothic soap opera that ran on ABC in the late 1960s.

Dark Shadows was like a crazier Addams Family, with regular characters, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, time travellers, and witches. The show’s tiny group of performers each played a variety of characters.

Even worse, the programme was allegedly inspired by an alarming dream that shows creator Dan Curtis had in 1965, one that we’ll happily forget about for the rest of our lives.

Early on, critics weren’t too fond of Dark Shadows, with some suggesting it was too slow-burning and featured a cast of nobody performers. However, it quickly established itself as one of the most popular cult programmes of all time and one of the strangest television shows ever produced. Dark Shadows was a show that was much ahead of its time.

Eerie Indiana

The Strangest TV Shows of All Time

Eerie, Indiana is a frightening Goosebumps spinoff that seems like something straight out of a David Lynch film. Although this NBC children’s show from the early 1990s is neither, it is unusual enough to get a place on this list.

Marshall, an Indiana kid, and his family relocated to the little village of Eerie. Except for Marshall’s new friend Simon, everyone in town has something strange about them. Strange and unpleasant occurrences confront the two, including situations based on true urban legends and doppelgängers.

The programme, especially as a kid’s show, looked a touch too spooky for its time. “To whom it may concern: If you’re reading this paper, that means I’m either dead or gone under unexplained circumstances,” says what usual children’s series?

While Eerie, Indiana may not be terrifyingly odd enough to startle an adult, it was borderline distressing to see as a youngster in the 1990s.

Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job

The Strangest TV Shows of All Time

Anything Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim perform together generally appeals to a very specialised audience. Either you adore their work, or you despise it. To put it another way, you’re either entirely nuts or a well-rounded member of society (if perhaps a bit on the boring side).

Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!, their sketch comedy series, is an Adult Swim late-night weirdo masterpiece that combines sarcastic anti-humour and cringes comedy with surreal public-access television awesomeness.

The supporting cast’s mix of well-known performers (including Jeff Goldblum, Zach Galifianakis, Fred Armisen, and Ben Stiller) and random Los Angeles Craigslist actors is a joy to see. A strange combination of famous impersonators, adult film performers, and impressionists also appeared on the show. Steve Brule was also born due to the event, and we can thank Tim and Eric for that.

The series deserves  a position on this list since it is both humorous, unsettling, and bizarre. What’s not to fall in love with these two? Tim and Eric are the masters of the funny-weird.

Jam

The entire show had this insidious, quiet sort of unsettling terror that made the show all the more addicting to watch. The word “jam” would never be said normally in the show either and was often screamed, pronounced incorrectly, or was used alongside some distorted sound effect.

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The show didn’t do too well in Britain, with many viewers calling it sick, problematic, and self-indulgent. While those terms may not be far from the truth for Jam, it remains one of the most radical television programs to be aired in a long time.

This dark sketch comedy from 2000 in the United Kingdom was genuinely amazing, but it has since been forgotten.

This series-coupled weirdly painful comic skits with a frightening ambient soundtrack was an avant-garde twist on the BBC Radio 1 show Blue Jam. Blue Jam audio snippets were frequently used on the show, with performers mouthing along with the dialogue in the recordings.

Cop Rock has subsequently developed a cult following, resulting in syndicated airings on VH1 and A&E throughout the years.

Twin Peaks

There’s no way to make a list of odd television programmes without including Twin Peaks, the creation of Mark Frost and David Lynch in the early 1990s. This slow-burning serial drama had the ideal blend of ’90s aesthetics, campy melodrama, subtly strange language, and strangely uplifting concepts.

An FBI Special Agent called Dale Cooper, one of the most popular characters in television history, is dispatched to investigate the supposed death of a young lady named Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks. Palmer’s blue body was discovered wrapped in plastic on a riverbed outside of the Twin Peaks town.

What follows is his increasingly odd probe into Laura’s death, as well as a sobering reminder that no one is truly as innocent as they appear. When the programme was terminated after two seasons, there were a lot of loose ends, so Lynch made the prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, which tells the storey from the perspective of the intriguing spirit Laura Palmer.

Twin Peaks will always be one of the finest strange programmes ever, and now that production on the long-awaited third season has been completed, the show’s return appears to be a distinct possibility.

The Mighty Boosh

The Strangest TV Shows of All Time

This British comedy series, which may or may not be adapted into a film, is the ideal mix of original, creative, humorous, and bizarre. Julian Barrett and Noel Fielding are the comedic pair behind BBC’s The Mighty Boosh, a show that grew out of living stage shows and a radio series with characters developed by the couple.

The first season featured the two characters, known on the programme as Howard Moon and Vince Noir, struggling to make ends meet by working at the local zoo. Their employer is a crazed American named Bob Fossil, portrayed by Rich Fulcher, who has performed various roles in the series.

The latter two seasons follow the two as they work in a secondhand shop managed by a small alien shaman named Naboo and his gorilla companion Bollo, and they’re every bit as strange as it sounds.

There are plenty of notable characters and delightfully quotable moments in this programme. The Mighty Boosh is a distinct kind of comedy and a distinct brand of straight-up weirdness.

Tales from the Crypt

The Strangest TV Shows of All Time

Almost everyone can recognise that obnoxious decaying mug. Tales from the Crypt was a horror anthology television series that aired for the majority of the 1990s and provided plenty of nightmare fodder. It isn’t simply due to the Crypt Keeper that this is the case.

The programme delivered campy, cheesy terror in the best possible way. The programme was self-aware and didn’t appear to take itself too seriously. It was the ideal blend of campiness and ominous dread.

Tales from the Crypt was a contentious series due to its graphic violence, vulgarity, nudity, and sex activities. HBO picked up the show and allowed it to be as contentious as it desired. Even though it has subsequently been altered for basic cable distribution, nothing compares to the vile original.

Because of its gruesomely entertaining nature and a couple of plots as distinctive as they were scary, Tales from the Crypt earns a position on this list. The campy frights are far from done now that the reboot series has been granted the official go light by the guys over at TNT.

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The Twilight Zone

The Strangest TV Shows of All Time

There’s nothing quite as interesting as watching ’50s and ’60s era ideas of what the future would be like today. If anything, The Twilight Zone is a strange, sometimes scary walk through the past and a look into what vintage cinema was like.

Rod Serling’s gem also featured many celebrity appearances, which made the show even more enjoyable. George Takei, Robert Redford, Carol Burnett, and Dennis Hopper are a few big names who appeared in the series. Even the somewhat nameless actors and actresses were at the very least engaging, something you can’t always find in a television show.

Peppermint Park

The Strangest TV Shows of All Time

Despite the show’s boring premise, there’s a reason Peppermint Park is on the list. It only takes watching a clip of the show to understand just how bizarre this thing was. The appearance of the show’s puppets ventured right into uncanny valley territory, and the voice acting was incredibly unsettling.

Only random clips of the show exist today, most of which you can track down on YouTube. It’s comforting to know that this VHS home video series is officially lost and can never, ever come back.

Like many of the children’s shows on this list, Peppermint Park had excellent intentions. However, the path to hell is paved with good intentions, and Peppermint Park drove directly from hell into the VHS players of 1990s youngsters’ homes.

This instructional home video series included a troupe of puppets that taught youngsters about math, spelling, colours, and animals, among other things. Many people thought these classes were a weak copy of Sesame Street since they included music and long lectures.

Rabbits – David Lynch

This avant-garde horror miniseries was another bizarre production from David Lynch, the King of Weird, who refers to it as a sitcom.

Three anthropomorphic rabbits (one of whom is Naomi Watts dressed as a bunny) live in a living room and conduct wildly fragmented non sequitur talks with one other as laugh tracks play at seemingly random points throughout each episode in Rabbits. Rabbits’ slogan adds to the suspense: “In a nameless city drenched in the rain… three rabbits live with a terrifying mystery.”

The series is renowned for its disturbing atmosphere and use of lighting (the entire series was shot in Lynch’s garden at night). Rabbits were also utilised in a psychological experiment in 2013 to see how acetaminophen affected existential crises and how surrealist art affected them. All it takes is a four-minute video to understand why Rabbits is on this list. If you have the opportunity, watch the entire series.

The Outer Limits

This science fiction anthology series is legendary, and almost everyone understands what it achieved for the television business even now, 55 years later. It’s not often that older material retains its total watchability in today’s society, yet The Twilight Zone is still as addictive to watch as it was decades ago.

The series merits a position on this list for its grade A writing and storytelling, which ranged from William Shatner’s grandiose overacting on an aircraft to sweet not-so-scary stories that were nevertheless weird.

The Outer Limits was The Twilight Zone’s little cousin, and it irritated him to no end since the little jerk tried to replicate everything he did. Despite the criticisms, a few episodes didn’t feel like a carbon copy of The Twilight Zone and were rather amusing.

Despite being eerily similar to the last entry on our list, The Outer Limits deserves to be included on this list because of the episode topics that The Twilight Zone refused to address. This presentation has fantastic special effects makeup and handcrafted props (and terrifying at the time). For a sampling, see the episode “The Zanti Misfits.”

If you missed The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits at the height of their popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, you should certainly check out the programme. Don’t worry, and we ensure your television is in perfect working order.

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