Mensa Names Smartest TV Shows (With Some Help From Comcast)

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Comcast’s online video site Fancast has geniuses in the marketing department. The site’s in-house bloggers decided to interview MENSA International head Jim Werdell about his favorite television shows. Werdell, a 63-year-old retiree who refuses to disclose his IQ, is — of course — a Star Trek fan.

But by interviewing the head of Mensa about his tv habits, Fancast managed to get mentioned by Fox News and the New York Post (even though the Post just mentioned MENSA & Werdell w/o Fancast. Bummer.) — which isn’t too bad at all for a new site.

As for the television picks of one of America’s smartest men, they follow after the jump. Hint: “Mad About You” is involved.


1. M*A*S*H – It had smart repartee and was so much more than a comedy.
2. Cosmos (with Carl Sagan) – Sagan was able to communicate something extremely complicated to the layman and do it well, and that’s unusual for a scientist at his level.
3. CSI — The way they use science to solve their programs is intriguing to viewers.
4. House – Again, it’s high level type of show; it’s the personality that makes it a winner, plus it deals with science.
5. West Wing – you had to pay attention to stay up with it. The repartee was fast and furious and you needed a fairly high level intelligence to keep up with it.
6. Boston Legal – It’s primarily because of the characters. The story lines are okay, but the characters are incredible and the writers give them great dialogue.
7. All in the Family – The show dealt with social issues before its time and was on the forefront of trying to show people’s feelings, beliefs and the complexities of personality, in both a serious and comedic way.
8. Frasier – The repartee was sensational; the main characters were very good. Even though they portrayed people who were likely of high intelligence, they also showed their weaknesses.
9. Mad About You – It’s a personal favorite, I loved the characters and the back and forth. It was very smart.
10. Jeopardy – It’s about the only game show that really tries to test people’s intelligence. There’s very little luck involved, and there are few game shows like that. I don’t watch it all that much honestly, but from what I’ve seen it tests more than knowledge, it tests intelligence too.