So the family's away for the weekend and I'm left to my own devices. First time with the TV to myself in many moons and what do I watch? Drake & Josh on Nickelodeon. And I don't mind admitting that I laughed. A lot.

I'm not a big sitcom person. The only one I've watched somewhat regularly in the last ten years is Arrested Development (and yes, that includes when Seinfeld was on). It's more out of lack of patience than any critique on the shows, because when I do watch them, they're usually pretty good. But I've seen a lot of Drake & Josh because I have an eight-year-old daughter. I would catch snippets of it here and there while she watched it and laugh at the antics. Tonight, it had just started as I was about to switch over to play some Wii and I got hooked in.

Not sure what it is about the show. It's not particularly original or well-written. I think it's the slapstick nature of it. Not since Three's Company have I laughed so much at people's overblown reactions. Characters fall down, jump over sofas, run into walls, do double- and triple-takes, etc, etc and so on and so forth. I swear I saw one character slip on a banana peel at some point. Tonight's episode had both title characters giving CPR to a supposedly dead hamster. It's very old school and it's very funny. Even the missus will sit and watch when it's on.

Kudos to pretty much the whole cast but I have to single out Josh Nichols. He's like the 21st century love child of Charlie Chaplin and Lucille Ball. Well, that might be a little hyperbolic but there's definitely some John Ritter in there somewhere. The kid can take a pratfall like few others on TV. His double-takes last about thirty seconds. When he trips on something, you can practically see the walls shake. His stint on Drake & Josh can't last much longer without it looking creepy that they still live at home with their parents but I have little doubt that Josh Nichols' acting career will continue on in some form.

I've noticed that I compared Drake & Josh to some pretty heavyweight comedy shows. And upon reflection, I stand by it. It may not survive the annals of TV history given the genre it's in and the cynicism people generally aim at it. But damned if I don't laugh loud and hard when I watch it.

As for the rest of the weekend, I'm off to Club Penguin.