A situation comedy, often shortened to sitcom, is a genre of comedy that features characters sharing the same common environment, such as a home or workplace, with often humorous dialogue. Such programs originated in radio, but today, sitcoms are found mostly on television as one of its dominant narrative forms.
This is a list of the all time greatest TV Sitcoms available to watch. The list includes a range of different Genres of TV sitcoms.
It’s over twenty years ago since the first episode of Frasier first aired on NBC. A spin-off from the hit sitcom Cheers, it followed Dr Frasier Crane as he returned to his native Seattle and the family he barely talked about for eight years in the Boston bar. From the pilot episode on, the award-winning The Good Son, the programme became the go-to for excellent writing, brilliant acting and a level of emotion not often seen in primetime sitcoms. The interplay between the ensemble led to huge viewing figures (over 20 million for the pivotal season seven) and the programme became an awards magnet including an incredible 37 Primetime Emmy wins. A superb piece of television which often felt as though you had stumbled upon an act from a deliciously entertaining play. It holds up so well with humour which never had to resort to crudity, sexism or violence. Plus to have kept the entire cast throughout the run was a bonus – such talented actors. It was broadcasted on NBC for eleven seasons from September 16, 1993, to May 13, 2004.
9. The Cosby Show
The Cosby Show is one of those few trailblazing programs that grace television screens and leave an indelible mark. Long-running popular comedy television series about the Huxtable family. Doctor Heathcliff Huxtable and Clair Huxtable, a happily married couple, are raising their children (Sondra, Denise, Theodore, Vanessa, and Rudy). The two oldest daughters eventually live successful adult lives and get married (Sondra to Elvin and Denise to Martin). As the children get older, the family gets larger and, to the chagrin of Cliff, keep on coming back home when he wants them to move out and live on their own for good. Bill Cosby was a great comedian, Phylicia Rashad and the kids on the show were all great actors, particularly Malcolm-Jamal Warner, and they all had great chemistry that never diminished in eight years together. it was aired for eight seasons on NBC from September 20, 1984 until April 30, 1992.
Sam Malone, a former baseball star, is the head of a nice little bar where Norm, Cliff, Dr. Frasier and all the other regular customers spend together a few hours every day, talking about their problems, laughing at each other’s flaws, trying to be there when someone else needs them. The show was set in a Boston bar, where a colorful group of locals would come to sit, drink, state daft facts, complain, and play elaborate practical jokes on the devotees and owner of a rival bar in town. The show also spawned the character Fraiser Crane, who went on to a TV show of his own, Frasier, after Cheers ended. Cheers was one of those shows that had all of the ingredients of being a success from its inception, yet it took a while before it really gained the respect it has over the years. From the emotionally-charged theme song to its smallest of bit players, “Cheers” proved that there could be quality on television and that it could sustain and withstand unfortunate problems with its players in real-life. It was first aired in 1982 and ended in 1993.
As Monica Gellar once said to Rachel Green: “Welcome to the real world! It sucks – you’re going to love it.”
So 20 years after it first appeared on TV, Friends is still the quintessential show about being twentysomething. It may lack smartphones and drug-fuelled clubbing, but perhaps that’s why it holds up. It tells a familiar story, one of working hard, attempting success, and trying to scrape enough together to eat dinner with people we actually like. Friends wasn’t afraid to show the six main characters failing to succeed – and not just at relationships. At times they lost their jobs, struggled on low incomes and got stuck in careers they hated. These are all situations that today’s student-debt-ridden 20-somethings can identify with as they struggle to find work and afford their first home. The humour is benign but nevertheless topical: a large team of writers bounced lines off each other long into the night to keep the wit crackling, allowing jokes about surrogacy, same-sex marriage, STDs, infidelity and suicide to be made without offending. The original seven-page pitch for Friends described the show as a comedy about ‘six people in their 20s who hang out at this coffee house’. As a concept, it didn’t exactly scream laughter. But, as we now know, Friends turned out to be one of the most successful sitcoms ever produced, adored by a generation of young people who saw themselves in the six main characters as they negotiated the tricky path of adulthood
6. The Simpsons
The longest running sitcom and animated television show, The Simpsons has captured hearts young and old. The Simpsons are the brainchild of Matt Groening. He started out as a cartoonist by drawing a weekly comic strip for a set of regional newspapers, called “Life In Hell.” They featured a rabbit called Binky and detailed the dark side of life. Books of these early cartoons are sold in bookstores. Then one day, Matt got a call from James L Brooks (now co-producer of The Simpsons). James had seen his comic strip and wanted Matt to do some animation for the Tracey Ullman show – minute long “buffer” cartoons, showing before and after commercials. Matt originally planned to use his Life In Hell characters, however, at the last moment, he realized that doing this would ruin the characters, so he made up some more characters on the spot: The Simpsons. As he was not feeling particularly creative that day, he named them after his only father: Matt’s father is called Homer, and his mother is called Margaret (he thought Marge was a funnier name). He also has two sisters called Lisa and Maggie. He called the main character Bart, because it is an anagram of ‘brat’. The shorts were a big hit, and in 1989 Fox commissioned a whole series: 13 full-length episodes. The animation was still a little crude, but the show was a huge hit nonetheless. The Simpsons has been on our screens for more than 20 years, and still remains one of the best programmes on television.
5. The Andy Griffith Show
The Andy Griffith Show is a timeless and heartwarming portrayal of American small-town life during simpler times, where traditional values were cherished, and people respected and cared for one another. The weekly comedy featured the steady, unflappable Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith), the bumbling but hilarious deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts), Andy’s young son Opie (Ron Howard), and the ever consummate homemaker Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier). The backdrop for The Andy Griffith Show was the sleepy little fictional town of Mayberry, North Carolina. although this classic ’60s comedy series features simplistic storylines and dated humor, it also offers timeless lessons about responsibility, kindness, and the consequences of your behavior. It’s a cheerful, squeaky clean — and very idealized — example of strong family and community relationships in a small town.
4. All in the Family
All In The Family wasn’t the first TV series to tackle controversial subjects such as racism, rape, and homophobia. What was groundbreaking about the series, which ran from 1971 through 1979 and was the highest-rated show on television for five seasons, is that it mined comedy from hot-button issues, and it explored them through characters we got to know every week. All in the Family began as a British show called “Till Death Do Us Part,” a hit comedy about Alf Garnett, a Cockney xenophobe who had a sharptongued wife, a hip daughter, and a socialist son-in-law. The show, which first aired in 1965, was a ratings hit, spawning catchphrases (“You silly moo”).
3. I Love Lucy
TV’s first great sitcom centered on a zany New York housewife who wants desperately to get into showbiz and her Cuban bandleader husband who has his hands full trying to dissuade her. Also getting caught up in their shenanigans were the Mertzes, their landlords and best friends. A pioneer for being filmed before a studio audience with multiple cameras, the top-rated series racked up 180 episodes before ending in 1957. Several specials aired from ’57 to ’60 as ‘The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.’
The TV show M*A*S*H proves that laughter really is the best medicine to cure any wounds. This movie provided humorous insight to an otherwise overlooked time in American society. Every character provided a different perspective on the evils of war with their uses of satire. The script writers use satire to provide a look at the evils of war. I have seen the re-runs of this American classic series and I still find them hilarious to this day. I am so pleased that television stations decided to re air this otherwise forgotten show. It combines both comedy and drama to form a rare type of show that comes along maybe once or twice every decade. You know, the ironic thing is that the series itself lasted more than three times as long as the actual war. M*A*S*H will always have a life in reruns.
Seinfeld ran for nine seasons on NBC and became famous as a “show about nothing.” Basically, the show allows viewers to follow the antics of Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer as they move through their daily lives, often encountering interesting people or dealing with special circumstances. There’s something about each Seinfeld character that audiences relate to – Jerry’s constant surprise at the events of the day, Elaine’s bad jobs, George’s fiance (whom he doesn’t really like) and Kramer’s innate ability to latch onto an idea and take it to the most absurd conclusion. The show premiered in 1990 and, after its second season, became the water cooler conversation at offices across the country. Friends around the nation outlawed re-gifting. “Newman” became an adjective. And Jerry is our Everyman. And you don’t have to be a New Yorker to love Seinfeld, as the show’s popularity proves – there’s probably a Soup Nazi in Kansas and a Vandalay Industries in Alaska. During its nine-year run on NBC, Seinfeld justifiably established itself as one of the most successful and popular sitcoms in television history. The so-called “show about nothing” managed to reinvent the genre on an almost nightly basis, and — in addition to the myriad of nominations for various awards — Jerry Seinfeld and his cast mates quickly became the richest performers on American network TV. There’s simply no way to downplay the impact that Seinfeld has had on the pop-culture landscape, and it’s clear that the series will continue to endure in the years to come. And while the show’s fans have probably seen each episode countless times, there are still a number of quirky little facts about Seinfeld that even its most ardent followers would be surprised to learn.