Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The 25 worst sitcoms of all-time

TV CRUNCH has tabulated its list of the 25 worst sitcoms. I’m crushed. AfterMASH is not on the list. Come on. It’s worse than three or four of these. Here is the list (from 25 to 1). What other truly horrible sitcoms have they omitted?

VERONICA’S CLOSET
CHARLES IN CHARGE (Even with Scott Baio)
THE NANNY
WEBSTER (one of their writers said Alex Karras couldn't say the same line once)
THE ALL-AMERICAN GIRL
BABES
MR. BELVEDERE
FAMILY MATTERS
THE ROPERS
LIFE ON A STICK
IT’S A LIVING (I disagree with this one)
SHASTA MCNASTY
GEORGE (Foreman not Lopez although Lopez could qualify too)
HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS
WE’VE GOT IT MADE
DOUBLE TROUBLE (One of the identical twins was great but not the other)
PERFECT STRANGERS
MY TWO DADS
BABY BOB
MAMA’S FAMILY
CAVEMAN
WOOPS!
YES DEAR
HOMEBOYS IN OUTER SPACE
SMALL WONDER

121 comments:

Monty Ashley said...

I was flabbergasted when I learned that the Double Trouble twins were Katey Sagal's sisters. I was mostly surprised that I even remembered Double Trouble in the first place.

Rinaldo said...

The problem with lists like these is, there are always worse ones that vanished quickly and remain unremembered (maybe unseen). And does "worst" mean "endlessly mediocre," or "unforgettably horrific"?

Anyway: sorry, but I couldn't put AfterMASH on the list. It was just sort of... lifeless and pointless, but not offensive or anything. Of the list at hand, I would want to remove several:

It's a Living (as you say; it dragged on too long in first-run syndication, but it had its bright moments early on)

The Nanny (maybe only for Ann Hampton Callaway's zippy theme song)

Veronica's Closet (not good, agreed, but not bottom of the barrel either; it had its fun episodes among the many dull ones). Of other NBC Thursday-night efforts of its era, I think Suddenly Susan and The Single Guy were easily worse.

All-American Girl (it didn't work, but I hope someone tries a similar idea again sometime, with wittier writers and without a network trying to un-make the premise while it's on the air; even as it was, I recall a couple of the early shows being enjoyable)

As for "horrible things they've omitted," I can't believe they overlooked the most jaw-droppingly unbelievable of all: THE SECRET DIARY OF DESMOND PFEIFFER.

D. McEwan said...

By no stretch of the imagination should IT'S A LIVING be on that list. It was a lovely series.

AfterMASH just didn't try to suck hard enough, particularly when you consider that TWO series on that list, WEBSTER and WE'VE GOT IT MADE premiered the same month that AfterMASH did. They sucked harder.

Actually, I recently read an old AfterMASH script, titled "Trials", and you know, it was pretty damn funny.

I think I saw the whole run of VERONICA'S CLOSET. Good? no. Memorably bad? No. Really just average.

THE NANNY should ahve been #1. It definitely sucked harder, and did it theough Fran's nose.

What? No SHE'S THE SHERIFF? (My friend Jayne Hamil starred in a very funny sketch parody of that series, titled SHE'S THE POPE. Much funnier than the real series. Of course, Jayne worked on one series on the list, and another, STILL STANDING, that should be.)

Were's every show that ever starred Jim Belushi? Where's THREE'S COMPANY? Where's PETE AND GLADYS? Where's MY MOTHER THE CAR?

Nat G said...

Looking at this list, it's got a number of things that started off reasonably, but may have ran to long. Most of the sitcoms on today are worse than the first seasons of, say, Charles in Charge (which was its one season on the network; it dumped all but two members of its cast for the later, syndicated seasons), or The Nanny (cheap humor, yes, but so was Lucy) or even My Two Dads (Florence Stanley, folks!) And even at their worst, they were better than, say, putting Luis Guzmán as the lead in a sitcom ("Luis". Really. Lasted two episodes.) Or Twins. Or dear goodness, has anyone seen Flava Flav's new sitcom?

A. Buck Short said...

OK, as long as we're recounting those butterfly ballots,I think Perfect Strangers needs to be voted off that island right quick. In fact, Mr. L., I hope you’ll agree that no show with the word “Perfect” in it should ever be grouped with these others. In my book it started with a Morkish freshness, and for an adult with a brain, it was the funniest of the Miller-Boyetts – at least the ones without somebody named Jaleel in it.

OT re: tonight’s basketball blow out, Ken. As a sports professional, what’s your theory about home court (or home field) advantage? I think more than the home crowd, and the familiarity with the court or field, and even more than the jet lag, it’s that you have the opportunity to get a good night’s sleep at home in your own bed. Rather than in some hotel where, in addition to the strangeness of it all, you may drift into wondering what happened on that bed the night before or even if anybody ever died there?

Or maybe it’s just that you like to play basketball where all the friggin' boards go in the same direction. And when did Havlicek start looking like Peter Riegert on Roids?

ned said...

Where's that seven brothers show with Bobby Sherman in it. Loved the song by Perry Como though.

Charles Jurries said...

I've been watching reruns of The Nanny, if only because they come on after Golden Girls on the Lifetime network. (Yes, I watch some Lifetime. Shut up. They also play Frasier.) And you know what? The Nanny is actually FUNNY! Not in a sophisticated way, like 30 Rock or Frasier, not in a sit-back-and-enjoy way like Samantha Who? or Golden Girls, but in a I Love Lucy-type of way. It is funny, in my opinion any way.

If only Lipstick Jungle counted as a comedy, it could make that list, too. Instead, I nominate The Return of Jezebel James as a contender.

Simon Hammons said...

Off the top of my head...

Saved by the Bell, or the even more wretched spin-off Saved by the Bell: The College Years, to be followed by the even more detestable Saved by the Bell: The New Class

The Wayans Bros

Unhappily Ever After

Til' Death

Fast Times

Ferris Bueller

ALF

Punky Brewster

Stand by Your Man

Under One Roof(perhaps the worst sitcom EVER, worth seeing just to bask in the awfulness of Flava Flav)

I'm sure one could come up with a whole slew of horrible shows. The WB and UPN library of sitcoms alone could take up its own list.

Carlo Conda said...

Yes, Dear is pretty darn bad. The character Greg is great, though, but the show has the worst moral-of-the-stories I've ever seen on television.

Toby said...

It always seems like the people who make these lists just don't want to bother with going deep into TV's history. It just shows how subjective lists can be - they probably only dealt with shows that they could remember and no farther back.

Otherwise where are the duds from the sixties or the fifties? (American Life Network was showing a real stinker late night on the weekends called "It's A Great Life".) I think the farthest this list goes back is to 'The Ropers'!

Rob said...

For the longest time I remember "Me and the Chimp", "My Mother the Car", and "The Ugliest Girl in Town" used to be considered the worst sitcoms and they're not even on the list!

Jim Walsh said...

Just The Ten Of Us

Worst. Sitcom. Ever.

Dishonorable mention: The Torkelsons.

Thank you...

Walter said...

I'd say "Angie" is a striking omission.

Robert Hays should wear an ankle bracelet that transmits an alarm if he gets within focal range of a motion picture camera.

estiv said...

How about the attempt at a sitcom by the respected stage actress Tammy Grimes? In them days, three-and-out was pretty unusual.

And I've always had a soft spot for HOMEBOYS IN OUTER SPACE, for one reason. What other TV show has told you exactly, and I mean exactly, what it is going to be about, based solely on the title alone?

BrK said...

As someone who was raised on TGIF, I must say 'Full House' and 'Baby Talk' deserves to be on the list more than 'Family Matters.'

And can we please add "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody." I don't care if it's 'just for kids'; it is atrocious in unforgivable ways.

Anonymous said...

Coach. Reba. Where are they on there? And 3rd rock from the sun was like nails on chalkboard.

Marv said...

I'm sorry, but Small Wonders was a cute kid's show. It may not have aimed high but it was fun, great for kids, and childishly funny, but funny nonetheless.

As for Desmond Pfeiffer, I agree it was bad, very bad, but one thing I admired is they tried to do something different than the typical sitcom by setting it in a different time period. In many ways it was like the American Black Adder. If only they had remembered to put in some comedy.

Noah said...

Would it be unfair to nominate "Emily's Reasons Why Not" when only one episode aired?

How about "Out of This World" about the girl who could freeze time by touching her fingers together?

"Perfect Strangers" wasn't much of a show, but the two leads were pretty gifted comedians and once you got past whatever contrivance led to that week's bit of Laurel and Hardy/Laverne and Shirley slapstick, you knew it would be performed well.

Carlo Conda said...

Anything on Family Channel is elegible for a top stop on here.

I think we can all agree that we need a bigger list. 75 maybe?

Bitter Animator said...

Perfect Strangers at least had some laughs. And, even though it made me want to tear my eyeballs out, that Veronica's Closet did too.

There are many sitcoms not on this list that didn't.

MrBoomDaddy said...

I wrote two episodes of Webster. It got me into the Guild. SO many tales of suckitude. My favorite memory: at a particularly lengthy rewrite meeting, one of the Big Cheeses says to the sweating script-monkeys (us), "People, this is not about being good. This is about being done."

Sparky said...

What, no "Madame's Place?"

-bee said...

I think the worst sitcom I ever saw was quickly yanked off the air: "Life with Lucy" - Lucille Balls' final comeback vehicle that got tons of PR before the sad result was aired.

Come to think of it - "The Lucy Show" was probably as bad or worse than anything on that list.

Was the later version of "The Honeymooners" a sitcom? I vaguely remember that as being pretty terrible.

The Milner Coupe said...

I have to call out the idiot who mentioned Coach. Are you kidding. Did you see the episode where Jerry Van Dyke is trying to get free pizza by not answering the door? The guy tries to slide it under the door and he kicks it back? Oh man, I laugh just thinking about that one.

James said...

one word: Emeril

Andrew Steven Harris said...

One that's always stood out for me is "Delta House," the diluted TV version of "Animal House".

Come to think of it, there's also that TV version of "The Bad News Bears"...

Grant said...

The TV CRUNCH post does address it at the beginning, but I think it's a little unfair to combine shows that only lasted one season (at most) with ones that were on the air for several seasons. There's a big difference between bad failures (CAVEMEN, WHOOPS!) and bad successes (MAMA'S FAMILY, THE NANNY). I knew Cavemen didn't stand a chance, but at least they tried something different, instead of another sitcom about office life or whatever is big these days.

Anonymous said...

That list is all over the place on the subjective-meter to be much fun. Surprised for a TV-oriented blog.

"The Nanny" is a perennial now, belongs next to "Golden Girls" in a way (audience demographics at least) and has too many strong factors going for it, following the rules of TV sitcoms, to be reduced to a "laugh" issue. That would be what one could say about Urkel, but not the whole "Nanny" show.

The scripts were funny and she had energy to keep it going, physical shtick and delivering lines. Her supporting actors were well cast for example (her mother!) It knew its target audience, so it played between broad theater, self-parody and of course, camp but then allowed for TV-sitcom moments of "feelings" at the right time.Her wardrobe should have been billed on its own - a real designer working with her. The plot knew when to go to marriage and then baby and resolve the story on the final.

Fran is not D-league as those versions of "Harry and the Hendersons" or "Shasta McNasty".

Believe it or not, it's still possible to see "Hendersons" on German TV reruns, around 5 am usually. Incredible. Someone pays to dub these things!

The only other thing it seems no one watched TV before the 1980s on this list. They obviouslyl forgot the 70s and wonderful 60s....

Anonymous said...

All this talk of AfterMASH reminds me that I've always thought knowing what happened to BJ, Hawkeye, etc. was a good idea. But it should be more of a movie that's more of a catching up on the effects of war not the everyday life of the least interesting characters.

Trapper John, MD doesn't count.

Ned said...

Grant: good point re: series that inexplicably last for several seasons.

Desmond Pfeiffer was actually rather inspired, and rather funny. Yes, it was jaw-droppingly bizarre for a network show, but that's not in and of itself bad; on the contrary, it was wonderfully daring.

webbie said...

The Nanny? Really? It was silly. It was fluff. It had no redeeming social value. But I laughed in every single episode. The same thing cannot be said about a lot of sit-coms. And am I mistaken or is the "com" not supposed to be comedy?

Chris said...

Has anyone seen the show with Mickey Rooney (playing a girl-crazy grandpa), Dana Carvey (playing his girl-crazy grandson), and Nathan Lane (hilariously miscast as a girl-crazy bachelor!) There used to be a promo for it on YouTube but it got yanked by the copyright police (or possibly the good taste police)

Mary Stella said...

I liked Perfect Strangers probably because I was always entertained by Bronson Pinchot and Mark Linn Baker. Baker's performance in My Favorite Year set me up to like him in anything else.

Two of the guys with Double Trouble made up a comedy team called Schmock and Vallely. Over twenty years ago they used to play the comedy club circuit in NY/NJ. They were hysterically funny with great physical comedy. I saw the same routine several times and laughed every time.

Tom Quigley said...

Don't know if length of time on the air was one of the qualifiers, but here's one that came to mind that problaby could have made someone's list:

The worst show that Carsey-Werner ever came up with, CHICKEN SOUP, starring Jackie Mason as an older single Jewish man, and Lynn Redgrave as the attractive single middle-aged gentile lady friend who lived in the same apartment building. It tried to play off of some of his stage monologues (they even included a short scene at the beginning and end of the show where he would go up to the building's rooftop and talk directly to the camera to sum up the theme or lesson of that particular episode as only Jackie Mason could) -- but (1) Jackie came off as being too ethnic to appeal to a broad cross-section TV audience, (2) they tried to write too many forced situations that would fit his comic voice, which ultimately failed, and (3) he couldn't compete with Lynn Redgrave or anyone else in the cast in the acting chops, and it disappeared after about 5 episodes.

Jason said...

There is no way that Mr. Belvedere should be on that list. That show was classic, even with Bob Uecker involved.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

I gotta echo the defense of Coach. Jerry Van Dyke is a minor comic god. OK, angel maybe. With fun writers, of course.

When Luther quits his assistant coaching job to go into a "sports related" business, Hayden visits Luther at his new enterprise: a dumpy, struggling miniature golf course. Hayden asks Luther the name of the business. Luther: "Mr. Putts."

I exploded. It wasn't pretty.

Hugh Betcha said...

OK -- have folks totally forgotten about the first tragedy of 2001? Remember the sitcom called EMERIL,
starring Emeril Lagasse? That brick of stinky cheese about a TV chef aired on NBC. Discuss.

alkali said...

Some of these appear to have been singled out for criticism by TV Crunch because they are family shows. Those shows may not be your taste, but they aren't made for you. To be sure, I'd rather watch a Seinfeld rerun than a rerun of The Nanny, but at the same time I'd rather not explain to an 8-year-old what "spongeworthy" means.

That said, there certainly are good family sitcoms and terrible family sitcoms, and probably some of the terrible ones are on this list.

adam _______________________ said...

I can't believe Perfect Strangers is on this list. Of all the horrific shows that have been on television, all of the blink-of-an-eye crap, how can anything be on this list that connected with any amount of viewers in any way? I'm not going to sit around and defend all of the shows on this list that survived for some amount of time.

But I think Perfect Strangers definitely worked in many ways. It's vaudeville roots had a certain charm despite it definitely being a product of its age. I'll always remember their tangential musical numbers. Silly as the show was -- and as much as it decomposed into a cartoon mess -- it's not one of the 25 worst shows ever. No way.

olucy said...

George Lopez
Out of Practice
According to Jim

Wow, you guys have quite the recollection! Had forgotten about the Nathan Lane show and the Jackie Mason show. Bad times, bad times.

Dan Serafini said...

Perfect Strangers on the list?

Don't be ridiculous.

HA!

Toby said...

Here are few forgotten non-gems:

'Lost On Earth' - aliens take on the form of puppets and hide out at a TV station

'Scorch' - dragon does the weather at a TV station

'The Dumplings'- cuddly old heavy people in love

'The Charmings' - Snow White and family wake up in modern times

'Hi Honey I'm Home' - a sitcom family lives in the "real" world and are visited by classic sitcom characters

'Beverly Hills Buntz' - Dennis Franz spun off his second 'Hill Street Blues' character

'What A Dummy' - I think somebody was reincarnated as a ventriloquist dummy. Either that, or it was just alive.

There are just too many to list. Quick! Close the lid!

SharoneRosen said...

we could go on forever with this!
How about the two bad attempts at Americanizing to great Brit shows: that terrible knock-off of Ab Fab with Jean Smart (?), and the even worse attempt to turn wonderful Bea Arthur into Basil Fawlty!

Then there was Nathan Lane playing it straight on something a couple of seasons ago.... even HE didn't believe it.

Jayne said...

I cannot take any list of this nature seriously that does not include She's the Sheriff or Carter Country.

D. McEwan said...

Beverly Hills Buntz was not a sit-com.

I am amazed by all the people defending THE NANNY. How can you satnd listening to that harpy long enough to hear if it's funny or not? Owing to a friend's involvement, I saw almost every episode, and even went to a tapiing. Every episode was torture.

Conversely, I also saw most every epside of 3rd Rock From the Sun, and they all made me laugh. John Lithgow and French Stewart were hilarious.

I will second LIFE WITH LUCY. They should have called it AFTERLIFE WITH LUCY.

And how does MORK & MINDY rate a pass?

alan said...

I feel like this list was generated by someone who saw 10 minutes of one episode and is passing judgment.

I agree with Noah, why's "Out of This World," not on this list

Better yet, why isn't "Saved By the Bell."

jbryant said...

I'm sure d. mcewan's head is about to explode from all these defenses of "The Nanny" (edit: confirmation above!). But a few years ago, my girlfriend insisted we watch it once or twice every weekday on Lifetime (she loved it during its original run). Granted, I was a "captive" audience, and there may have been some Stockholm Syndrome at work, but I thought it was a pleasant enough time-waster. But those who can't get past Drescher's voice will never concur.

ned: You're thinking of "Here Come the Brides," and it wasn't a sitcom. I don't remember it sucking, but I was just a kid.

Jim Walsh: I thought I was the only person who ever saw "The Torkelsons" (and its subsequent incarnation, "Almost Home"). Unlike you, however, I found it kind of charming and sweet, if not exactly funny. Connie Ray, Olivia Burnette and the great William Schallert made it tolerable to me.

marv: That's the first defense of "Small Wonder" I've ever seen. You are a brave man.

Stacey said...

@ the anon who wants to add 3rd Rock, that show was hilarious in the first three seasons.

Where are shows like anything Whoppi has been in (Bagdad Cafe and that hotel schlock), Get Smart (downloaded the first season recently and couldn't understand what I saw in it back in the day' Agent 99 made me want to put my foot through the tv for being so dim), Evening Shade, According To Jim, 'Till Death, and Everybody Loves Raymond (if you leave out Marie and Frank, 'natch).

There's a buttload more I can't think of right now, I'm sure.

jbryant said...

As bad as "Saved by the Bell" and its offshoots were, we dodged a bullet, folks. After the success of "Austin Powers," the Bell camp developed something titled "A Spy Called Screech." I was doing story notes for NBC's Saturday morning division at the time. I'd like to think I played some small role in strangling that little bastard in its crib.

Emily Blake said...

How on earth can anyone hate Perfect Strangers?

Or Mr. Belevedere?

My inner child is crying.

Helen P. said...

Veronica's Closet was really funny the first year and not bad its third year. That second year, though, when Amy Sherman-Palladino came aboard and turned it into a drama, was terrible.

Steve said...

The there's Quark, with Richard Benjamin. Even though it was in no way "good" in the sense of quality television, I loved it just the same.

alkali said...

Incidentally, I see that Baby Bob had Joely Fisher, Adam Arkin, Holland Taylor, and
Elliot Gould in the cast. How did that happen? It's like the time I found out that Meryl Streep had agreed to star in the ABBA musical.

Anonymous said...

Did we forget "Pink Lady and Jeff"?

If you did, I apologize for bringing it back to your frontal lobe.

Dan Coyle said...

I can't really disagree with anything on that list. all of those shows were loathsome, and filled with the highest contempt for audience intelligence.

Some honorable mentions:

Normal, Ohio- John Goodman's gay! And he likes football! And his parents hate him! And his sister's got great tits! Orson Bean, who played the dad, came off as genuinely hateful of his son. Fun fact: He's now Andrew Brietbart's father in law. So I guess it wasn't acting!

Still Standing- not really bad, but so... fucking... generic. It was too lazy to even be obnoxious like Yes, Dear. It just stood out as an example of "not being good, but getting done."

Suddenly Susan- also stunningly generic. A show that:

1. Launched the career of Kathy Griffin. I like Griffin, but a lot of people don't.

2. Drove one of its stars to Andy Dick, who drove him to drugs and suicide.

3. Caused one of its other stars to write and produce and star in a film about... the star of a very lame, low-level sitcom, and how miserable he is.

4. And most damningly, was not good enough for Judd Nelson.

Caroline in the City- all loathsome, loathsome characters who no normal person would ever put up with in real life. Also began NBC's trend of building sitcoms around half-recognizable 80s stars with little appeal, but people know who they are, so...

And speaking of loathsome people:

Reba. Seriously, this show is fucked up. I don't know what went on in that writing room, but the directive seemed to be make every character on this show hateful and stupid so as to make Reba look like a saint for putting up with them.

The thing is, who would put up with these people? Barbara Jean is a worthless, idiotic cartoon. She's shown to be incompetent and silly at everything she attempts. They even have Brock react often to her with exasperation, yet he always tries to get on her good side. I can understand why he left Reba, but why for this... thing? Van is genuinely stupid, and never shows any redeeming qualities, other than his love for Cheyenne, but that's made into a joke too, since he's so DUMMMMMMMMM. Cheyenne is unlikable too, always screwing up and having mama bail her out.

Only Kyra, the daughter, seems to be coming from a realistic place. But too often her genuine issues were paved over for more har har comedy.

I hate this show not just because it was annoying and unfunny, but that it took genuine issues like divorce, teen pregnancy, financial troubles, and turned them into a sick burlesque that featured no recognizable human feeling. The show seemed calculated around the cross bearing of the title character. It was really about what a great, saintly sport Reba was for putting up with these chumlies that didn't deserve it.

To which I say: Grow up, Reba.

Carlo Conda said...

There's nothing wrong with Still Standing. It's pretty funny, and it's a lot different than some other similar-seeming sitcoms. Yes, Dear was just abysmally bland, but Still Standing mixed things up.
The mother wasn't your typical mother, and even though the father was typical, he was an extreme case of lazy and bad parenting. Heck, most of the comedy revolves around the parents being really, really bad parents. And I'm talking about both the father AND the mother being bad parents, which made things interesting as we didn't get any lame speeches from the mother ala 'Everybody Loves Raymond'.

Sure, Still Standing wasn't a golden nugget, but it's a very enjoyable and solid sitcom.

DeskDiva said...

The NANNY is on the list?!?!? So - they ignored any Nielsen ratings in compiling this list, did they? Or any kind of commercial success whatsoever? Pffft. Yetta alone was worth the whole run.

By those rights, Step by Step and She's the Sheriff should definitely be on the list.

Encore! Encore! is a topper, too. Not even Nathan Lane's brilliance could save that turkey. (I should know - I really am an opera singer!)

DeskDiva said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
diane said...

I have to disagree with the person who felt Coach should be on the list, too. Coach, Luther and his assistant (name escapes me now) up to their knees in cement that is rapidly hardening all saying "At least, we didn't need a professional" and the running gag about Coach and Christine trying to get married had me in tears laughing. And I heartily disagree that Evening Shade be on that list. I loved every moment of that show. It was sweet and sometimes touching, and always funny.

Why, however, did you have to remind me of Emeril. No worse piece of junk has ever been aired. It just made everyone involved look like buffoons.

Dan Coyle said...

I agree that Coach doesn't belong on a worst list. it could be repetitive and definitely ran too long, but when it was funny, it was FUNNY.

jbryant said...

dan coyle: No wonder you hated Reba - sounds like someone made you watch every episode. Did they at least give you a "safe word?" :)

Dan Coyle said...

JBryant: The safety word is WHISKEY!

I caught an episode years ago on a trip and then I became morbidly fascinated with the reruns on Lifetime. I'm attracted to bad sitcoms like vultures to roadkill. I wouldn't say I've sat through an entire episode- that would be far too much- but I do sometimes watch five or ten minute swaths, jaw agape, wondering who this... show is FOR.

The Shadow Knows said...

How bad was "We Got It Made?" So bad, the person compiling the list of the 25 worst sitcoms of all-time can't even get its title right. Plus, it was from Fred Silverman. That automatically puts it on the worst list.

For all the people complaining about how Nielsen viewers will only watch crap, Brandon Tartikoff stuck that horrid show in front of "Cheers," thinking it would help "Cheers" build an audience. And indeed it did. "Cheers" built audience the second "We Got It Made" ended.

I concur with "Under One Roof" (the Flavor Flav one, not the Ross Harris one, which was also bad). It looks like something the writers of single-camera comedies like "Scrubs" and "My Name Is Earl" would've come up when they were doing multi-camera episodes as a joke... only it's for real.

Anonymous said...

Full House

Carlo Conda said...

Holy crap, I got a surefire candidate:
The Steve Harvey Show

growingupartists said...

Eternal optimist that I am, starting with the top of your list, Charles in Charge and The Nanny are both shows I've been caught watching. Scott Baio may have been outshined by some of the younger, cuter cast...but it was still clean and worth keeping an eye on. The Nanny taught me (from my cookie-cut suburbia) that places like New Jersey exist, that classes do differ, and that the rich guy can fall in love with the help...no matter how she laughs. Both big hits I'm glad somebody invested in. Same goes for Mr. Belvedere, Punky Brewster's show, Will what's-his-name's L.A. to beverly mansion. Classics!

ajmilner said...

Two of the greatest sitcoms ever (maybe THE two greatest), THE HONEYMOONERS and THE SIMPSONS, began as recurring skits on TV variety shows. Unfortunately, so did MAMA'S FAMILY.

Pauly Shore had a sitcom about 10 years ago, PAULY, which was, well... (to paraphrase Dick Cavett) it didn't need TV critics, it needed the reconvening of the Nuremburg tribunals to do it true justice.

The revived WKRP in the early 1990s was pretty lame.

UNHAPPILY EVER AFTER had Bobcat Goldthwait as the voice of the stuffed bunny, right? In the proper frame of mind, that was actually reasonably funny.

growingupartists said...

Webster, Family Matters (what is it with you, trying to make an inroad?)...not just cuteness (thanks to Diff'rent Strokes), but hilarity. And adoption, and fitting in, and the black/white bridge for humor (it's almost exactly the same). Now George Lopez, my kids watch him and my husband and I have been lured in (mostly my husband, all on his own). The guy's an unbelievable comic genius, a new style! We love Spanish humor, and we'd like some Columbian thrown in for that matter (they rock at horseshoes).

growingupartists said...

This is a joke, isn't it? Perfect Strangers? The only reason (besides Latke) we love abroad humor, it's helping us get used to the English (they're too quick for us!) Mary-Kate and Ashley, a whole 'nother culture, over which I'd pick Hannah Montana (even flood victims in Iowa are promoting her).

growingupartists said...

Worst show ever...Nip/Tuck gone Hollywood, I'm scared for next season. I'd almost mastered the psychology, then swish inauthentic.

growingupartists said...

And My Two Dads, I learned to love lofts and boxcar elevators...an architectural masterpiece if nothing else. But yes, it helped work through some conflicts. My friend Marci says all of tv today is geared towards teaching kids how to be rock stars. Top of my list (the good one) is iCarly, and whatever happened to Drake and Josh? Code Lyoko, Trollz, Big Comfy Couch (anything on CBC, really)...all great in my house.

Of course there's Caillou, and Curious George...simple cartoons, and Little Bill (did you know Cosby's dad speaks Norwegian?)

Anonymous said...

I have two questions for you, Ken. This is in reaction to the news that Jon Harmon Feldman has become the new showrunner for Dirty Sexy Money, despite the debacle that was Big Shots. Since Big Shots had a talented cast yet some silly storylines and tone issues, I've assumed the problems were related to the writing.

So for my first question: How can you tell when a problem with a lousy show is the writing vs other factors?

My second question: how does a showrunner who managed to waste such a talented cast (and a decent concept) manage to get hired onto another struggling show as the showrunner?

Thanks for your insight!

Eve J

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

The Montefuscos

It's About Time (the first atrocious cavepeople comedy)

Welcome Back, Kotter

The Hathaways (chimps are their kids)

Ichabod and Me

Anything with Lucy but not Desi

Hello, Larry

and damn near everything on these days

Jim said...

Caroline in the City.... /shudder/. I'd blocked that out.

Wasn't that one of those shows with a really lame star propped up by a great supporting cast? I seem to remember a sidekick who went on to better things.

And I remember NBC made David Hyde Pierce and Jane Leeves do a really lame crossover promotion.

in re The Nanny: I remember Fran Drescehr on one of those Entertainment Tonight shows bragging about her comedic skills: "I'm the kind of dame who can go one-on-one with Robin Williams or Letterman..." Ick.

I think the rule should be that a truly awful sitcom had to have either a major star (Lucille Ball) or a two-year minimum run.

A. Buck Short said...

OK, looks like the vote’s in on Perfect Strangers, we get a recount. And it was well worth reading through all 74 comments and the nausea these shows inspire, just for the deconstruction of Jackie Mason and that tidy segue into Stockholm Syndrome. You hear that Tom? Mister!! I’m talking to you!

Pink Lady and Jeff had to be hitting below the belt if only to cover the years Altman kept milking that bit with pulling the pants up. I still remember the young and witty Orson Bean who once went on the Paar show to complain that he and his wife really weren’t being accepted in their new East Village neighborhood. They were the only monoracial / heterosexual couple on the block. Sometimes it’s not the concept that’s funny, just the right two words.

And if nobody else wants ‘em I’ll take that Lea Thompson and Jami Gertz (together if it that can be arranged). You know a sitcom has officially jumped the shark when it comes with one of those Bloomberg crawls that keeps saying, “This is a COMEDY.” “This is a COMEDY.” “This is a COMEDY.” Safe word,” hah, I’ll be using that.

Dana Gabbard said...

Stacey said...
@ the anon who wants to add 3rd Rock, that show was hilarious in the first three seasons.

That brings up the whole premise fatigue factor. A fairly fnny show can eventually run out of gas. Drew Carey in the last year or so tanked but had a committment from ABC, so the final group of episodes made were burned off in the summer. How long will Samantha Who? be able to play off the bad girl turned good schtick?

Then we have the recent spate of generic retrocoms that many have mentioned (Yes, Dear/Still Standing/George Lopez/According to Jim) that have little value beyond keeping some folks employed.

And just seeing the promos for Under One Roof, you can tell it is a turkey.

Anonymous said...

Frannie's Turn? Wasn't good enough to be on the worst list?

Sebastian said...

Hm. When you say AfterMASH needs to be on this, then Golden Palace even more.

Dan Coyle said...

I've always wanted to see the last season of Drew Carey, since I hear they did some pretty crazy stuff because ABC didn't care.

I did see the penultimate episode, which was a lame resetting of the status quo. The department store comes back and Drew, Mimi, and Mr. Wick have their old gigs.

BoCoPoCo said...

No House of Payne!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?

Nor was According to Jim even on the list. I'm a little disappointed. I felt like while shows like family matters were terrible, they still had memorable characters that people liked.

NO HOUSE OF PAYNE!?

D. McEwan said...

"in re The Nanny: I remember Fran Drescher on one of those Entertainment Tonight shows bragging about her comedic skills: 'I'm the kind of dame who can go one-on-one with Robin Williams or Letterman...' Ick."

That's our Fran. I saw her go one-on-one with Dame Edna. Fran came in third, after Edna's chair.

If someone else's comedy bit got big luaghs in a NANNY rehearsal, even the run-through with audiecne a couple hours before the shoot, Fran would say, "Give ME that bit. I am the funny one on this show." It got so the supportng cast were deliberately underperforming or blowing their bits until the shoot so Fran wouldn't covet the laugh and take the bit away.

And the argument "But it would be out of charater for you to do/say this." was always met with either a blank stare or a "So...?' She was the anti-Jack Benny.

Admittedly, my ability to watch Fran is compromised by knowing what a horrific human being she is, but come on folks. How can ANYONE besides Fran herself believe that a cultured, sophisticated, English, Broadway producer would, no COULD, ever fall in love with that creature?

JB, you're right. My head is exloding. And thanks for saving us from Screech as a secret agent. Did the network give him notes on his sex tape? "Hotter chicks. Loose the big-nosed dweeb."

PINK LADY AND JEFF was not a sit-com.

My friend who wrote for STILL STANDING told me at one point, "I still don't get what this show is supposed to be about, what they think they're doing" This was during her third year on the show.

Aliens on earth: MY FAVORITE MARTIAN, pretty good, as I recall, though I haven't seen one in 30 years. Bill Bixby a billion times better than Pam Dawber. Ray Walston, such a smooth, great pro. (I was shooting a TERRIBLE show one day, 20 years ago. I was standing outside the souundstage, when up rolled Ray Walston on a bike, wanting to chat. I was with three other, quite young actors who had no idea who the old fart on the bike was. Meanwhile, it was all I could do to keep from squeaking, "You're Ray Walston! You're a GOD!" I managed to convey my respect - and downplay the absolute shit I was there shooting - without gushing too badly. BTW, Ray was there to shoot an episode of SLEDGEHAMMER on the next stage.Now THERE was a one-joke series.)

MORK & MINDY. The rotating supporting cast, not to mention Pam Dawber, showed how at sea they were with what to do with Robin, and later with Jonathon Winters. Looked at now, Robin's now-very-tired schtick has not aged well.

THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN. Consistently hilarious. Even as it sputtered towards it's finish line, with it's premise thoroughly wrung-out, it remained a source of big laughs. Lithgow was inspired. It seemed to unleash something in him that was still there at the Tonys this week. (And it was funny having his son in scenes, looking exactly like him, but with all pretending he was just another student.)

To the person who wrote anything with Lucy but not Desi, it's TV heresy but you are right. Desi may not have seemed a big help on camera, but without his guiding hand off screen, Lucy was tired and laborored, while the sight of Gale Gordon always made me wish Eve Arden would stride on and liven things up.

MARRIED WITH CHILDREN in it's later seasons. Pretty much anything after the brief addition of "Seven".

And how about MR. SMITH, from the same season AfterMASH, WE GOT IT MADE, and WEBSTER debuted? (1983, a banner year for sitcoms.) An orangutan runs the government. They seemed confused about which star of BEDTIME FOR BONZO was president. Then, it was just bad comedy. Now, it's bad real-life history.

We could talk about this all day. Oh, we have.

Scott said...

There are episodes of Perfect STrangers that are BRILLIANT. Yes, I said it. I dare anyone to watch the one they go to the gym or go to Vegas without busting a gut.

The Nanny is very likable as well. Like many shows it was just on well after the main writers cared anymore.

worst sitcomes though...anything in the 8:30 nightmare hour on NBC when they just plugged and played.

does anyone remember Holmes and YoYo?

I always hated MARTIN.

Another was GLORIA.
and another was Archie Bunker's Place. Like AFTERMASH it just wasn't the same

I love 3's Company. Not so 3's a crowd

GIRLFRIENDS. ugh!

Mike said...

I'd seen that list last week and it's really not that great a list. While none of those shows are classics, a lot of them fall under the category of merely "meh" than "one of the WORST SITCOMS EVER." And then of course there's the fact that most of these shows are from the '80s, '90s and '00s. (Is The Ropers the only pre-1980 show? And even then it doesn't pre-date the '80s by much.) So were there no bad sitcoms in the 50s, 60s and 70s? Of course there were.

Too many of these best/worst movie, TV show, song, etc., lists (particularly on the internet) fail to acknowledge the entertainment industry actually dates back more than 25 years.

George Glass said...

I never understood why everyone hated Yes Dear. Sure, its no Seinfeld, but it never tried to be or had any self-importance about itself. It was just a show about a newlywed couple and their friends, with some soft laughs and the occasional really funny one. It was harmless. If it wasn't your cup of tea, I understand, and thankfully there's dozens of other channels out there. Why the hate?

Carlo Conda said...

It had horrible morals. One episode had Greg being so hyped up for a fantastic Golf trip that he was planning to go on for his upcoming birthday. He told his wife he was so excited for it, he bought new clubs, and everything.

On his birthday, instead of taking her husband golfing like he thought, the wife takes him to a marine park to feed dolphins and pet beluga whales.
Greg was so bummed out, and his wife was pissed at him because of this. "You need to try out new things!"

Then Greg says "I guess you're right, I'm sorry for wanting to go golfing. I should be happy with the dolphins and stuff."


That's it. That's the moral of the story. The wife is the good guy, and the husband is the bad guy. God forbid the guy wants to go golfing on his own fracking birthday.


What the F*CK?
Almost every episode is like this. I couldn't help but think "Only in L.A" after each episode.

Bob said...

Perfect Strangers should not be on the list. Two that should be are Dusty's Trail (somewhere in the teens) and Two and a Half Men as the number one worst.

Dhppy said...

The Nanny had some good moments. I stand by the laughs I had with that show.

I was a child, but I remember seeing Pink Lady and Jeff in a hot tub and thinking, "what the hell is this?"

Kimosabe said...

FOX's contributions to the list:

WOMEN IN PRISON

COSTELLO

NORMAL, OHIO

STAND BY YOUR MAN (Rosie O'Donnell & Melissa Gilbert)

KAREN'S SONG

SECOND CHANCES/BOYS WILL BE BOYS

MONTY

TOP OF THE HEAP

THE YOUNG ONES (American version)

THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES

HOLDING THE BABY

LIVING IN CAPTIVITY

THE WINNER

DREXEL'S CLASS

WILD OATS

THE CREW

LUIS

THE PITTS

WANDA AT LARGE

QUINTUPLETS

LIFE ON A STICK

HAPPY HOUR

That's 22.

We're gonna need a longer list.

Anonymous said...

"How can ANYONE besides Fran herself believe that a cultured, sophisticated, English, Broadway producer would, no COULD, ever fall in love with that creature?"

First of all, we know these sitcoms exist for precisely that reason for much of the audience. Fat slob has wife with fantastic rack and tight waist and she loves him as he is... Rich man will marry serving girl. Desi the singing star would have married Lucy Magillicutty instead of some starlet. And so on.

Second of all - Fran's audience, alot of which I bet is retired in Florida and loving every bit of the shmaltz that this is. It worked for Golden Girls.

Let's face it, this is camp and melodrama and all that rolled together, so we don't look for more than that. If it's done well and admits it - which it wears on its sleeve - well ok.

But sure, when the daughter marries at 18 a male MODEL instead of even going to college - someone in the script dept. should have thought a bit on that one.

Finally, the "Nanny" was really ending up the four woman - Nanny operates with Val, Mother with Nany or Mother with Grandmother. They were over the top, drag queens to a real degree, and in this way the audience was certainly also the other correlate to Golden Girls - GAY. Fran was like a drag queen Lucy (who had her own Ethel even)

The "theater", "Barbara Streisand is God", the Butler who started out certainly bitchy gay and was straightened out into a bookend love interest for the other female character, etc.. and who believes Max Sheffield is really straight? Because he has kids? Oh please, the disguise of many a Hollywood producer. He practically lisps and spends most of his romance doing double-takes at Fran's aggressive sexuality.

Agree though, Fran sounds like a monster on the set. THAT should really seperate her from the rest of Hollywood. More funny is all the changes in executive producers that one sees over the years.

Mary Stella said...

Speaking as one who is so far outside Hollywood and the television industry that I might as well live on Saturn -- I love when those of you who know gab about what actors are like behind the public personas and give the behind the scenes scoop on shows.

Thanks for feeding my curiosity.

Anonymous said...

"A Family for Joe" (1990); starring Robert Mitchum as a
homeless man posing as the grandfather of orphans so that they can stay together.

Jim 7

Dan Coyle said...

I'll never forget Roger Ebert on Drescher when reviewing Beautician and the Beast. "Her voice is so annoying it's one of those things I hope to never, ever hear again."

Dana Gabbard said...

Years ago legendary cartoonist Sergio Aragonés was doing some sort of meeting for a project and someone said it was like Family Guy. "No no", Sergio responded, "This will be funny".

"Two and a Half Men as the number one worst." I disagree, but understand it isn't everyone's cup of tea. My stepmom has banned it in her house (along with Simpsons).

Tom Quigley said...

RE: "....OK, looks like the vote’s in on Perfect Strangers, we get a recount. And it was well worth reading through all 74 comments and the nausea these shows inspire, just for the deconstruction of Jackie Mason and that tidy segue into Stockholm Syndrome. You hear that Tom? Mister!! I’m talking to you!..."

Not sure what that all means... I've been called a lot of things in my life, but Swedish was never one of them...

Brian said...

I Married Dora - This show announced it's own cancellation. It was about the maid (Dora) marrying to stay in the country and falling in love.

BABY I'M BACK - About a gambler (Demond Wilson) who leaves his family, is pronounced dead, wife remarries a light-skinned stiff-necked man and he returns. Many people (not without some justification) disliked "The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer", but that was, to me (an African-American, by the way), more like an American take on "Blackadder" (and not a bad one, rated on humor, judging by the episode I saw), but BIB laps it twice for racial offense. It was also, of course, painfully unfunny.

Daddy's Girls - I am a big fan of Dudley Moore, but I just felt horrible for him. I think only one episode of this aired.

My wife, were she here, would mention "Public Morals". She saw it, I didn't and she threatened to tape it, because, she said, "You really have to SEE this." I never got the chance, as it was canceled after the first airing. All of the episodes have aired in the UK.

Brian said...

Oh! I don't think that the Americanization of "Fawlty Towers", "Amanda's" doesn't shine brightly on Beatrice Arthur's resume' (or Tony Rosato's, either!)

VP81955 said...

"Out Of This World" was hardly a great series, but it was substantially better than "Small Wonder" (another syndicated sitcom that ran at about the same time). "OOTW" was sort of an '80s version of "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" (which was excellent and charming in its first season, then gradually fizzled out in ensuing seasons despite the presence of comedic pros like Beth Broderick and Caroline Rhea).

And while I didn't watch "The Torkelsons" much, no series with William Schallert -- the quintessential character actor, and a guy who brings class to everything he does -- should be on a "25 Worst" list.

Agree with "It's About Time"; that was dreadful. Then again, so were most of the silly sitcoms ("Run, Buddy, Run"? "Mr. Terrific"?) the tasteless James Aubrey put on CBS in the mid-sixties, after the likes of "Dobie Gillis" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show" had bitten the dust.

And regarding Fran Drescher, there's always the old joke about her being considered the sexiest actress...at Gallaudet College (the university for the deaf). For all I know, Fran may be a bitch to work with, but with the right vehicle I think she's a capable comedic actress. And maybe all she's been through in her personal life, with cancer and such, has changed how she treats people. Wouldn't be the first time that's happened.

jbryant said...

Yeah, a few years ago I got curious to see how "It's About Time" and "Run, Buddy, Run" held up, so I rented the pilots from Eddie Brandt's video store in North Hollywood. I learned there are limits to nostalgia.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Blossom? Did anyone mention Blossom?

Dan Coyle said...

No, but we should have.

Anonymous said...

Let's just say the "Who's My Dad?" genre shows all belong here (premises that feature multiple semi related children being raised by combination of same or different sex adults eg: Full House, Who's the Boss etc.) They were all excrement unless you were 12.
Two and a Half Men is one of the best written sit coms on tv. It's on the A list along with Earl, Office, 30 Rock. I still miss Arrested Development.
Nobody mentioned Back To You which which was recently euthanized. Who the Hell watches Til Death? That should've been gone after six episodes.
Coach was well done with a nice cast and was better than 90% of the network stuff on now.
How about a list of the most OVER rated shows ever.
First on the list: Frazier. This show was just never funny or amusing to any degree.
Second: Everyone Loves Raymond. I loved reading about the gay version; Everyone Loves Raymond's Ass.
I forget the name of that great sitcom that starred Tea Leoni as a single girl in New York who parties constantly. It was only on for a season but very funny. Great comedic chops and she hasn't had much to work with since.

jbryant said...

anonymous: Damn those Frasier writers! Making me laugh year after year at things that were "never funny or amusing to any degree." How'd they DO that? Voodoo?

Carlo Conda said...

Frasier is one of those shows where, if you don't find it funny, you don't tell anyone cause you'll look like a tool.

If you didn't like it, then fine, but saying it is in no way funny is like saying Seinfeld is in no way funny.

The Crutnacker said...

Frasier not funny? I'll admit that I never was a fan of Cheers, but loved almost every stinkin' episode of Frasier.

The problem with a list like this is that there are too many to count. Really they should be looking for the jaw droppingly awful ones or the ones that were inexplicably popular.

My list:

Full House -- The show that inexplicably turned two ugly children into two ugly teenagers that pervs couldn't wait to turn 18.

Gilligan's Island -- Loved it as a kid, painful as an adult.

Saved By The Bell

The Cosby Show -- We all loved this one, but have you ever watched it again? It is difficult to sit through. His later show on CBS was far funnier, in my opinion.


Three's Company, Happy Days, Mork and Mindy -- Does anyone watch these with fondness today? Happy Days jumped the shark from day one. I never would have thought Laverne and Shirley would hold up better.



But my number one: Sex in the City -- Every joke is telegraphed a week before and sold with flop sweat. The cast is unappealing, the situations weren't funny, and the acting, especially that of Kim Cattrail, was an abomination.

VP81955 said...

I forget the name of that great sitcom that starred Tea Leoni as a single girl in New York who parties constantly. It was only on for a season but very funny. Great comedic chops and she hasn't had much to work with since.

I believe it was called "Flying Blind," and it ran on Fox in the early 1990s. Personally, I preferred her on "The Naked Truth" as a tabloid photographer (at least the first season on ABC; its second season, when it moved to NBC and was put through its sitcom formula machine, was much less interesting).

But I agree that Tea Leoni is a splendidly sexy comedic talent who hasn't attained her full potential.

Mike said...

I think "Flying Blind" is the show that had a good theme song by David Byrne, "A Million Miles Away".

I'll second "Dusty's Trail" as the very worst.
But I'm surprised that no one's mentioned "The Munsters Today".

smallville91505 said...

Union Square... not only the bottom of the Must See TV barrel but probably worse than every other title previously mentioned.

Alto2 said...

They omitted Facts of Life, Different Strokes, and Saved By The Bell. Truly bad.

Anonymous said...

I just have to point out that ONE person is responsible for TWO of the shows on that list: Gary Jacobs, who created both "All American Girl" and "WOOPS!" (which I will never forgive not only for its content but for spelling 'whoops' in a way that grates on my eyes).

Anonymous said...

I disagree with almost all of this list, primarily because it's not consistent.

A list of 25 worst sitcoms is too daunting, because there have been hundreds (thousands?) of sitcoms. This list should've been named "The top 25 worst populsr sitcoms, with a few obscure flops mixed in." Mama's Family, Perfect Strangers, Mr. Belvedere, and the Nanny all had their moments, and are in a league far above the Homeboys in Spaces of the world. What about the Torkelsons? The Pitts? The 30 or 40 shows listed at the beginning of the first come-back episode of Family Guy?

There needs to be two lists "Most annoying popular/ long lived sitcoms" and "Most disasterous sitcom flops"

Jack said...

Sweet jesus, I would always crack up when I happened upon "Small Wonder"—so, so, so incredibly bad.

"Wow, it's messy in here. Pick up the house Vicky"
"I... WILL... PICK... UP... THE... HOUSE..."

God, it's like a bad YMCA day-camp counselor skit.

Jack said...

Oh man, a guy going by "neutrino68" on IMDB sums up Small Wonder it perfectly:

"An atrocious affair all around. The high concept almost guarantees complete awfulness. In the face of such overwhelming odds most t.v. shows give up, and this stinker is no exception. The robot 'daughter', VICI (Virtual Idiot, Cringe Inducing) is played with prescription-grade annoyance by a monotoned mutant child. This child actor has the dead, robot eyes down pat. Downright bonechilling. The parents are creepy and not-to-be-trusted, as they treat this machine as if she were human, except when things go wrong with her circuits in front of strangers. Then they lock her in the closet like some lesbian stepchild. One episode has a strange, ultra-right-wing twist when VICI is entered into an international trivia or spelling contest. Dad finds out that VICI's Soviet competitor, Yuri Something-Or-Other, is using a cheat sheet. Dad gives the kid a lecture about how in America we are independent minded and how communism is really bad and how the communists have proved they are bad by having a little boy cheat just to make the Soviet educational system look good. This rah-rah pro-America, Soviets-Are-Cheaters lecture FROM A MAN WHO ENTERED A ROBOT INTO A CHILDREN'S SPELLING CONTEST! What's the message here? Americans are superior because our computers can spell better than real Soviet children? Americans have a moral right to cheat because we're cheatin' in the name of democracy? Twisted trash that will rot your mind. Don't give it the chance."

Soul On Ice said...

My picks:

Babes - three obese women love and laugh. A nation vomits

The Jeffersons - the 1970's minstrel show

Amen - I really fucking hate Sherman Helmsley

What a Country - Yakov Smirnov in his fourteenth minute

The Royal Family - the funniest thing about this show is that when Redd Foxx collapsed on the set, everyone thought he was doing his "heart attack" routine from Sanford and Son. Not quite....

Two and a Half Men - a crime against humanity...whose idea was it to tell Charlie Sheen he can act, let alone do comedy?

Anonymous said...

How can anyone not like Out Of This World? Yes, the execution was horrible, but come on, Burt Reynolds as an alien dad-voice in a crystal box. Plus a girl who can stop time. It was gold!

rjschwarz said...

I enjoyed Shasta McNasty. It was offensive and juvenile but it made me laugh and that's sort of the point.

HonkyTonkin said...

I know this has come and gone, but I came across it during a google search. Enjoyed and agreed with much of it, so just wanted to add my two cents.

Being among the ranks of the unemployed now, my bedtime habits have changed, and I find myself watching late-night TV. I never saw a couple of shows on the list, other than moments here and there: The Nanny and Family Matters. But Nick at Night is showing them, oh anywhere between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. It's like a trainwreck, I can't help but look.

OMG, the stupidity! Renée Taylor must've died a thousand little deaths during The Nanny's run. The big joke was that her character, Fran's mother, liked to eat! What's really staggering is when I realized that Family Matters ran for nine years! And The Nanny ran for six. Good fucking lord.

And I completely agree with Dan, above, who wrote about Reba: I hate this show not just because it was annoying and unfunny, but that it took genuine issues like divorce, teen pregnancy, financial troubles, and turned them into a sick burlesque that featured no recognizable human feeling.

Reba, which is the 2000s Lucy apparently, in that it is on all the time, is a show that I can't even believe was made in the last few years. As Dan says, one thing that makes it so offensive is that it takes serious/topical issues and trivializes them with the stupidest, most moronic situations and writing. And two of the characters, Van and Barbara Jean, are functionally retarded.

And the premise: a woman's husband has an affair with his younger employee, they divorce, then the husband and the new wife spend all their time at the ex's house? God, I hate Reba.

(I disagree with whoever above thought Coach and 3rd Rock should be on the list. I remember getting some laughs out of both those shows.)

weaselriot said...

I realize that it is much easier to quickly fill up a "worst 25" sitcom list than it is to fill a "best 25" sitcom list, but how could one leave out the following:

Alice

Three's Company

The Jeffersons

Doc

Hello Larry

And to think the first three were long-running hits. Infuriates me all the more. At least losers that are cancelled after three episodes were gone and forgotten quickly.

mughound said...

Disagree with the suggestion of Three's Company.
Even today, it's still watchable one of the best representations of the modern sitcom, able to blend physical comedy and risqué humor in a light-hearted package.

It's also a great window into the late 70s and early 80s.

71dude said...

Blansky's Beauties

Condo

Designing Women

A Different World

Empty Nest

Flo

Gimme a Break

Growing Pains

How to Be a Gentleman

Just the 10 of Us

Love & War

Mama Malone

Mr. T & Tina

9 to 5

Retired at 35

Step by Step

Too Close for Comfort

The Tortellis

227

Unhappily Ever After

The Van Dyke Show

Who's the Boss?

Who's Watching the Kids

Work It

Anonymous said...

I cannot Hogan's Heroes is not on this list. Replace this racist, unfunny, and completely retarded piece of crap with The Nanny,

jeffry gagnon said...

Some of the all-time WORST sitcoms are currently being re-run on a cable and broadcast network called ANTENNA TV.
1. McHALE'S NAVY: Ernest Borgnine was a so-so actor, but never any sort of comedian. He is, in fact, the unfunniest man to have ever lived. Even featuring such talented comics as Tim Conway and Carl Ballentine, Ernie still managed to make that show _horrible_!

2. DENNIS THE MENACE: An annoying, untalented child-actor who always goes next door and (yawn) does something predictable to make "Mr.Wilson" say "Good grief".

3. A tie between HAZEL and MR.ED. You be the judge.