Thursday, October 16, 2008

Your favorite sitcoms

Here are a few folks you guys sure seem to like.
Keep weighing in with your favorite sitcom. Some very interesting answers. And some surprises. Since not everyone reads this blog daily (I know. It's hard to believe), I'll wait a few more days before posting my reaction.

58 comments:

rob! said...

M*A*S*H, period.

Further down the list: The Simpsons, Sports Night, The Office, 30 Rock, Arrested Development, Cheers

BadMoodBart said...

Although like so many others I'd go with MASH and Cheers, but also add Mad About You, I decided tonight to watch The Office, since it's on so many favorite sitcom lists. I saw a few episodes the first season, but hadn't seen one since.

Yawn. Seriously. Except for the touching scene at the end with Jim and Pam leaving each other voice mails, it was painfully bad. Stupid, insensitive people behaving badly. Really? That's what's so funny these days? If I wanted to watch stupid insensitive people I'd rather watch Black Adder on You Tube.

Christina said...

So the Bob Newhart Show is still No. 1 with me, but reading through the comments I remember how much I loved the Larry Sanders Show. God, that was good television, mostly because of Rip Torn. Cheers would be a strong No. 3. I saw every episode as they were aired, not in syndication. It was one of the few shows I watched regularly as a teenager.

Don Jennett said...

Hi Ken!

I have been renting the Bob Newhart Show season by season from my local library. I was in my early teens during it's first run (11-17 years old to be exact), and until a couple of weeks ago it had been probably 20+ years since I had seen an episode. From the opening theme (including Bob's "hello?") to the closing credits, it was like enjoying an aircheck of your favorite Top 40 radio station. What a great show it was!

Anonymous said...

In terms of ability to make me laugh out-loud, NewsRadio is the best. My impression is that Paul Simms has the the show just barely under control and it goes all over the place without losing its core. On DVD, it feels like a semi-improvised sketch-comedy satire of sitcom conventions. Especially when you watch ten or twelve episodes in a row & then listen to the commentaries.

The funniest moments on NewsRadio are absurdist black-comedy moments injected into work-a-day situations, leavened with lots of slapstick. But in comparison to most sitcoms, each of the characters retains some human dignity. Plus the show got cancelled before it could assume any of the maudlin "very special episode of…" that hit Friends and M*A*S*H.

WKRP, the Simpsons, Barney Miller, Bob Newhart, and Frasier I'd put up there as well, for much of the same reason: laugh-out-loud funny with some underlying dignity that keeps the show from being a nasty farce.

I find Seinfeld and Raymond, despite the brilliance of the former and hyper-competence of the latter, to be unwatchable because either the writers or the actors seem to despise their characters.

Anonymous said...

I've always liked Cheers since I was a little kid. My list is as follows:

1. Cheers
2. Seinfeld
3. The Office
4. It's Always Sunny in Philadephia
5. How I met your mother
6. Dobie Gillis (Nick at Night)

Joe Janes said...

Barney Miller. Best ever and most overlooked! Damn funny, great ensemble and not afraid to go serious. Would yo consider it the first sitcom dramedy, Ken?

I also throw in WKRP in Cincinnati in second, for much the same reasons.

geek7786 said...

There really was a UK sitcom called 'Heil, Honey, I'm Home!' about a couple living next door to Eva and Adolf Hitler. It got taken off after three, I believe.

Brian Phillips said...

I have to agree with "The Dick Van Dyke Show", however, my favorite sitcom that is not mentioned by anyone else would have to be "Frank's Place". It got overlooked due to schedule changes and the fact that "The Cosby Show" was getting a great deal of press at the time. However, "Frank's Place", with Tim Reid as a Boston-raised professor that ends up running his estranged and late father's New Orleans restaurant was a great show. It had no laugh track, shifted well between drama and comedy and it was written well and had a great cast.

Here is the drag; you cannot buy it on DVD and it is seldom rerun. YouTube has a healthy amount of it posted.

It succeeded at farce; one episode consists of a corpse that has ended up at the Frank's ("The Chez Lousianne"or "The Chez" for short) on a day that the health inspector arrives (played by the creator of the show Hugh Wilson), the Emmy award-winning episode, "The Bridge" struck a nice balance between laughs and drama and the last episode featured a group of out-of-town businessmen who engage in some boardroom politics via the pay phone at the Chez.

Out of seventeen shows, only one was slightly off-standard. There was a show that featured a scout trying to recruit a local basketball star, but even that was still quite good.

It would have been fascinating to see what would have happened had the show survived. I think that the small following plus the hip tunes from the jukebox keeps this from coming out on DVD.

scooter said...

WKRP remains really strong (except for the damn music rights thing) and seasons two through six of the Simpsons are a peak achievement of the human species. It's easy to forget how groundbreaking and surprising Seinfeld seasons two through five (or so) was, and they remain very watchable. And Arrested Development was always a weekly appointment.

These days 30 Rock is the only thing that hits me the same way: strong characters interacting in recognizably human and grounded ways, even when they're totally goofy. This is something that the current writers of a certain long-running animated series seem to have forgotten...

SharoneRosen said...

The first one that popped into my mind was BARNEY MILLER, a truly wonderful and undersung show.
In addition to that, in no particular order:
MASH
CHEERS
the VICOR OF DIBLEY
the DICK VAN DYKE SHOW
SPORTS NIGHT

I was a disc jockey in NoCal when WKRP was on the air. Liked it, but,it was too much like my reality. When people asked if radio was anything like that, I told them, "WKRP" is a documentary.

Vermonter17032 said...

I responded yesterday that Cheers is my all time favorite sitcom -- and it is. But I've been thinking about some of the others that I've enjoyed over the years. By decade they would be:

1950s - The Honeymooners
1960s - Get Smart
1970s - M*A*S*H (with Bob Newhart a close second)
1980s - Cheers, of course
1990s - Frasier
2000s - 30 Rock

I guess you might call this my biographical list of favorite sitcoms.

Fitz said...

Your photo reminded me - your next category should be "hottest sitcom wife." All entries vie for second place behind Suzanne Pleshette.

Joke said...

Hmm.

OK.

Let's see...

In absolutely no order whatever:

The Bob Newhart Show
Barney Miller
Newhart
It's Your Move
(what? shut up!)
Blackadder (probably my favorite Britcom)
NewsRadio (epochs ago, a client of mine got a product placement on the episode where Matthew gets fired)
WKRP in Cincinnati
Frasier

Seinfeld (especially the later episodes that had less of that Larry David touch)
Taxi

There. A nice, even 10.

-J.

Cezar said...

Hi Ken,

I'm 22 and haven't watched a lot of the sitcoms mentioned above. The two that stick out are:

Mighty Boosh (Start off with the first season if you look into it.)

Newsradio (for reasons mentioned above many times.)

Campbell said...

Hottest sitcom wife? Helen Hunt.

Mark P said...

All Time: Andy Griffith

Cleverest: Coupling
(Moffatt is a stunning talent)

Current: Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory, Earl

jbryant said...

brian: great call on Frank's Place!

joke: I remember It's Your Move quite fondly. Jason Bateman and David Garrison were great together. Would love to see how it holds up.

45 is the new 30 said...

In no particular order, my top-of-mind Top 10 are ...

1) The Dick Van Dyke Show
2) The Mary Tyler Moore Show
3) Roseanne (prior to the lottery win weirdness)
4) Mad About You (pre-Mabel)
5) Northern Exposure (okay, not really a sitcom, but a dram-com of sorts)
6) The Cosby Show (pre-Erika Alexander and Raven Symone/pre-Dr. William H. Cosby gets all preachy and "message-y")
7) Kate and Allie
8) Everybody Loves Raymond
9) The Bob Newhart Show
10)Seinfeld

Honorable mention: Bewitched (the early years), Taxi, and The Odd Couple. Oh, and Cheers, early years of Frasier, and M*A*S*H (and nope, that's honestly not just me sucking up!!)

Really, really don't like The Honeymooners (sorry, Ken) - didn't enjoy it as a kid, don't enjoy it if I happen to catch it now. Ironically, however, I still get a kick out of The Flintstones if I happen to see it by chance ... arguably the first animated sitcom, and based on The Honeymooners, to boot.

Rapidodout said...

Tie: Seinfeld, Arrested Development

Runners Up: Simpsons (early yrs), Family Guy (holds up to multiple viewings well), Cheers, Get a Life (am I the only one?), Newhart, Garry Shandling Show, Frasier, Friends

angelmeg said...

I can't narrow it down to just one but I would have to say for older shows it would be

The Bob Newhart Show

and either
Bless Me Father
or
Father Ted (Both UK)

because they make me laugh each and every time I watch them no matter how many times I have seen the episodes.

My new favorite is The Big Bang Theory because of the same reason, I laugh out loud every single week.

Scouter said...

Cheers, The Office, Blackadder, Seinfield, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage, Two Guys a Girl & a Pizza Place, Flight of the Conchords, Mash. Not necessarily in that order, although Cheers & The Office are now my two all time faves.

Dodie said...

I’m probably dating myself with most of my favorites, but here they are, in no particular order…

The Bob Newhart Show
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Barney Miller
WKRP in Cincinnati
Everybody Loves Raymond
Cheers
M*A*S*H

benson said...

Your photo reminded me - your next category should be "hottest sitcom wife." All entries vie for second place behind Suzanne Pleshette.

Agreed, but she should've worn more sweaters :)

I chimed in yesterday, too with my list, and upon further review, should've added Mad about You. The first three season were very, very good.

Mud said...

Wow ... Nobody has mentioned "Sports Night"... MASH and Sport Night top my list.

Fladam said...

Hi Ken! My quick three favorites:

The Simpsons
Soap
Seinfeld

They couldn't be any different from each other, but all touched my in very incredible ways.

diane said...

In no particular order either, my favorites are

MASH
Taxi
Coach
Evening Shade
WKRP in Cinncinnati
Coupling
Night Court
Wings
How I Met Your Mother
Sports Night

I may have to defend myself for choosing Evening Shade, as I seem to be the only one to have liked it. Not LOL funny, but warm and cozy. WKRP had an episode about a turkey promo that still makes me laugh. We had an elephant promo at the car dealership where I worked that was almost as hilarious. It's a long story so I won't try to tell it here.

LeeFranke said...

Top would be:

Sports Night

Then in no particular order:
MASH
Friends
Black Adder
Mad About You
(my wife has just gotten married, so it was really laughing with them).

peter noble said...

The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin
Sports Night
Red Dwarf
Frasier
Fawlty Towers
Butterflies

jbryant said...

mud: Sports Night has gotten numerous mentions. Perhaps you missed the original thread, which is posted beneath this one and has over 180 entries.

For whatever reason, I could never get into that show. Sorkin's voice is sort of a love-it-or-hate-it thing, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Gotta agree with the first commenter, rob!, it's M*A*S*H* all the way.

For me, it's the only one that truly stands the test of time. The others are good and some fair better than others as far as not seeming to be dated. But others are painfully dated, almost embarressingly dated.

I also agree with the rest of rob!'s list though I've never seen Sports Night (no cable, if you can believe it).
Mich

gjs said...

I agree with many of the recurring suggestions already listed (Bob Newhart, Dick Van Dyke, Seinfeld, etc.)

Let me just echo a few that have been less frequently mentioned:

-Taxi was seminal
-Barney Miller is the one show in the history of TV that got better every season it was on the air.
-Yes Minster & Yes, Prime Minister from BBC are extraordinarily well scripted and performed. The humor about the nature of politics is still sharp and funny across an ocean and 20-plus years later.

John Pearley Huffman said...

d. mcewan,

Well, I might as well move our Gilligan feud over to this thread.

For the record, I am a grown man. However my wife, mother and children will argue that "overgrown child" better describes my psyche. My immaturity has proved lucrative in my chosen profession, so I do nothing to tamp it.

I'm glad to know you agree with me about Mr. Backus' manifest talents (he was, I thought, the best thing in Rebel Without A Cause), but you're not fair to Bob Denver or Alan Hale who mad the Gilligan and Skipper iconic.

I won't argue that Natalie Schaefer was a great actress, on that she was a perfect Mrs. Howell. And Russell Johnson, Dawn Wells and Tina Louise all did their jobs well, even if they weren't Phil Silvers level geniuses.

The true genius of Gilligan was the situation part of the sitcom formula. Each of the castaways was clearly modeled on a particular aspect of the socio-economic spectrum -- Gilligan as innocent youth, the Skipper as military authority, the Professor as academia, the Howells as the overclass, Mary Ann as the rural optimist and Ginger as celebrity. And throughout the series they respected their societal roles even though they were ripped away from the society in which those roles made any sense. It was the perfect way to poke at society. Though I concede that that poking was done in the service of slapstick laughs rather than insightful commentary.

Gilligan remains one of the great sitcoms of all time because of its timeless situational structure, solid and unfettered performances, and commitment to silliness. Yeah, Frasier was wittier, MASH more heartfelt, and Bilko was more frenetic. But none of them was actually FUNNIER than Gilligan.

So there.

Harris said...

"The Dick Van Dyke Show."

What I find interesting is that I don't think I've seen a single mention of "I Love Lucy."

Harris said...

Scratch my comment. The ILL mentions were in the previous post.

Chris Riesbeck said...

1. Taxi -- because everyone seemed real and had a dream beyond life in a cab, except Alex and Louie and what an interesting pairing that was, and because it had some of the funniest scenes I've ever seen (Jim taking his written driving test, Louie answering the door he's convinced is his doom, ...). When Cheers came out "from the people who brought you Taxi," I was disappointed that it just had funny lines and characters.

2. Car 54 -- ooh ooh!

3. Burns and Allen -- for being able to break the 4th wall for years and never succumbing to chaos, even when they changed the actor for Harry Morton in mid-scene.

Jeff said...

Among my all-time classics:

The Dick Van Dyke Show
M*A*S*H
Cheers
Frasier
Coupling

30 Rock might get there one day; How I Met Your Mother probably won't ever reach classic status, but I enjoy it.

I have to give a shout-out to one show that could have made it to the classic list if it haven't been cancelled after a season and a half: OUT OF PRACTICE

Allen L. said...

I'll never ever forget the sublime genius of Richard Mulligan as Burt Campbell, waking up in a strange woman's house, post-coitally, getting up on a coffee table and proceeding to out Harpo and out Van Dyke with physical comedy that had me, as a 13 year old, howling.
I don't know if it holds up today, but I KNOW that there's very little chance it would get green lit today, but Soap was hysterical.
It was no Szysznyk, but really, what was?

TCinLA said...

OK, no attempt here to get "extra credit" but one major reason why I read this blog is because you worked on three of my top 5 sitcoms, those being MASH, Cheers and Frasier. The otehr two? All in the Family and the first Newhart show (with #2 Newhart being #6).

As to modern sitcoms, they are all CRAPOLA. I liked Earl at first, but it hasn't held my attention.

I think "The Office" is too close to situations in my life where the alternatives were show up with an Uzi and ten clips, or jump out the window, which may be an indication it's really very good. I'm like a woman friend of mine who did advertising in the 60s and can't watch "Mad Men" because it makes her want to get a gun and a time machine.

TCinLA said...

Definitely have to put in a vote for Blackadder, a Britcom that will NEVER be Americanized, since we're a country that doesn't have the historical knowledge to tell the difference between the Civil War and Vietnam (I'm not kidding, last year a young woman told me the American Revolution happened in 1976, and she was fucking SERIOUS). I always regretted that they jumped from the Regency to World War I for the last season and didn't do Gladstone and Disraeli - that would have been hysterical. Elizabeth I as a ditz was wonderful though.

Ed said...

McHale's Navy, Gilligan's Island, Brady Bunch, Partridge Family, All In the Family, Newhart, MTM, WKRP, Larry Sanders.

Others I would still watch today if I surfed upon them: F Troop, Gomer Pyle, Beverly Hillbillies, and yes, to prove I KNOW NOTHING, Hogan's Heroes.

D. McEwan said...

OK pearl,

But having just suffered through the hideous debut of CRUSOE, this is perhaps not the best moment to try to convince me that a painfully childish, unfunny old show about castaways was funny. (Note how none of the billions of other commentors are leaping to GI's defense.)

Thanks for breaking down and analyzing the formula set-up of the characters on GI for me, something I did for myself when seeing it first-run, back when I was 15, and already finding it puerile. I would dispute that the Captain represented "Military Authority," as he was lacking in any real authority, and was basically a big jolly shlump.

I understood what they were attempting at the time. It wasn't too difficult. The test is, how well did they do it (Not well at all) and how funny was it.

You said "Frasier was wittier, MASH more heartfelt, and Bilko was more frenetic. But none of them was actually FUNNIER than Gilligan."

I can not come within a light-year of agreeing. Bolko repeats I've seen and seen over 50 years still make me laugh out loud, some of them so hard, getting breath is difficult.

GILLIGAN'S ISLAND does not make me laugh. It does not make me smile. It makes me tired, and on the EXTREMELY rare occasion I see someone laugh at something in it, all it does is lower my opinion of their taste.

BILKO was funnier than GI. DOBIE GILLIS was funnier than GI. This week's presidential debate was funnier than GI. I once was in a high school production of the tragedy of ANTIGONE (During the first-run of GI) that was funnier than GI.

But GI was funnier than tonight's debut of CRUSOE, which had everything except the Harlem Globetrotters.

But you go right on enjoying it, just don't switch it on when you're in my living room.

PS. Jim Backus was terrific in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (Loved him trying to be butch in the frilly ladies apron), but he is only AMONG the best things in that movie. I know Natalie Wood has many fans who read this column, and for my money, its Sal Mineo who makes the film. (A photo of Sal and James Dean from that film is on the wall in my kitchen, because they were HOT!)

Backus was the co-star of one of the shows in my list of favorites, I MARRIED JOAN (A choice no one else has included. We all have our aberrant loves.) I also had the pleasure of meeting him a few times.

I once took a lady friend to see one of Lily Tomlin's one-lesbian shows. This lady friend had ENORMOUS boobies, which she always dressed to show off. On this occasion, she was wearing a blouse so low cut it was barely hanging on to her nipples, and displayed her cleavage the size of the San Fernando Valley and her butterfly tattoo on one bazoom. During intermission, she went to the bar. She returned from the bar with a huge grin. I asked the cause of her joy, and she said that while ordering her drink and awaiting its delivery, Jim Backus had taken a leisurely, long gander at her - ah - tattoo, which tickled her no end.

I suppose I should be glad he didn't go into Mr. Magoo mode, and inspect her tattoo from an inch away.

But when I think of Backus, I smile, remembering his enjoyment of big bazooms, and how much Retta enjoyed his ogling her.

D. McEwan said...

"Ed said...
McHale's Navy, Gilligan's Island, Brady Bunch, Partridge Family, F Troop, Gomer Pyle, Beverly Hillbillies, and Hogan's Heroes."

Boy Ed, I'm glad we were never roommates. There would have been bloodshed. It's like a list of the all-time worst sit-coms.

But keep channel-surfing, because BEVERLY HILLBILLIES is on TV LAND about 80 times a day.

Pearley said...

d. mcewan,

I never assume anyone is as puerile as I am until I've pointed out the incredibly obvious to them. It is, of course, the essence of my puerile personality.

And when I can find a Bilko repeat, I still laugh too. I'm not a complete heathen.

D. McEwan said...

"when I can find a Bilko repeat, I still laugh too."

You can Netflix the Bilko DVDs.

I was saying the show was puerile, not you.

iamacat said...

Yes, I'd have to go along with many of the crowd favorites here. But while many of these shows fit the textbook model of the perfect sitcom, I have to say that when I look at most of them with the cynicism and general crotchedy-ness of age, and the clear hindsight of knowing what is possible on cable, I lose my enthusiasm. The Bob Newhart Show was my all time favorite for years, and Barney Miller obliterates any of the later day ensemble cast shows like Friends and How I Met Your Mother. And how about all those guest stars? Doesn't that violate some rule of what not to do to stay on the air for what, ten years?

I'd have to go with Larry Sanders as my all time favorite, still quoted every single day, even the lame episodes are worth watching for the odd one liner, show. The first two or three seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm were everything Seinfeld (which I catch in reruns now almost as much as I used to see MASH in its constant replay days) could never have been. The all around best sitcom I've seen in years was Lucky Louie. It followed classic structure religiously, and had a real stagey feel, being filmed in front of a live audience. Louis C K is great, and Mike Hagerty as the best friend got a chance to shine. I will never understand why they didn't get past season one. A truly groundbreaking show that didn't need to rewrite the rules.

And call me a snob, but doesn't the Office on NBC just suck compared to the original? I've caught a few episodes and chuckled here and there, but the magic just ain't there for me like it was watching the original.

And while we're fawning over lame British sitcoms no one's heard of, how about an honorable mention for Are You Being Served? I laugh out loud at the reruns even now. Just and idiotic show, but a great example of how to recycle three or four tired old cliches into several hundred hours of hilarious tv. Brilliant!

And does anyone rememeber the BBC show about the antiques shop owner who finds a portal back to WW2 years? It only ran briefly on PBS in the states. It was great, never any special effects; the guy would go for a walk and they'd cut to him entering the local watering hole in 1942 or whenever it was. It was a half hour sitcom, with wacky situations brought on by the antique shop fellow knowing about the future in the past. Or having to lie to his wife or have his best mate cover for him for his "walks". Great show! I wish I knew the name.

Anonymous said...

Some of my favorites include:
Extras
Curb Yr Enth.
Barney Miller
and I think my all time favorite Taxi - remember the first episode and we meet Louie? or Rev Jim asking about a yellow light?

Anonymous said...

iamacat - The show your thinking about about the guy that finds a portal to the 1940's is Goodnight Sweetheart. I liked Are You Being Sered? But another fantastic British sitcom is Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. People talk about John Ritter or Michael Richards being very good at physical comedy, but none of them can touch Michael Crawford.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFLpwRMS00g

Cameron, London said...

I left my name off my comment about Some Mothers. But it was one of the most spectacular sitcoms that I have ever seen in terms of stunts. Look it up on You Tube.

Mike said...

Years ago, either Nick at Nite or TV Land used to promote their sitcoms as having "rewatchablity." And I think that's what makes an all-time great sitcom. A show that you can watch, and still laugh out loud at, even though you may have already seen the episode 10 times. So, in that regard, my very favorite sitcom is probably Cheers, with Get Smart a close second. Also on the list, in no particular order, is I Love Lucy, Newsradio, Seinfeld, Frasier (although its latter-season episodes kind of weigh it down a bit, IMO) and Simpsons (see my Frasier comment). Though The Office is still pretty young, it's almost to the point where it can crack my all-time favorites list. I expect 30 Rock will eventually be there, as it and The Office are my favorite shows on the air, but it still feels pretty young.

Though Arrested Development lasted only 2 1/2 seasons, I'd probably include it among my favorites too. That show was just hilarious.

D. McEwan said...

"iamacat said...
Mike Hagerty as the best friend got a chance to shine."

Ah Mike Hagerty. Funny guy. About 17 or 18 years ago Mike and I smoked a joint together on the now-long-gone skyway ride at Disneyland. (The trick was to hide it while you're in the Matterhorn, where there are security cameras.) Swell guy to hang with, so to speak.

"while we're fawning over lame British sitcoms no one's heard of, how about an honorable mention for Are You Being Served?"

Were I listng sitcom guilty pleasures, I would have certainly have included ARE YOU BEING SERVED on mine. It's hardly a first-rate show, but I confess I still tune into it nearly every week for its wonderful ensemble.

The late john Inman, who played the flamboyant Mr. Humphires (Inman must be one of the best names for a gay man ever) was a late-in-life fan of mine, as he read a copy of my first book when he was hositalized near the end of his life, so I am comforted in knowing that towards the end, I returned to him a few of the laughs he had given me. (I had given him a signed copy through a mutual friend.)

And of course, I LOVED when they "murdered" Molly Sugden, the flourescent-haired Mrs. Slocum, in the first season of LITTLE BRITAIN.

"I'm free!"

Rob Bates said...

Mary Tyler Moore, All in the Family. Never been topped.

Joke said...

Crap.

Forgot all about Soap. Maybe I'm blocking it because it led to Benson being foisted upon an innocent nation, maybe it's because it didn't last a zillion seasons; either way, there you go.

It was also the first show I ever heard (I may have been 11 or 12) use the word "horny" which I immediately realized was something a) the meaning to which I needed to decipher, desperately; and
b) not from my parents, who were looking rather aghast.

-J.

Numb Frog said...

MARRIED WITH CHILDREN....

It still goes further than most sitcoms ever do... painfully funny and low budget at the same time. It's so off color, but entertaining...

I just watch 10 episodes this past week (seen them all before) and I laugh and laugh.

It's just an amazing show and overlooked for the great writing and originality.

AZRedSoxGal said...

M*A*S*H, number one, hands down.

Also worthy, The Simpsons, The Office, Seinfeld, Dick van Dyke. 30 Rock has had its moments, but no longevity. Saw Mad About You recently, it's held up well.

D. McEwan said...

Gee, I haven't watched a MARRIED WITH CHILDREN in over 12 years. I remember loving its early seasons, until they adopted "7," at which point it jumped the shark so severely, I've never looked at it again, even in reruns.

A short but bitter affair I had with one of the producers of the show didn't help my fondness for it any. And he HATED the show. How do you make a good show when its producers think it's "Crap"? (His word for his own show)

Does it hold up? I remember liking Katy Segal very much. Maybe it was better than my dim memories indicate.

Anonymous said...

Another interesting question would be: What is the most underrated sitcom of all time?

Offhand, I'm thinking Bosom Buddies, but I might vote for another.

iamacat said...

Oh my gods, I can't believe I forgot ALL IN THE FAMILY. It gets best and worst of all time, if you include ARCHIE BUNKER'S PLACE as the same show.

Thanks so much to that anonymous poster who named the show I asked about, GOODNIGHT SWEETHEART. Thanks Ken, for the awesome, memory jogging, argument provoking posts.

Was it here I learned about the laugh track battles over MASH? I think it was. It was fine when I was 14 and stoned, but that laughtrack really interferes with the "rewatchability" of MASH all these years later. It's funny already! No cues necessary. Same thing with ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT and Ron Howard's whiny, extraneous voiceover. It only detracts. I watched season one on dvd like homework, just to see what all the excitement was about. The VO wears thin in the first ten minutes. I can imagine it without the VO, and there's nothing missing.

Oh well. Thanks again, Ken !!!