your favorite sitcoms. Also, thanks to those who did mention shows I was associated with (even though you didn’t have to). It’s a great feeling to know something I did years ago is still being enjoyed today. And now if I ever write something that’s really a piece of shit I can always say, “Hey, at least I once wrote for CHEERS.”
I agree with most of your choices… although in a few cases I thought, “Are you kidding me??!” I won’t say which shows because I don’t want to embarrass the commenters. But holy shit! I’d put AfterMASH up against some of those clams.
Most of your choices were as I had imagined. But there were some surprises. The big one was THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW. I think if I took a poll of all your entries, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW would finish first. Above SEINFELD, MASH, MTM, CHEERS, FRASIER, GOLDEN GIRLS, FRIENDS, even WHITNEY. Remarkable to think that a fifty-year-old sitcom would garner such respect today. Hey, it’s pretty remarkable that any fifty-year-old comedy is still remembered today. If you’re not familiar with THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, check out TV LAND or Hulu or come by my place. I watch it a lot. One commenter said it captured the Kennedy Era and I had never thought about that but I think he’s right. Rob Petrie looked a little like John Kennedy and Laura sure looked like Jackie. The young upscale couple raising a small child – it does sort of fit. Good observation.
Lots of love for another old chestnut, THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW. One commenter said that no other sitcom has ever created a world better than THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW and that’s true. Even Jews wanted to move to Mayberry.
Although classics like THE HONEYMOONERS, and THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW were acknowledged, the fact that they’re no longer shown regularly and they’re almost sixty-years-old makes it understandable that today they were getting the same number of votes as SABRINA THE TEEN WITCH.
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT fans remain loyal and fervent. An ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT feature film and ten new TV episodes are in the works you’ll be happy to learn. Sorry I can’t say the same about PUNKY BREWSTER or WEBSTER. Alas, there are no major plans to turn those classics into major Hollywood movies.
MURPHY BROWN received very few votes, despite its series creator, Diane English saying the year it won an Emmy that it was the greatest situation comedy of all-time. Uh, maybe not… but points for humility. ROSEANNE also got merely a smattering of votes. That should result in a crazed tirade in her blog.
Some of you were very specific, breaking down series into seasons. I agree with all those who said the best years of MASH were the Larry Gelbart years. They were the best by light years. And there's a decided preference to the Diane years of CHEERS over Rebecca's. Each era had its pluses, but I do think the first season of CHEERS was extraordinary.
For those who listed animated shows, I found it interesting that practically everyone mentioned THE SIMPSONS while practically no one mentioned FAMILY GUY.
Some of your choices were from out in left field. DOCTOR DOCTOR, ACTION!, FRANK’S PLACE, TEDDY Z., PARKER LEWIS CAN'T LOSE, SLAP MAXWELL. One person added GOODTIME HARRY – a lost gem created by the great Steve Gordon (who wrote the movie ARTHUR).
And other big shows sort of fell between the cracks. COSBY, TAXI, FAMILY TIES, LARRY SANDERS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND got a few mentions but not as many as I would have thought.
In the gone-but-not-forgotten category: BETTER OFF TED, NEW CHRISTINE, and even a couple of votes for ALMOST PERFECT. Thank you.
It’s amazing how many truly exceptional sitcoms come from the UK and other foreign shores. THE OFFICE certainly, but also FAWLTY TOWERS, BLACK ADDER, FATHER TED, YES MINISTER, ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, COUPLING and at least five others. A few foreign sitcoms you mentioned I will be trying to track down. CORNER GAS, RED DWARF, and SPACED top the list.
Best sitcom title ever: DROP THE DEAD DONKEY (from the UK).
Saturday I list my top ten, which includes one that only a couple people mentioned and another that none of you brought up, and still a third that you probably never heard of. Thanks again to everyone for participating. You'll know I've been doing this blog too long when I ask "What's your favorite PBS Pledge Break of All-Time?"