10 Classic Sitcoms

Saturday, January 22 by Walter Turner

Selecting the 10 classic sitcoms brings back memories of hilarity and fun. The classic sitcoms aren't necessarily the best sitcoms ever made, but are, instead, the situation comedies that had an impact on our culture. In many ways, these programs are as relevant today as they were when they were first made.

  1. “The Andy Griffith Show.” This isn't just a classic sitcom, it's one of the best television shows of any genre ever broadcast. The show is still popular in reruns even though its last original episode was broadcast more than 40 years ago. This show is a classic because it gave us such memorable characters as Barney, Aunt Bee, Otis the drunk, Floyd the barber, Goober and Gomer.

  2. “I Love Lucy.” Even though this show dates from the dawn of television, it too, is still in reruns. Lucille Ball is a comedic genius on a par with Charlie Chaplain, and this show and its supporting cast create the perfect venue for Lucy to showcase her talents.

  3. “All in the Family.” This show is a classic sitcom if for no other reason than it broke all of the rules and smashed all of the boundaries. Television was never the same after Archie Bunker was unleashed on the country along with an assortment of unforgettable characters like “the Meathead” and “the Dingbat.”

  4. “Seinfeld.” This is possibly the most consistently original show ever seen on television. The casting is so successful that it is difficult to decide which character is your favorite.

  5. “Mash.” This classic sitcom features Alan Alda channeling Groucho Marx. The one-liners never stop. This comedy also had the resiliency to survive a number of major cast changes.

  6. “Leave it to Beaver.” This depiction of the All-American family is still in reruns. It appeals to both kids and adults and is a classic because it is the best of the sitcoms from its era depicting the ideal family.

  7. “Happy Days.” “The Fonz” became such a dominating presence on this classic sitcom that it's easy to forget that he was originally a supporting character. This comedy is about nostalgia and the epitome of cool.

  8. “The Cosby Show.” In its day, this show was must-see TV. This comedy revolved around a doctor and his family and was set in New York. Bill Cosby is superb, and the show is so hilariously funny that it has had a long life in reruns.

  9. “Cheers.” This classic sitcom was nearly canceled early in its run, but survived to last eleven years. This is one of the most character-dominated shows in television history, and it spawned the successful “Fraser” series.

  10. “Gilligan's Island.” Yes, you can argue that shows like “The Honeymooners,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Bob Newhart Show” or “the Dick Van Dyke Show” belong on this list before this goofy comedy, but “Gilligan's Island” is such an iconic show that it must be included on the list of classic sitcoms. Despite its ridiculous plots, this show has been loved by several generations of kids and still has an enormous following today.