Who doesn’t like a good sitcom? An asshole, that’s who. Sitcoms are great for laughs, and it’s one of my favorite TV genres of all time, which is why I’m making this list. Unlike most top tens which would list ten sitcoms in one list, I’m going to separate this into two top 5 lists; Top 5 Live Action Sitcoms, and Top 5 Animated Sitcoms, because I love both live action and animated sitcoms and I wanted to make it equal between both of them. Now, without further ado, let’s begin.
Top 5 Live Action Sitcoms:
5. All In The Family-
When this show first came out, it was very groundbreaking due to it’s humor about topics such as race, religion, sexual orientation, and other taboo topics of the day that, frankly weren’t being covered by ’50s and ’60s sitcoms. The ’70s was one of the greatest decades for sitcoms due to such topical humor, and this was the best of the bunch. Also, Archie Bunker and Meathead are two of the funniest sitcom characters ever.
4. That 70s Show-
Speaking of the ’70s, this show was all about them. However, it didn’t just make a bunch of pop culture references to the decade. If it did that, it would have been awful (I’m looking at you, That ’80s Show). The show was actually funny. It was basically about a bunch of teenagers having fun, hanging out, listening to music, and smoking pot, and it worked. The characters (especially Red Forman and his many foot up ass quotes) were great and Ashton Kutcher was actually likable. That’s how you know it’s a great show.
3. Boy Meets World-
I can’t believe I never watched this show before 2012. I didn’t know what I was missing. There are two things that really makes this show so great. One is the drama aspect of the show, particularly the later episodes, so it was kind of a cross between a teen drama and a sitcom. The result was a great coming of age “sitdram.” I also like the great cast of characters, from the wise Mr. Feeny, to the idiotic Eric, to the dorky Cory, to the smart (and hot) Topanga. The show is a bit more meaningful than the average sitcom, and that’s why I love it.
Ah, Roseanne. This was one of two groundbreaking sitcoms of the late ’80s and ’90s that went against the traditional family sitcoms so prevalent in the ’80s, such as The Cosby Show and Full House. The other was… well, we’ll get to that in a moment. The show was notable for its raunchiness and dysfunctional family, as well as topics such as sex and sexuality. Roseanne was at her wisecracking, insulting best, yet the real standout was probably Darlene, who was always sarcastic and had a witty comeback to practically anything. This show was absolutely hilarious, but not quite the best.
1. Married… With Children-
This is without a doubt the greatest sitcom ever made. This was the other of those two groundbreaking sitcoms, and the better of the two shows. The difference is, while Roseanne was still a serious show (and Married.. With Children was originally, as well), eventually, it essentially became a live action cartoon. And the raunchiness was unprecedented for its time. What truly made this a great show was its great cast of characters They are the hard working unlucky Al Bundy who you just had to feel sorry for, a man who dislikes his family and neighbors, the horny wife who never gets any, Peg (who was hot despite her age), the promiscuous and dumb blond bimbo, Kelly (who was even hotter than her mom), the loser son who’s even hornier than his mom, Bud, and their neighbors, Al’s arch nemesis, the feminazi Marcy, her old husband, Steve Rhodes, who was the perfect counter to Al, and her second husband, Jefferson D’arcy, who was a bit of an idiot. Don’t forget other characters like Buck (later Lucky) the dog and Griff and the rest of the No Ma’amers (No Ma’am was hilarious, by the way). This is perhaps the only live action sitcom that I like more than ANY animated sitcom, which is saying something, because I generally like animated sitcoms more. This one trumps them all. This show cracks me up every time I watch it. All of it added up to be one of the greatest shows in television history.
Top 5 Animated Sitcoms:
5. Family Guy-
Ah, I love Family Guy. I remember watching it for the first time on Adult Swim in 2006 (I know, I know, I was late to the party, since it was on Fox since 1999). It was the episode where the Griffins move to Texas. I laughed my ass off. I love the series use of cutaway gags (or flashbacks, if you prefer) and it’s completely zany sense of humor. I also love how there isn’t a joke too offensive for Family Guy to tell. The show also nailed the dysfunctional family theme perfectly. And how can you not love characters like the nymphomaniac, Quagmire, the angry cripple cop, Joe, the black guy who talks funny, Cleveland, or the retarded main character does a lot of crazy shit, Peter Family Guy is simply hilarious.
4. South Park-
Calm down, Family Guy fans. I love South Park and Family Guy equally. In fact, the only reason I picked South Park over Family Guy was due to a coin toss that South Park won. The reason I love South Park is due to its topical humor, which is somehow still funny today. I also love it because of its ability to offend countless people. South Park makes fun of anything and everyone, including the Pope, Jesus, Mohammed, gay people, black people, white people, Hispanics, and a hell of a lot more. South Park truly does not hold back. The characters are also funny, like Cartman, who’s a total asshole, and Kenny, who always ends up dying in some pretty violent ways. Not to mention characters like the gay/transsexual teacher, Mr. Garrison, and the underrated Stan Marsh. Oh, and South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is one of the funniest fucking movies I’ve ever seen. Nearly 16 years later, this show is still hilarious.
3. Beavis And Butt-Head-
Beavis And Butt-Head is notable for being one of the first cartoons to actually offend people and piss people off. It was very politically incorrect. A great example would be the episode, Womyn, in which Beavis And Butt-Head go to a women’s rights meeting, thinking they’re going to get laid. It was also very influential, directly influencing South Park and other shows. The show was also hilarious. The two title characters were classic examples of animated sitcom morons, in the same league as Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin, but perhaps even stupider. I also love how they made fun of music videos. I never see it on TV anymore, so I hope MTV didn’t cancel it, after bringing it back after a 14 year hiatus.
2. The Simpsons-
I know, I know. It isn’t my number one choice, which will no doubt piss some people off, and honestly, I can see why they’d be pissed. The Simpsons isn’t just a cartoon, it’s a legitimate pop culture icon, and it shows no signs of slowing down, even after almost 24 years. The show is also hilarious. It has a great cast of characters, from the idiot, hard working dad, Homer Simpson and his son, Bart, who is kind of a badass. The humor in the show is very funny, like when Lisa watches “When Buildings Collapse” with Homer and Bart, which is then followed by “When Surgery Goes Wrong,” or the episode where Bart becomes friends with Ralph Wiggum, who is just plain weird. How can you not like The Simpsons. And you can’t forget the iconic Treehouse Of Horror episodes. The Simpsons is legendary for a reason.
Before I started this list, I knew that either The Simpsons or Futurama would be number one. Ultimately, I chose Futurama because, in all honesty, Futurama is a funnier show. I first started watching this in 2006 (again, late to the party) on Adult Swim and everyone in my school would talk about Family Guy, but I was always convinced that Futurama was the better show. It was created by Simpson’s creator, Matt Groening, so it has a similar sense of humor, but with one key difference: It’s in the fucking future! The show itself is hilarious and the characters are funny, like Bender, the alcoholic asshole robot, Fry, the moron who was frozen for 1000 years, the senile Dr. Farnsworth, and the inept Dr. Zoidberg, who I feel really sorry for. My favorite episodes are the Anthology Of Interest episodes. I love the What-If Machine and I love Fry’s question about what would happen if life were like a video game. Unlike some other things that were great in their day but were horrible when they were brought back (yes, that means you, ECW, because fuck WWECW), Futurama was and still is funny after Comedy Central brought it back. I bet you Fox is facepalming itself for cancelling it. A good list wouldn’t be complete without…
Live Action Sitcoms:
The Golden Girls-
Okay, I know I may be risking my masculinity just by putting it in my honorable mentions. I don’t care. It may be a show about four elderly women and their day to day lives, but it’s still worth your time. I recommend you watch it, manliness be damned.
The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air-
This was a great show starring Will Smith, who was at that time best known as the rapper, The Fresh Prince, as the nephew who lives with his wealthy family in Bel-Air. I bet no one watching this show would predict Will Smith becoming one of the biggest movie actors in the world, or his conversion to Scientology.
The Jeffersons is a great spinoff of All In The Family that was almost as funny. It notable for being one of the first sitcoms to prominently feature black people. George Jefferson is a hilarious character, and it has one of the greatest theme songs in TV history.
This is a great show created by Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy and The Cleveland Show. It manages to be a great show that is similar to Family Guy without feeling like a carbon copy. I love how Stan is the complete antithesis to Seth MacFarlane. I love this show.
This is the granddaddy of them all, the very first animated sitcom. Sure, it’s humor isn’t edgy compared to today’s shows, but it was pretty revolutionary for its time. I love its prehistoric setting and how animals replace common household objects. This is one of the greatest classic cartoons of all time. If there was any show I wanted on my list that didn’t make it, it’s this one.
Yet another great Hanna-Barbara cartoon and another early animated sitcom. Unlike The Flintstones, The Jetsons took place in the future in a Sci-Fi setting, many years before Futurama used that concept. Some people actually like The Jetsons more than The Flintstones, although I prefer The Flintsones. Still, it’s a great cartoon.
Well, there you have it, my ten favorite sitcoms ever made, plus six great honorable mentions. I hope you enjoyed reading this list, because I put a lot of hard work into it. I would appreciate any and all feedback (as long as it’s constructive). Did you want to see a sitcom on this list that didn’t make it? Then tell me about it in the comments. Also, don’t forget to check out the rest of my blog. I would really appreciate it. And if you like my blog, spread the word and tell your friends and family. More great articles are on the way. Thank you for reading and have a nice day. As an interesting side note, both my #1 live action and my #1 animated sitcoms share Katey Sagal as an actress. Pretty cool, eh? Well, at least I thought it was.