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oscar, oscar, oscar [updated]

So I'm having this argument with a friend today. He insists the Honeymooners is the greatest non-animated sitcom ever. His wife says All in the Family is. I say they are both (very very) wrong and that, while I think Seinfeld certainly made a name for itself, there was never a sitcom as good as The Odd Couple.

Other shows mentioned were MASH, Cheers, Newhart, Roseanne, Soap, KRP in Cincinatti, Mary Tyler Moore, Golden Girls and (ick) Everybody Loves Raymond.

I wish I had time to go into this in more detail - perhaps later. But for now I'll ask for your two cents. Or five. Or ten.


How could I forget the greatest show EVER??



A worthy list, but you left off Taxi - The best collection of characters on any sitcom. C'mon, how do you beat Latka and Reverend Jim?

One word: Whoopi

Married With Children.

Night Court
Maybe not a great series, but a handfull of the funniest episodes ever.

Brady Bunch.

The Cosby Show

Oh, and I Love Lucy.

Dang, I forgot about I Love Lucy. Yep, that would be the one.

Your friend is correct. In it's day, nothing was funnier than "The Honeymooners". It was "laugh out loud" funny. The humor was so basic that even little kids "got it". "One of these days, Alice!"

I did love "All in The Family" and "WKRP", however. "Who knew turkeys couldn't fly?". I laughed at that one until I almost peed myself. :)

Brainster got it -- I think the consensus in this household would be "Married With Children". We always stop for reruns of it -- and hear a new joke every single time we watch an episode.

Brady Bunch? I Love Lucy? Married With Children?... Holy Crap!...

On a note that could generate a similar response, I always thought that "The Bob Newhart Show" was SLIGHTLY more funny than MTM.

While I loved a lot of the ones named so far in their day (MASH, Cheers, WKRP, Taxi, Night Court -- hey, what about The Bob Newhart Show from the 70's? [on review: thank you, JFH...]), the advent of 24-hour 500-plus-channel cable has caused me to pretty much burnout on them all. The only two that come to my mind as still generating a drop-everything-if-I-see-it's-on mode in me (which I realize was not the question you asked, but...) are:

One Day at a Time (which would be perfect, except for all that yelling... and yes, I once had a Valerie Bertinelli poster on my bedroom wall...), and...


Double Trouble (what can I say -- there were twins on that show!...)

Second the nomination of Night Court.

"Police Squad."

The turkey episode was the only good thing about WKRP. And Dr. Fever.

I have to go with All in the Family...even though Bewitched is my guilty pleasure answer. I wanted to be Samantha when I grew up. It was a goal. Seemed legitimate at the time.

Taxi, no contest.

Let's go for un-funniest. Hands down (sorry mom) I Love Lucy was the worst. I had perfect attendance most of the way through school out of fear I'd have to stay home when mom was watching that barf fest.

Gomer Pyle sucked too.

Gilligan's Island. Hands down.

You missed The Dick Van Dyke Show and Barney Miller. Great shows both.

You know, i'll be the first to say it.

I grew up with All in the Family. And yanno what? I never saw the humor in it. Never. What, so I'm supposed to laugh at some racist white guy's insults? Sorry, not funny at all. I can see how white folks would think it was funny, though.

Eh, I hated All in the Family. I thought Sandford and Son was much funnier.

For vintage programming, I would agree with Rob about the Dick van Dyke show. More recently, I would give the nod to Frasier.


Considering your new banner, perhaps this is in the running?:


It has been years since I played "Beer Bob" which is having to drink every time someone said "Bob" on the first Newhart show( there are episodes with like 30).Both of his series rule,dammit!

Diff'rent Strokes for tackling issues like drugs, bulimia, child molestation, kidnapping, epilepsy, acid rain, bed wetting just to name a few!

M*A*S*H is the only sitcom to ascend into the rarified air which is The Honeymooners.

Eh, I hated All in the Family. I thought Sandford and Son was much funnier.

I agree. Sanford and Son was classic. IMO All in the Family is the most overrated sitcom. Ever.

The 8-year-old in me says Gilligan and the Munsters.

The grown up says MASH and Newhart (the Larry, Daryl and Daryl version).

So, I'll split the difference and go with Malcolm in the Middle.

I don't know if this qualifies since it probably can't be called a sitcom, but "Dynaman" on USA's Nightflight was one of my favorite shows ever.

I'm sure it has aged poorly, but I couldn't wait to watch it while it was on.

I'll third "The Dick Van Dyke Show". I've got the series on DVD and it's amazing how the humor holds up and is just as funny today as it was then.

And I know I'll get slammed for this, but I don't think I saw an episode of "Friends" that didn't make me laugh out loud. Sure, the premise was far-fetched - who could afford that lifestyle in New York? but the casting was great and the writing was....perfection.

Green Acres It wasn't goofy, it was sublime.

My goodness, it had a girl named Ralph, a guy named Eb, A Gabor, a pampered pig, a wannabe farmer who plowed in a 3-piece suit, and they all lived in a place called Hooterville.

If I did acid, I'd like it even more.

"Sports Night" TV Guide called it "the best show you're not watching" and they were right. While it wasn't a classic sitcom, it was the best of whatever it was.

Thank God for Slarti -- but it took 30 comments from this astute crowd before someone named the sitcom that was funniest on the most levels? Acres rules. Props also to Barney Miller and Taxi. Put a gun to my head and make me choose between The Honeymooners and All in the Family, each of which has exactly one funny character, and I gotta pick Ed Norton over Edith Bunker.

Not great, but helped me hit puberty: "The Partridge Family." Still have a Susan Dey crush, or at least the Susan Dey as I remember her.

The first season of "Malcolm in the Middle" is as funny as anything I've seen on TV.

And lastly I'll have to vote for "I Love Lucy" even though I don't. My parents were visiting lately and if I put Lucy on I was guaranteed to see them laugh. They don't have many years left and I want to remember them laughing.

PS to Slarti: You are sooooo right in your final comment.

WKRP: Dr. Fever "Booooggggeeeerrrr!"

It surprises even me to hear me say it, but I think I'm going to have to second the Cosby Show. It most assuredly jumped the shark once they added cousin Pam, but hot damn- that's one funny- and charming- show.

"Mr. Belvedere" DID have one of the funniest episodes of any sitcom, ever. Mr. Belvedere and Bob Uecker's character decided to chuck it all for the freedom of the open road, and became truckers. There is a scene where they stage a Gilbert & Sullivan musical number in a truck stop, with truckers playing all the roles. I kid you not! And it was a riot!

Cheers. Followed closely by Newhart, Night Court, Yes Minister, and Fawlty Towers [What, nobody said they all had to be American...]

Oh Gawd - how could I have forgotten

The Addams Family

I would agree with Taxi, that show is the classic.

And I'm sorry, I never laughed as hard at the Honeymooners as I did at Family Guy's "flashback" of the show two weeks ago. It just wasn't that hilarious.

I'll accept Married With Children... but just the first season, maybe the second... after that... jumped.

I must be waaay older than you guys. As for All in the Family and Mikey's comment "What, so I'm supposed to laugh at some racist white guy's insults?" above. No. And if that's as far as you got with it, then it's easily the worst show on TV all time. The humor was in the means to his always ending up the idiot semi-oblivious fool for his views. Given when it aired, and the fact that giving voice to that narrow mindedness was not uncommon, it shocked the nation into the first generation PC behavior. It was brilliant in serving up a massive mirror to a huge chunk of public and laughing at them openly.

And I didn't mean to ramble on...I'm going to go rewind Bo's performance one more time before putting my dentures in the glass by the bed...

dang, I have to stop reading this... I'm feeling terrible that I've seen hours and hours of every show mentioned... including ones I think are bad.

The Andy Griffith Show, no question.

I have a special place in my heart for "Cheers". My Father worked nights most of the time I was growing up. So when he retired('94) and was able to see "Cheers"(the coach episodes) he thought were the funniest shows he'd seen in a very long time. He asked me one time if I'd ever seen them. And as a side note I was VERY surprised to see him watching "Married with Children"
My personal favorite is "Barney Miller":
"Mooshy, mooshy, mooshy."

Sledge Hammer! Pick a line from it? OK:

"Excuse me...I want to go home and watch Mr. Belvedere"

Sledge: "Somebody has to"

Oh... Sledge Hammer...

Up until that comment, I didn't think there was anything listed I liked better than Belvedere (to this day, if I saw Wesley on the street, I'd be tempted to run him down). But you just can't beat a guy who was just off-kilter enough to talk to inanimate objects. Sledge was the greatest.

That said, I've seen good chunks of pretty much all of these. Plus lots more unlikely to make this list, like Alf, Head of the Class, Perfect Strangers, Family Ties, Wings, etc. ad infinitum.

To agree with ones that have been said so far: MASH is at the top of my list. No laugh track in the operating room was huge. Funny, funny show.

Cosby, to this day, cracks me up.

In recent years it has to be Arrested Development. I have never seen funny done quite this way before and it's brilliant.

To list a couple of guilty pleasures that have yet to be named: Charles in Charge (huge Nicole Eggert crush) and Three's Company are both classic.

The Dick Van Dyke Show. Mary Tyler Moore at her best, with Van Dyke, Morrie Amsterdam, Rose Marie, and Carl Reiner..........

It don't get any better than that.

Arrested Development is definitely the best out of recent times.

Another vote for the Dick van Dyke Show. A few clinkers, but lotsa wonderful episodes. "All About Eavesdropping" is one out of many that comes to mind.

Laura's charade clues for a song: Treachery. Stab in the back. Walk all over people.

Rob's correct answer: On the Street Where You Live.

And at the end, Rob plays the piano and says, "So I'm 'no Albert Schweitzer', huh?" (referring to Jerry's comment heard over the intercom). He's playing Bach, and one of Albert Schweitzer's hobbies was playing Bach.

Comedy that successfully ran the gamut from low to high.

Ok...there are some good ones here and I KNOW you all will totlally disagree with me but I say "Friends"

I have to go with MASH, too. Great jokes, with some emotional moments. Funny as all get out.
Never missed Seinfeld or Married with Children (Christina Applegate still has a special place).
Honorable mention to Too Close For Comfort.

third rock from the sun
news radio [phil hartman ones]

WKRP: "Help me Andy, I've got a monkey on my foot"

"I need a hat. Cop's got a hat, I need a hat. Thanks for the lid, Art"

"The west side shopping mall has just been bombed with live turkeys. Film at 11."

MASH: "I'll carry your books, I'll carry a torch, I"ll carry a tune...Carry on, carry over, cary forward, Cary Grant, cash and carry..I'll ever Hari Kari if you show me how, but I will not carry a gun"

"I think you're ready for triple cranko"

CHEERS: "Frasier: Everyone, I'd like to introduce Dr. Lilith Sternin, BA, MA, PhD.
Woody: Boy, it's sure not spelled how it sounds.""

FRIENDS: "Rachel: Did you just say...Moo?
Joey: Yeah. The point is Moo. It's like..a cow's opinion. Who cares? It's a cow...It's MOO."

But the funniest episode of a sitcom I ever saw was Three's Company when Jack had to go to a party on Catalina Island, but he was terrified of the ocean and boats. He took, successively, muscle relaxants, uppers, and pain killers. Funniest physical comedy ever on TV.

Sports Night (while not strictly speaking a sitcom, I guess) was by far my favorite comedy of all time.

And I'm not sure if you would call this a sitcom either (actually I'm not sure exactly what makes something a "sitcom" rather than just a comedy, to be honest) but for "laugh out loud" funny, you can't beat Reno 911 on Comedy Central.

I'll put a shout out for 'Parker Lewis Can't Lose' .. it suffered from people thinking it was Ferris Bueller, but it was teh funny.

Plus Melanie Chartoff had a great set of gams

"I should like watching Mr. Belvedere a lot, but I shouldn't have to masturbate at the end of every episode."

I'm with Ed - Police Squad! was a classic. I also loved Sledge Hammer.

Well, everyone has mentioned just about everything I was thinking with the exception for a short-lived, but IMO, very, very funny show called Titus. Statcy Keach was laugh out loud funny in that show, week in and week out.

I loved Titus!

Somehow, I'm not surprised. :)