Did you have a laugh recently? Well, just slide back comfortably on your couch and open up your television. How I met your mother or Friends must be there to de-stress you! Sam ‘n’ Henry broadcasted on WGN in Chicago in 1920s marked the beginning of sitcoms. Today the most common comic discourse is situational comedies abbreviated as sitcoms. The situational comedy genre is largely accompanied by comedic situations and dialogues. Here is a list of the top ten sitcoms of all time. I hope you enjoy a great laugh.
THE SIMPSONS- The Simpsons, an animated show, is a satire on American lifestyle. Beginning in 1989, it was created by Matt Groening. It has won many prestigious awards such as Prime Time Emmy, Annie and Peabody Awards. People go crazy when Homer says “D’oh!” the very phrase which has been adopted by the English language. This influential show is set up in the town of Springfield, where this family lives. It acts as a complete universe in which characters can explore the issues faced by modern society.
I LOVE LUCY– Starring Lucille Ball, this black and white serial dating back to the 1950s, was the most watched show in four of its six seasons. It not only won the Emmy awards but also ranked second on TV Guide’s list of television’s greatest shows. Lucy is shown as someone who yearns for stardom all the time. She is a homemaker who gets into troubles quite easily. She was labeled as the original Queen of Comedy.
ALL IN THE FAMILY– Broadcasted by the CBS network, this show dates back to 1970s. It was a revolution in television comedies as it worked upon serious issues like homosexuality, racism, rape, women’s liberation et cetera. The show revolves around Archie Bunker who is a World War II veteran. He is conservative and bigoted. His wife on the other hand is somewhat naïve. The show ranked #1 in the yearly Nielsen ratings from 1971 to 1976.
CHEERS- Produced by Charles/burrow/Charles productions, this show focused on a bar called “Cheers” in Boston, Massachusetts. Locals meet at the bar, drink, relax and have fun. As Toasting Cheers puts it, “The script was further strengthened by the writers’ boldness in successfully tackling controversial issues such as alcoholism, homosexuality, and adultery.” The show earned many Emmy and Golden Globe awards.
FRIENDS– Created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, it was aired on NBC from September 22, 1994 to May 6, 2004. The series revolves around a group of friends in Manhattan. It has always garnered positive reviews and won many awards. This fine show had a huge cultural impact. Readers of TV Guide voted the cast of Friends their Best Comedy cast of all time, ranking at 29% of the votes, beating Seinfeld, which registered 18%.
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER– An American sitcom, it premiered on CBS on September 19, 2005. It was created by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays. Its protagonist is Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) who in the year 2030 recounts to his son and daughter the events that led to his meeting their mother. It is about his crazy life experiences with his friends, thus appropriating the title of this outstanding comedy. This serial has won many Emmy awards and much appreciation. It continues to be the favorite of one and all.
SEINFELD– Originally aired on NBC in the 1990s, it was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld. Jerry starred as a fictionalized version of himself. The show is based in Manhattan. It shows a host of Jerry’s friends and acquaintances, in particular best friend George Costanza. This show is tagged “postmodern” and is basically about “nothing”. The show had many catchphrases like “Yada, yada, yada”, “These pretzels are making me thirsty” and “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”. In 2002, TV Guide named Seinfeld the greatest television program of all time.
ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES– Created by John Sullivan, it was broadcasted on BBC One in the United Kingdom between 1981 and 1991. The show is set in Peckham in south London. David Jason, the protagonist is an ambitious market trader. Backed by a strong supporting cast, the series chronicles their highs and lows in life, in particular their attempts to get rich. The 1996 episode “Time on Our Hands” holds the record for the highest UK audience for a sitcom episode. The show also received BAFTA and National Television Awards. It was voted Britain’s Best Sitcom in a 2004 BBC poll. It is regarded as one of the finest comedies ever made. The series had an impact on British culture, contributing several words and phrases to the English language.
THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW– It is a satirical television sitcom that aired in the 1990s on the HBO cable television network in the United States. Stand-up comedian Garry Shandling, the hero, was shown as Larry Sanders who was vain and neurotic. He was a talk show host and the series centered on the running of his TV show, and the many people behind the scenes. The show is noted for its character-based humor. The show was included in Time magazine’s list of the “100 Best TV Shows of All Time.”
PORRIDGE- Porridge is a British sitcom which was broadcasted on BBC1 in 1970s.It was written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, It stars Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale as two inmates at the fictional HMP Slade in Cumberland. “Doing porridge” is British slang for serving a prison sentence. Porridge was immensely popular with British prisoners. It contributed a lot of phrases to English language. It was voted number seven in a 2004 BBC poll of the 100 greatest British sitcoms.
By, Shreya Gupta, New Delhi based research associate for CEOWORLD Magazine, with strong attention to detail, organizational skills and capable of working in a fast-paced environment.