20 Greatest Sitcoms Of All Time

Situation comedies, or sitcoms for short, have been a staple of American television since they first came about. While always funny, and often poignant, sitcoms have always held a special place in every network’s prime time lineup. Sitcoms encompass a broad category, almost all shows that fall under this category utilize comedic satire and slapstick comedy in order to entertain audiences. And while not every sitcom to grace the silver screen has been a hit, a chosen few have made their way into the hearts and minds of generations. Read on to learn more about twenty of the greatest sitcoms of all time.

The Honeymooners

This is the show that started it all: The Honeymooners. Led by comedy star Jackie Gleason, and despite the fact that the show ran for just 39 episodes, The Honeymooners set the stage for every sitcom of the last 60 years. Featuring the shenanigans of Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton, along with their arguably more intelligent wives, the sitcom produced comedic gold that has stood the test of time. The Honeymooners is so beloved that Family Guy’s character Peter Griffin happens to be an homage to Jackie Gleason.

Sanford and Son

Starring Redd Foxx as Fred G. Sanford, Sanford and Son is a classic sitcom that has been enjoyed by generations. Fred Sanford’s constant back and forth comedy with numerous characters, including his son Lamont, makes the show a laugh riot and worthy of any serious sitcom fan.

Diff’rent Strokes

Airing from 1978 to 1985, Diff’rent Strokes featured a timeless story that America fell in in love with. Phillip Drummond, a wealthy Manhattanite, takes in Arnold (played by a young Gary Coleman) and Willis Jackson, originally from Harlem. The comedy was spot on so it’s no surprise that the show had such a long run, or that it spawned a spin-off, “The Facts of Life“. The show also didn’t shy away from controversial issues of the day, like racism, illegal drug use and child sexual abuse.

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Everyone knows the line “Yo Home to Bel Air!” from the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Starring in a role that was written for him, Will Smith forever endeared himself to America in this classic “two world’s collide” sitcom. Will, the fictional version of mega-star Will Smith, is sent from Philadelphia to live with his wealthy Aunt and Uncle in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. The comedy featured in the show has led to a beloved sitcom as well as perhaps the most memorable theme song of any television show.