There’s something so magical about great sitcoms on television. The good ones can have incredibly lengthy runs on the air, and the best can have even longer runs through syndication. If you watch television regularly, sitcoms are probably a huge part of your viewing pleasure.
The fact is most everybody loves a good sitcom. Here is my Top 5 of the past twenty years.
5. The Office (US) (2005-2013)
NBC’s The Office will be coming to an end following the upcoming season and, frankly, that’s long overdue. The show hasn’t been great ever since Michael Scott departed and I said from the beginning that I thought the show should have ended the second he stepped on that plane. Why? Because during its heyday with Steve Carell in the role of Scott, The Office was arguably the best show on television. A great cast of lovable (and sometimes hate-able) characters anchored by Carell made The Office hilarious, must-see TV. Unfortunately, Steve was so great that no one could ever replace him.
4. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996)
It may not have had as long a run as you’d expect from a classic TV show, but young Will Smith absolutely brought the goods in every single episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Smith’s supporting cast, most notably Carlton Banks, also provided us with some great entertainment. Fresh Prince was the launchpad for Will Smith’s unbelievable entertainment career but, unfortunately, isn’t syndicated as heavily as it used to be.
3. Friends (1994-2004)
Oh man, Friends. What is there even to say? This show had one of the most incredible television runs in the history of sitcom and made each and every one of their regular cast members a star. I’m not one of the die-hards that owns every season on DVD but I did really enjoy this show through its constant syndication (which still continues today) and really believe it was one of the best sitcoms ever. Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox certainly didn’t hurt.
2. The Simpsons (1989-Present)
There’s not much I can say about The Simpsons that hasn’t already been said. Over 500 episodes over 24 seasons and still going strong (plus a 2007 feature film that grossed over $500 million) proves that Matt Groening has created one of the absolute greatest shows in the history of television. It has the perfect mix of childish and adult humor that has won over millions of fans across the world. It may not be as great as it used to be, but it’s still hard to imagine television without the Simpson family.
1. Seinfeld (1989-1998)
It’s hard to fathom “a show about nothing” being hailed as the greatest sitcom in the history of television but if you’ve ever watched Seinfeld you’ll likely understand. There’s a reason why, twenty years after its pilot episode, it’s still the most heavily syndicated show on television. Four unique characters masterminded by the great Larry David make every single episode an absolute riot and cement this show as the greatest in the history of sitcom.