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100 best sitcoms of all time

  • 100 best sitcoms of all time

    The first U.S. sitcom in the history of television went by the name of “Mary Kay and Johnny” and debuted in 1947 on the Dumont Network. Portraying the comedic misadventures of an uptight bank employee and his zany wife, the series was reportedly the first to show a married couple sharing a bed, making it all the more groundbreaking for its time. While only one complete episode is known to have survived, the genre it helped spawn has endured as a genuine cultural cornerstone, despite increased competition from a slew of alternatives.

    Furthermore, the sitcom—or situational comedy—has never been broader in scope than it is now. Shows like “You’re the Worst” and “Rick and Morty” are technically sitcoms, in that they throw their characters into comedic, occasionally familiar situations. At the more traditional end of the spectrum are shows like “The Goldbergs” and “The Big Bang Theory,” which infuse conventional formulas with contemporary characters, styles, and motifs, consequently luring in millions of viewers. Cumulatively speaking, situational comedy is not just alive and well: It’s everywhere.

    Today, Stacker is celebrating the sitcom in all its progressions and permutations. More to the point, Stacker is listing the best sitcoms of all time, using IMDb as the data source. Only English-language sitcoms released in the United States were considered, with every respective show needing at least 5,000 votes in order to qualify. In the case of a rating tie, the show with the higher vote count ranked higher on the list. Counting down from #100, here are the best sitcoms of all time.    

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  • #100. The Munsters (1964–1966)

    - IMDb user rating: 7.8
    - IMDb user votes: 11,706
    - Stars: Fred Gwynne, Al Lewis, Yvonne De Carlo, Butch Patrick

    Even though it ran for a mere two seasons in the mid-1960s, this iconic series left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape, and continued to reach new audiences by way of one-off specials, reboots, and reruns. Putting a clever twist on the traditional sitcom format, the show centers on a family of friendly monsters whom can’t seem to figure out why society doesn’t completely take to them.

  • #99. The Mick (2017–2018)

    - IMDb user rating: 7.8
    - IMDb user votes: 13,154
    - Stars: Kaitlin Olson, Sofia Black-D'Elia, Thomas Barbusca, Carla Jimenez

    Starring Kaitlin Olson of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” fame, this raunchy Fox sitcom puts a foul-mouthed aunt (Olson) in charge of her sister’s spoiled kids. Going big on shock value, every episode presents a battle of ill temperaments to frequently hilarious results. Despite getting off to a promising start, the show was canceled after two seasons.  

  • #98. Kenan & Kel (1996–2000)

    - IMDb user rating: 7.8
    - IMDb user votes: 13,641
    - Stars: Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell, Ken Foree, Teal Marchande

    Before he became the longest-running cast member on “Saturday Night Live,” Kenan Thompson was one-half of sketch comedy duo “Kenan & Kel.” On their popular Nickelodeon series, Thompson and cohort Kel Mitchell play best friends who are always getting into trouble as they pursue get-rich quick schemes. In the midst of the show’s success, the duo also starred in the “All That” spinoff film “Good Burger,” which retains a respectable cult following.  

  • #97. Fresh Off the Boat (2015– )

    - IMDb user rating: 7.8
    - IMDb user votes: 21,221
    - Stars: Randall Park, Constance Wu, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler

    Based on the best-selling memoir by celebrity chef Eddie Huang, this single-camera comedy from ABC follows Huang’s Chinese-American family as it chases the American dream in 1990s Orlando. For young Eddie, that means exploring the wide world of American hip-hop while his father opens a Western-themed steakhouse. During the show’s first season, Huang himself provided voiceover narration, but that gig quickly came to an end over creative differences.

  • #96. Episodes (2011–2017)

    - IMDb user rating: 7.8
    - IMDb user votes: 31,787
    - Stars: Matt LeBlanc, Stephen Mangan, Tamsin Greig, John Pankow

    Reuniting former “Friends” actor Matt LeBlanc with former “Friends” co-creator David Crane, this comedy series puts the entertainment industry in its crosshairs, and frequently hits the bullseye over the course of five seasons. In the pilot episode, a British writer-producer couple arrives in Hollywood, where a shallow executive wants to remake their hit TV series for American audiences. And who better to star than Matt LeBlanc? Anyone, thinks the couple—not that their opinion matters.

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  • #95. The Critic (1994–2001)

    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - IMDb user votes: 7,311
    - Stars: Jon Lovitz, Nick Jameson, Maurice LaMarche, Nancy Cartwright

    Featuring the voice of Jon Lovitz, this animated comedy centers on New York movie critic Jay Sherman, who never seems to like any of the films he’s reviewing. The show originally aired on ABC, but switched over to Fox for its second season. Not only did real-life critics Gene Siskel and Robert Ebert offer their take on season one, they made a guest cameo in a season two episode. Speaking of cameos, Jay Sherman himself once guest-starred on “The Simpsons,” where he hosted a film festival, and engaged in an epic belching contest with Homer.

  • #94. WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–1982)

    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - IMDb user votes: 7,502
    - Stars: Gary Sandy, Gordon Jump, Loni Anderson, Howard Hesseman

    In this classic sitcom, an edgy program director injects new life into a radio station when he switches the format from big band to hard rock. Among the show’s most famous episodes is “Turkeys Away,” in which station manager Mr. Carlson drops live turkeys from a helicopter to disastrous results, later declaring: “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.” As if that wasn’t wild enough, the episode was reportedly inspired by a real-life incident.

  • #93. Lucky Louie (2006–2007)

    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - IMDb user votes: 9,687
    - Stars: Louis C.K., Pamela Adlon, Mike Hagerty, Laura Kightlinger

    Comedian Louis C.K. may be making headlines for all the worst reasons these days, but back in 2006, he was a relatively obscure name with a relatively obscure show on HBO. Dubbed “Lucky Louie,” the off-kilter and short-lived sitcom chronicles the misadventures of a downbeat mechanic and his family. In one of the show’s most jaw-dropping moments, Louie appears fully nude on-screen. Suffice to say, it’s a scene that definitely hasn’t aged well.

  • #92. We Bare Bears (2014– )

    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - IMDb user votes: 10,463
    - Stars: Eric Edelstein, Demetri Martin, Bobby Moynihan, Keith Ferguson

    Three bears attempt to find their place in society in this popular animated series on Cartoon Network. Helping each bear along his respective way are a human named Chloe, a koala named Nom Nom, and Charlie—better known as Bigfoot. Though the three bears call themselves brothers, each one is of a different species, meaning they’re more like siblings in spirit.

  • #91. NewsRadio (1995–1999)

    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - IMDb user votes: 12,776
    - Stars: Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Andy Dick, Maura Tierney

    Taking viewers behind the scenes at New York’s #2 radio station, this NBC sitcom features a bevy of comedic talent, including Phil Hartman and Dave Foley. Also starring as the resident electrician is a young Joe Rogan, years before he became a UFC announcer, and one of the world’s most successful podcasters. Infusing the workplace comedy format with a loose structure and genuine family dynamic, “NewsRadio” might fly under the radar these days, but some say it was among the decade’s best sitcoms.

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