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GAC
09-23-2005, 12:27 PM
Whose gonna win?

savafan
09-23-2005, 12:31 PM
Wow, tough call. It's really hard to compare eras with TV. I really like Leave It To Beaver though, which isn't on your list, for its depiction of a loving family with strong values. I still watch it today and think, man, that Ward sure does have a lot of good advice.

I'm gonna go with I Love Lucy. The humor is timeless.

Rychian
09-23-2005, 12:31 PM
Go Mash!

GAC
09-23-2005, 12:34 PM
People today make fun of Leave It To Beaver for it's family life portrayal and that it was unrealistic. I can understand someone from the younger generation saying that. But being raised in the 50's/60's my life was alot closer to Beaver's family then Roseanne's. ;)

Another one, which I forgot about, was Ozzie and Harriet.

savafan
09-23-2005, 12:37 PM
Go Mash!

Was M*A*S*H actually considered a sitcom? I suppose it fits because it was a half hour comedy.

More great family shows emitted from the list.

Diff'rent Strokes-I believe was one of the first shows to portray interracial and class storylines.

Family Ties-Former hippies raising a family in the 80's. Helped significantly by the great acting of Michael J. Fox.

Growing Pains-Kinda like the Leave It To Beaver of the 80's.


Does anyone else miss those "Very special episodes for the whole family" where a serious subject like sexual abuse or drinking and driving was focused on?

Falls City Beer
09-23-2005, 12:38 PM
I was raised in the Bunker residence. That show has aged unbelievably well for all of its topicality.

Mary Tyler Moore is an ever-so-close second.

savafan
09-23-2005, 12:39 PM
People today make fun of Leave It To Beaver for it's family life portrayal and that it was unrealistic. I can understand someone from the younger generation saying that. But being raised in the 50's/60's my life was alot closer to Beaver's family then Roseanne's. ;)



Hey, I'm from the younger generation, and I wish my life was closer to Beaver's family than Roseanne's.

savafan
09-23-2005, 12:40 PM
I was raised in the Bunker residence. That show has aged unbelievably well for all of its topicality.



I wasn't allowed to watch this show growing up.

westofyou
09-23-2005, 12:50 PM
I wasn't allowed to watch this show growing up.

My parents took me to a drive-in movie of Bonnie and Clyde AND Bullitt.

I wore my jammies, ate pocorn and ate the violence up.

My family couldn't be defined by a sitcom, but I did have an "Uncle" like Uncle Norman on Courtship of Eddies Father.

KittyDuran
09-23-2005, 12:50 PM
I wasn't allowed to watch this show growing up.That was one we could always watch in my family...along with Maude, The Jeffersons, and Sanford & Son.

I picked MTM but I almost picked I Love Lucy. I went for consistency (sp?). The other shows, including M*A*S*H*, had it ups and downs in quality and "watchability" [IMHO].

Blimpie
09-23-2005, 12:56 PM
Did anybody else watch the show called "SOAP" ??? The show had a great cast and yielded Benson as a fairly weakened spinoff. Watching SOAP was taboo in my house growing up--but I used to sneak into the upstairs den to watch it as a kid. Come to think of it, I would do the same thing with Monty Python and the first few seasons of SNL...Aahhh, the good ole days of television.

RFS62
09-23-2005, 01:03 PM
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

OldRightHander
09-23-2005, 01:13 PM
Does Cosby get an honorable mention at least? I didn't grow up watching much tv, but I enjoyed that one when I was in high school.

cumberlandreds
09-23-2005, 01:16 PM
I voted for Andy Griffith. Always my favorite even though I watched them after they went into syndication. MASH is a close second even though the last few seasons were not very good,IMO. WKRP would get my vote as the most underrated. One of the funniest shows ever made.

pedro
09-23-2005, 01:19 PM
Did anybody else watch the show called "SOAP" ??? The show had a great cast and yielded Benson as a fairly weakened spinoff. Watching SOAP was taboo in my house growing up--but I used to sneak into the upstairs den to watch it as a kid. Come to think of it, I would do the same thing with Monty Python and the first few seasons of SNL...Aahhh, the good ole days of television.

yep. Billy Crystal ws Jody.

NYMoose
09-23-2005, 01:21 PM
Did anybody else watch the show called "SOAP" ??? The show had a great cast and yielded Benson as a fairly weakened spinoff. Watching SOAP was taboo in my house growing up--but I used to sneak into the upstairs den to watch it as a kid. Come to think of it, I would do the same thing with Monty Python and the first few seasons of SNL...Aahhh, the good ole days of television.

SOAP was great. It was different than any other sitcom of the time. Billy Crystal was probably the biggest name to come off the show, but the rest of the cast was great. I believe it was taboo in many households.

Danny Serafini
09-23-2005, 01:42 PM
I'm not sure Simpsons really counts as a sitcom, but since it's my favorite show I voted for it anyway. I really wouldn't have any problem if Dick Van Dyke, All In The Family, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore or Seinfeld won instead though. All quality stuff.

flyer85
09-23-2005, 01:51 PM
Taxi

Chip R
09-23-2005, 01:56 PM
Loved Soap. That show whould just fly by and it'd be over and you were thinking, "That was an hour?"

My vote goes to "The Honeymooners."
Lucy was fine but not my cup of tea. Never did really watch Father Knows Best. Andy was outstanding and might have gotten my vote had they stopped production after Don Knotts left the show. Thanks to TV Land I've gained a greater appreciation for Dick Van Dyke. Carl Reiner was wonderful as Alan Brady (not to mention the show's producer) and the show broke a lot of new ground technically - as did Lucy. But it seems every other episode had a flashback in it. Kind of ran it into the ground, IMO. AITF & MASH were wonderful comedies but AITF went on too long and there was really no one for Archie to fight with anymore. MASH turned into a serio-comedy after being very funny the first 4-5 years. MTM had some of the best characters that have been on TV. Even the characters who had bit parts were great. I really don't have any real criticisms of the show. Cheers I've already given my opinion about and one of the things I think they erred on was how Kirstie Alley's character developed into a ditz. A lot of people don't like Rosanne the actress but the show always made me laugh. The Simpsons is fabulous. They were very smart to realize that they should build the show around Homer instead of Bart like they did at first. Some of the best lines come out of that show. I don't want to say it's jumped the shark since it's still better than 90% of the sitcoms that are on now or ever but it's dragging somewhat. Seinfeld I've already given my opinion about and Friends was good but I never really watched it after the 2nd or 3rd season.

The thing you have to remember about the Honeymooners was that this show was done live. Also, Gleason never rehearsed. The others in the cast may have but Gleason didn't. There weren't many better second bananas than Ed Norton. Gleason told a story once about how Art Carney was supposed to exit the apartment by the door. He tried but the door wouldn't open. So he just stepped out the window on to the fire escape. Gleason made a blowhard like Ralph Kramden likeable. Sure, he'd threaten Alice but you knew he was all talk.

KronoRed
09-23-2005, 02:09 PM
Have to go with Mary Tyler Moore

I have never seen an episode that I would call a dud of that show, the rest..plenty of duds.

RedsBaron
09-23-2005, 02:28 PM
Wow, tough call. It's really hard to compare eras with TV. I really like Leave It To Beaver though, which isn't on your list, for its depiction of a loving family with strong values. I still watch it today and think, man, that Ward sure does have a lot of good advice.

I'm gonna go with I Love Lucy. The humor is timeless.
Yeah, I'd have to go with Lucy, but there are a bunch of good choices. The timeless nature of much of its humor, coupled with its innovation, makes it my pick.

IowaRed
09-23-2005, 02:32 PM
If The Simpsons is on a list it gets my vote, whether I consider it a sitcom or not. Very close 2nd is The Andy Griffith Show, I still watch it almost every day and contrary to popular opinion I really like a lot of the color episodes, although some are just awful (Aunt Bee learning to fly). I also loved The Honeymooners, early MASH, All in the Family, and Leave it to Beaver definitely deserves a mention.

RBA
09-23-2005, 02:39 PM
I can't vote. I'll rewatch all the episodes and get back to you in 4 years. ;)

15fan
09-23-2005, 02:49 PM
It's not even close.

Greg the Bunny

GAC
09-23-2005, 03:30 PM
I also loved Sanford and Son. One of my favorites. I have 6 VHS tapes of these episodes.

Julio: Buenos Dias Mr Sanford
Fred: And beans and disease to you too.

Some other shows I truly loved, but I don;t think they fit into the category of All Times greats....

Green Acres (poor Oliver)
F Troop
Get Smart (always loved the intro when he disappears in the phone booth)

GAC
09-23-2005, 03:32 PM
I amazed that Friends hasn't even gotten a single vote. Wow!

Oh yeah - and I loved Soap too. The Major and Benson were my favorite characters on that show.

Chip R
09-23-2005, 03:41 PM
I amazed that Friends hasn't even gotten a single vote. Wow!

I'm not. It really wasn't that great. It was popular and a good show but not that great.

Blimpie
09-23-2005, 03:47 PM
SOAP was great. It was different than any other sitcom of the time. Billy Crystal was probably the biggest name to come off the show, but the rest of the cast was great. I believe it was taboo in many households.This show rocked because of it's solid cast and insane storylines. One week, Burt was being abducted by aliens--the next week, Corinne's baby was posessed...If I am not mistaken, Billy Crystal's "Jody" might have been one of television's first openly gay characters. In a world of "Will & Grace" that sounds pretty funny to even mention, but in the late 70's it was groundbreaking stuff...



SOAP Cast List

Katherine Helmond ... Jessica Tate
Cathryn Damon ... Mary Campbell
Robert Mandan ... Chester Tate
Richard Mulligan ... Burt Campbell
Diana Canova ... Corinne Tate-Flotsky (1977-1980)
Jennifer Salt ... Eunice Tate-Leitner (1977-1981)
Jimmy Baio ... Billy Tate
Robert Guillaume ... Benson DuBois (1977-1979)
Arthur Peterson ... The Major
Billy Crystal ... Jodie Dallas
Ted Wass ... Danny Dallas
Jay Johnson ... Chuck/Bob Campbell
Richard Libertini ... The Godfather (1977-1978)
Allan Miller ... Dr. Alan Posner (1980-1981)
Donnelly Rhodes ... Dutch Leitner (1978-1981)
Eugene Roche ... E. Ronald Mallou, Esq. (1978-1981)
Rod Roddy ... Announcer
Bob Seagren ... Dennis Phillips (1978)
Gregory Sierra ... Carlos 'El Puerco' Valdez (1980-1981)
Robert Urich ... Peter Campbell (1977)
Sal Viscuso ... Father Timothy Flotsky (1978-1979)
Roscoe Lee Browne ... Saunders (1980-1981)
John Byner ... Detective Donahue (1978-1980)
Randee Heller ... Alice (1979)
Candice Azzara ... Millie (1979)
Rebecca Balding ... Carol David (1978-1981)
Dinah Manoff ... Elaine Lefkowitz-Dallas (1978-79)
Caroline McWilliams ... Sally (1978-1979)
Lynne Moody ... Polly Dawson (1979-1981)
Marla Pennington ... Leslie Walker (1979-1981)
Peggy Pope ... Mrs. David (1979-1981)
Kathryn Reynolds ... Claire (1977-1978)
Jenna Kay Starr ... Wendy (1979-81)
Jesse Welles ... Gwen (1980-1981)

RFS62
09-23-2005, 03:50 PM
I really liked Seinfield, but I loved Cheers.

TeamCasey
09-23-2005, 04:02 PM
I wouldn't consider MASH a sitcom. I had to go with the queen ..... I love Lucy!

savafan
09-23-2005, 04:44 PM
I'm not. It really wasn't that great. It was popular and a good show but not that great.

It was a better show when compared to its contemporaries than in an all-time poll. Most of today's television shows lack originality and good writing. Friends had decent writing and it was original although it spawned many copycats. However, it comes in second in it's time in writing and comedic devices to Seinfeld.

That's why it is so hard to compare television shows across eras.

The shows of the 50's had a more innocent appeal to them, mom, apple pie, Americana...that type of thing.

The 60's you kinda have to seperate into two parts. The beginning of the 60's was a lot like the 50's shows, but after President Kennedy was killed in 1963, and America was starting to lose it's innocence (the image of innocence anyway), TV took a different turn. Although light by today's standards, TV got a bit edgier in the 60's. The British Invasion and Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show made TV at the end of the 60's like the music of the time, bringing us shows like The Monkees and the Brady Bunch.

The 70's had us embroiled in the Vietnam War and gave us Star Wars on the big screen. After we landed on the moon in 1969, television brought us images of a space age future with Buck Rogers and Battlestar Galactica. And who can forget Mork from Ork? The 70's were also a big time for a lot of action on TV. We had Hawaii 5-0, the Mod Squad, Wonder Woman, the Incredible Hulk, Six-Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman.

The 80's gave us President Ronald Reagan, the beginnings of the media network giants, and a return to family comedies with shows like I'd already mentioned, Family Ties, Growing Pains, Who's the Boss, The Cosby Show, etc. It also brought us the start of the even edgier hour long dramas like L.A. Law, Hill Street Blues, Moonlighting and Life Goes On. I think the makers of today's shows learned how to make TV from watching the shows in the 80's. The 80's also gave us the beginning of the Fox network.

The 90's television seemed like a time for dumbing down America. There was Barney, which I swear if I had to watch that when I was a child I would have been offended. There was Beavis and Butthead, which was funny, but pointless. And, there was the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, or the love children of Voltron and Ultraman. However, there was a lot of good in the 90's, even if it did lead to the menace of the 00's which is reality TV. The 90's gave us even more of a desire to see inside celebrities private lives with shows like Inside Edition, and Extra. Paparazzi TV and Television News stations were now becoming the norm. The 90's probably would have been unbearable, were it not for a show about nothing. Seinfeld actually premiered in 1989, but wasn't picked up until 1990. The show was funny and neurotic, and no matter who you were, you could look at your life and say, hey I just had a Seinfeld moment. Of course, there was the arguably bad T.G.I.F. lineup of Full House, Family Matters, Perfect Strangers, etc. Shortly after, came Roseanne, and many of us were now watching on television a family that had problems and issues that ours also had. There weren't always solutions in the 30 minutes, and sometimes things just didn't work out at all. We were starting to see something closer to reality on the tube. In the mid-90's, television gave us Friends, which as I already said, spawned too many lesser copycat shows. The main draws for the show were the writing, and Jennifer Aniston's hair. Oh, and the cast also had good chemistry together. Also we became fascinated with finding the truth while following Agents Mulder and Scully on the X-Files. Creepiness was also now finding it's way into our weekly viewing. This was the era of the Clinton sex scandal, and sexual taboos were being lifted all over the place. This was the time when we heard more naughty words on TV and had to see Dennis Franz's butt. Lawyer shows and medical dramas helped round out the 10:00 PM to 11:00 PM time slot on most nights.

Now, we're at the point with very few original ideas on network TV. The best writers and shows seem to be on cable, but there are some very good ones out there. My current fave is Rescue Me. Gritty and raw, funny and tragic, and an amazing sense of realism with flawed but likeable characters.


Okay, I'm not really sure what my point in all of that was, I just kinda went off on a tangent. But the thing is, television shows tend to represent life at the time of their viewing...or at least the illusion of what people wanted to appear to be. In order for there to be crowned a "Greatest Sitcom of All Time" that show would really have to be timeless and translate to those living in modern America.

Having said that, GAC, your list is full of excellent choices. Strong casts and writing on some very funny shows. This is clearly a topic that could be debated forever and ever.

Chip R
09-23-2005, 04:58 PM
It was a better show when compared to its contemporaries than in an all-time poll. Most of today's television shows lack originality and good writing. Friends had decent writing and it was original although it spawned many copycats. However, it comes in second in it's time in writing and comedic devices to Seinfeld.


To its contemporaries, sure. But against the all time greats, no. Comparing it to its contemporaries may be damning it with faint praise.

TeamCasey
09-23-2005, 05:47 PM
The 90's television seemed like a time for dumbing down America.

:laugh: I used to make fun of Urkel (sp?), until I was reminded that we had shows like Laverne and Shirley and Mork and Mindy.

RFS62
09-23-2005, 06:09 PM
:laugh: I used to make fun of Urkel (sp?), until I was reminded that we had shows like Laverne and Shirley and Mork and Mindy.


I saw him in a Johnny Rocket's in Augora Hills, California back in '94. He was driving a killer Land Rover, black with black tints and booming stereo going. He came in to pick up an order, had to stand there for a while, never said a word, just him and his entourage crusin' for burgers.

RedRoser
09-23-2005, 06:26 PM
Andy Griffith, MASH, and Taxi are all favorites of mine, BUT I would have to say that my favorite two of all time are:

1) Coach
2) The Wonder Years

GAC
09-23-2005, 06:56 PM
If MASH isn't considered a sitcom (situation comedy) then what is it? I agree that it has it's serious moments/topics; but overall, the humor is what made it a success.

I mean - how can you take Frank Burns seriously, and not laugh? :lol:

savafan
09-23-2005, 07:04 PM
I saw him in a Johnny Rocket's in Augora Hills, California back in '94. He was driving a killer Land Rover, black with black tints and booming stereo going. He came in to pick up an order, had to stand there for a while, never said a word, just him and his entourage crusin' for burgers.

Urkel had an entourage. :laugh:

Joseph
09-23-2005, 07:16 PM
I was sure this thread would be about 'My Name is Earl."

dman
09-23-2005, 11:23 PM
Jackie Gleason, being one of my favorites, I'll have to go with "The Honeymooners"

GAC
09-24-2005, 06:10 AM
Gleason and Carney were two of the best as far as playing off each other. I use to watch that show thinking "Geez! Ralph is gonna have a stroke any time now!" :lol:

Northern Dancer
09-27-2005, 04:43 PM
I went with All In The Family, but it would not be my first choice.

Fawlty Towers is IMHO, the greatest comedy show ever produced. Alas, only 12 episodes were made, but what a body of work, nonetheless.

TeamBoone
09-27-2005, 07:24 PM
You forgot "Coach" and "Wings" and "Murphy Brown". I loved them all (in addition to some on the list).

RBA
09-27-2005, 07:38 PM
Barney Miller deserves some mention as well.

GAC
09-28-2005, 06:51 AM
Barney Miller deserves some mention as well.

you just did. :p:

cumberlandreds
09-28-2005, 07:37 AM
Barney Miller deserves some mention as well.

It's one of my favorites. Had a lot of good recurring characters.

IowaRed
09-28-2005, 08:51 AM
"That 70's Show" has become one of my favorite shows. I know Ashton Kutcher is annoying but he does a great job playing the dumb kid, Kelso. Kurtwood Smith is wonderful as Red Forman and while I know it's not one of the great shows of all time it never fails to make me laugh.

Chip R
09-28-2005, 09:16 AM
Barney Miller deserves some mention as well.
Yeah. Wonderful show.

savafan
09-28-2005, 10:35 AM
"That 70's Show" has become one of my favorite shows. I know Ashton Kutcher is annoying but he does a great job playing the dumb kid, Kelso. Kurtwood Smith is wonderful as Red Forman and while I know it's not one of the great shows of all time it never fails to make me laugh.

The show also has heart.

westofyou
09-28-2005, 10:49 AM
"That 70's Show" has become one of my favorite shows. I know Ashton Kutcher is annoying but he does a great job playing the dumb kid, Kelso. Kurtwood Smith is wonderful as Red Forman and while I know it's not one of the great shows of all time it never fails to make me laugh.

The real 70's was better.

Blimpie
09-28-2005, 11:30 AM
The real 70's was better.I think the real 70's TV sitcoms actually beat "That 70's Show" version of it...Just off the top of my head, the 70's version of mischievious kids sitcoms that I watched:

Welcome Back Kotter
Fat Albert
One Day at a Time
What's Happening
Good Times
Happy Days

GAC
09-28-2005, 01:07 PM
Most of us living in the 70's didn't think it was that great. After experiencing the 60's, the 70's was kind of a let-down. Like a Keenu Reeves movie with a bad ending - you were expecting more. :lol:

savafan
09-28-2005, 01:11 PM
Like a Keenu Reeves movie with a bad ending - you were expecting more. :lol:

Nah, a bad ending is exactly what you're expecting from a Keanu Reeves movie.

REDREAD
10-07-2005, 04:24 PM
I'm not. It really wasn't that great. It was popular and a good show but not that great.

I hope the cast of Friends has given Seinfeld a lot of thanks. If Friends hadn't been right after Sienfeld in the beginning, I doubt that show would've caught on. Really, I thought Friends was mediocre at best. I've only seen maybe 1/3 of the episodes and Ross + Rachel was one of the most tiring storylines in TV history.

TeamBoone
10-07-2005, 05:08 PM
I think Friends still would have been a hit. The writing was too good.

Chip R
10-07-2005, 05:52 PM
I hope the cast of Friends has given Seinfeld a lot of thanks. If Friends hadn't been right after Sienfeld in the beginning, I doubt that show would've caught on. Really, I thought Friends was mediocre at best. I've only seen maybe 1/3 of the episodes and Ross + Rachel was one of the most tiring storylines in TV history.

Perhaps. But even if a show like Friends follows a show like Seinfeld it has to still hold the audience that was watching the previous show. If it doesn't then it's not going to survive. Seinfeld owes a debt of gratitude to the programmers at NBC who moved the show to Thursdays. It originally was on Wednesdays but it was getting beat on a regular basis by Home Improvement. Did Seinfeld follow Cheers on Thursdays? If so then they have Cheers to thank. And Cheers probably has The Cosby Show to thank.

kheidg-
10-08-2005, 05:35 PM
Sanford and Son

but I voted for the Simpsons...

SunDeck
10-10-2005, 02:13 PM
I went with Seinfeld, having seen every episode with only one or two didn't make me howl with laughter. After that, Mary Tyler Moore.
MASH and All in the Family went on too long and you have to take the whole run into consideration, IMO. And I'm probably too young to appreciate how funny Lucy and Andy Griffith may have been. To watch them now probably doesn't do them justice.

deltachi8
10-10-2005, 02:52 PM
Simpsons gets my vote, but I think WKRP deserves a mention - and Im not from Cincinati - I cant think of an episode of that show that didnt make me crack up.

HomeRunKid24
10-11-2005, 06:19 AM
King of Queens. :D

smith288
10-11-2005, 09:16 AM
Andy Griffith, MASH, and Taxi are all favorites of mine, BUT I would have to say that my favorite two of all time are:

1) Coach
2) The Wonder Years
Winnie was hot...

savafan
10-11-2005, 10:01 AM
Winnie was hot...

http://www.stuffmagazine.com/girls/danica_mckellar/danica_McKellar_l8.jpg

:beerme: