10. Leave it to Beaver (1957-1963)
Starring :Barbara Billingsley as June Cleaver, Hugh Beaumont as Ward Cleaver, Jerry Mathers as Beaver (Theodore) Cleaver, and Tony Dow as Wally Cleaver
At first glance, this looks like the typical “father knows best” sitcom, but once you watch it for a while, you begin to notice the tongue in cheek ways they make fun of the typical family and the poignant moments of family life that are deeper than most series in this genre.
9, My Three Sons (1960-1972)
Starring:Fred MacMurray,Tim Considine,Don Grady,Stanley Livingston, Barry Livingston, William Frawley,Meredith MacRae,William Demarest, Tina Cole, Beverly Garland, Dawn Lyn, and Ronne Troup
This show was one of the first that showed families didn’t always fit stereo-types. The father was a widower raising three boys on his own who had a male gruff father-in-law, later uncle, as their housekeeper and nanny.
8. Gilligan’s Island (1964-1967)
Starring:Bob Denver (Gilligan), Alan Hale, Jr. (the skipper),Jim Backus (the millionaire),Natalie Schafer (and his wife),Tina Louise (the movie star – Ginger), Russel Johnson (the professor), and Dawn Wells (Mary Ann)
7. Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968)
Starring:Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts, and Frances Bavier
This sitcom characterizes small town life with American values that are fast disappearing. Even with the classic stereo-types, the writing on this show was so good, it didn’t rely on them.
6. Mork and Mindy (1978-1982)
Starring:Robin Williams and Pam Dawber
This sitcom about an alien who came to Earth to study the people launched the career of Robin Williams. His comedic genius outshined everyone although Pam Dawber worked hard to keep up as the straight girl. The episode, Mork’s Mixed Emotions, was one of the top 100 TV episodes of all time.
5. Hogan’s Heroes (1965-1971)
Starring: Bob Crane, Werner Klemperer,John Banner, Robert Clary, Richard Dawson, Ivan Dixon and Larry Hovis
Hogan’s Heroes is classic comedy about a group of prisoners of war who helped others escaped and turned the war upside down for the Germans. Most of this is slapstick humor, but if you look deeper, it really is a tribute to the men who fought in World War II to keep the world safe from the Nazis. Some poignant moments are threaded through the comedy.
4. Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. (1964-1969)
Starring: Jim Nabors and Frank Sutton
This spin-off of the Andy Griffith Show is about Gomer Pyle, a sad-sack in the Marines who constantly messes things up but tries hard and has his heart in the right place. You can’t help but root for him.
3. Alf (1986-1990)
Starring: Mihaly ‘Michu’ Meszaros as ALF, Max Wright, Anne Schedeen, Andrea Elson, and Brian Tanner
Everyone who grew up in the 1980s remembers this sitcom about a fuzzy alien trapped on Earth. It became a pop culture favorite that my children never missed when they were young.
2. Get Smart (1965-1970)
Starring: Don Adams, Barbara Feldon, and Edward Platt
Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, works for Control as a spy in this spoof of spy shows that made the Cold War fun. No great deep moments here, but it is good clean slapstick comedy that is so missing on TV today. Mel Brooks was one of the creators.
1. The Cosby Show (1984-1992)
- Bill Cosby as Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable
- Phylicia Rashad as Clair Huxtable
- Sabrina Le Beauf as Sondra Huxtable Tibideaux
- Lisa Bonet as Denise Huxtable Kendall
- Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Theodore Huxtable
- Tempestt Blesoe as Vanessa Huxtable
- Keshia Knight Pulliam as Rudy Huxtable
- Clarica Taylor as Anna Huxtable
The liberal media has decided this show has no worth because of Bill Cosby’s accused transgressions. I don’t know whether Cosby is guilty or not, but I do know this is the best written and executed family comedy ever made.
So what are your favorites. Leave a comment.