Thursday, March 19, 2009

Top 5 old-school TV comedies

Today, a debate while you wait for NCAA tournament games to begin -- top five old-school television comedies.

5. 'The Andy Griffith Show': Is it possible to turn on your TV and not find Andy and the gang carrying on in Mayberry on some channel? A classic show about another time that holds up well largely because Barney was the best comedic sidekick in the history of TV (sorry, George).

4. 'The Dick Van Dyke Show': Start with the obvious; Mary Tyler Moore, who played Rob Petrie’s wife Laura, was the hottest babe of the ‘60s. And Van Dyke was outstanding at physical comedy (remember his trip-over-the-ottoman entrance) as well as a deft main character. Just plain funny, and still funny, even though the married Rob and Laura slept in twin beds.

3. 'M*A*S*H': Humorous and serious and tragic at the same time, passing along its messages about war and death with wry twists that usually made you think. Hawkeye made Alan Alda an icon. Don’t you bet the guy who played Trapper John (uh, that was Wayne Rogers) is sorry he ever left the show?

2. 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show': You get a show named after you, you’ve made it, at least temporarily. Then you’ve got to be consistently funny. Moore and her cast did that, bringing their Minneapolis TV newsroom to entertaining life. Mary wanted to make it on her own and did, in a big way.

1. 'All in the Family': The first program to really add bite to comedy, taking pokes at topics ranging from racism, sexism, everything-ism. Archie Bunker was the little man launching malapropisms, raging against the machine and on the wrong side of history in almost every area. But, over time, he still managed to learn a few things and make us laugh in the process.

I’m sorry but “I Love Lucy” and “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” haven’t held up all that well, although Lucy still has her moments. The sleeper that just missed was “The Bob Newhart Show.” You may have other ideas, so give us your list.

Comedies of the modern era come tomorrow.

—Stan Olson


Anonymous said...

The Bob Newhart Show, Leave it to Beaver, WKRP in Cincinnati.

Anonymous said...

Deserve consideration:

The Odd Couple
Sanford and Son

Anonymous said...

The 'The Andy Griffith Show' was a comedy? What about Benson, Soap, Barney Miller???

Anonymous said...

Sanford and Son
Good Times
Six Million Dollar Man
Beverly Hillbilies

Anonymous said...

The Cosby Show!!!!!

Anonymous said...

1. Andy Griffith Show '60s
2. Happy Days '70s
3. Seinfeld '90s
4. Cheers/Frazier '80s/'90s
5. Brady Bunch '70s

Anonymous said...

The Carol Burnett Show was one of the best, though not technically a sitcom, it had some of the best and funniest sketches that ever existed. Sanford & Son is also still hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, MTM was definitely a good-looking woman, but "hottest babe of the 60's" status **HAS** to go to Diana Rigg's "Emma Peel" character from the classic British import "The Avengers"...

Anonymous said...

Welcome Back Kotter!

Anonymous said...

geez! read a book! go outside! get a life! stop watching so much television!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Being a child of the '80s I'm going to have to say The Cosby Show as well.

StanOlson said...

Folks, new school comedies are coming tomorrow...Only had room for five old schoolers. And the Avengers wasn't a comedy, but Diana Rigg was definitely HoT!

Anonymous said...

"Who's the Boss?"! Viva Alyssa Milano! She's Awesome, baby, with a capital A!

Anonymous said...

your exclusion of sanford and son is astonishing

Anonymous said...

Andy Griffith belongs at # 1 - no other show is even close.

Rest of top 5

2 - All in the Family
3 - Mary Tyler Moore
4 - I Dream of Jeannie
5 - Beverly Hillbillies

Trent Roberts said...

Stan, my man, no love for "The Honeymooners" ?

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