TV Guide's 50 Greatest Comedies of All Time

by jordanhores | created - 7 months ago | updated - 3 months ago | Public

This is a list of the best comedies in television history based on critical reception, cultural influence, accolades and magnitude of creating laughter. Excluding those with mixed, negative or panned reception, having less than 2 seasons and derived mostly from films. No specific ranking. *=Honorable mentions --Best TV comedians of all time non specific ranking JuliaLouisDreyfus JerrySeinfeld-SEINFELD CherylHines JasonAlexander SusieEssman LarryDavid-CURBYOURENTHUSIASM TraceyUllman JeffGarlin-THETRACEYULLMANSHOW SuzannePleshette BobNewhart-THEBOBNEWHARTSHOW MarciaWallace BilDaily MaryTylerMoore DickVanDyke-THEDICKVANDYKESHOW RoseMarie MoreyAmsterdam ImogeneCoca SidCaesar-YOURSHOWOFSHOWS GracieAllen GeorgeBurns-THEGEORGEBURNS&GRACIEALLENSHOW JaneKaczmarek BryanCranston-MALCOLMINTHEMIDDLE TichinaArnold TerryCrews-EVERYBODYHATESCHRIS LucilleBall DesiArnaz-ILOVELUCY PatriciaRichardson TimAllen-HOMEIMPROVEMENT PatriciaHeaton RayRomano-EVERYBODYLOVESRAYMOND DorisRoberts FrankBoyle PattyDuke BradGarrett-THEPATTYDUKESHOW CarolBurnett TimConway-THECAROLBURNETTSHOW VickiLawrence HarveyKorman AbbyDalton JackieCooper-HENNESEY/THEPEOPLE'SCHOICE ValerieHarper BobDenver-GILLIGAN'SISLAND ClorisLeachman ArtCarney-THEMARYTYLERMOORESSHOW AudreyMeadows JackieGleason-THEHONEYMOONERS IsabelSanford ReddFox-THEJEFFERSONS/SANFORD&SON JennaFischer SteveCarrell-THEOFFICE AmericaFerrera RainnWilson-UGLYBETTY TinaFey GarryShandling-30ROCK/THELARRYSANDERSSHOW AmyPoehler PaulReiser-PARKS&RECREATION/MADABOUTYOU CandiceBergen MichaelJFox-MURPHY'SLAW/FAMILYTIES/SPINCITY DebraMessing CraigTNelson-WILL&GRACE/COACH MeganMullally JerryVanDyke SusanSaintJames TonyShalhoub-KATIE&ALLIE/MONK JaneCurtin DenisLeary-RESCUEME BettyWhite RedSkelton-THEGOLDENGIRLS/THEREDSKELTONSHOW BeaArthur BobHope-THEBOBHOPESHOW RueMcClanahan DannyKaye-THEDANNYKAYESHOW EstelleGetty JackBenny -THEJACKBENNYSHOW DinahShore DeanMartin-DINAHSHORESHOW/DEANMARTINSHOW GaleStorm StuErwin-MYLITTLEMARGIE/THESTUERWINSHOW AnnSothern JoeyBishop-PRIVATESECRETARY/THEJOEYBISHOPSHOW EveArden BobCummings-OURMISSBROOKS/BOBCUMMINGSSHOW SpringByington DannyThomas-DECEMBERBRIDE/DANNYTHOMAS MarloThomas PhilSilvers-THATGIRL/THEPHILSILVERSSHOW ShirleyBooth RedButtons-HAZEL/THEREDBUTTONSSHOW DonnaReed GarryMoore-DONNAREEDSHOW/GARRYMOORESHOW JoanDavis WallyCox-IMARRIEDJOAN/MR.PEEPERS BeaBenaderet AndyGriffith-THEFLINTSTONES/ANDYGRIFFITHSHOW AnnTyrrell DonKnotts-THEANNSOTHERNSHOW AnnBDavis DonAdams -THEBRADYBUNCH/GETSMART VivianVance DelMoore-LIFEWITHELIZABETH

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1. I Love Lucy (1951–1957)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

A daffy woman constantly strives to become a star along with her bandleader husband and gets herself in the strangest situations.

Stars: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley

Votes: 20,969

2. All in the Family (1971–1979)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

A working class man constantly squabbles with his family over the important issues of the day.

Stars: Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner, Sally Struthers

Votes: 13,026

3. Seinfeld (1989–1998)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

The continuing misadventures of neurotic New York City stand-up comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his equally neurotic New York City friends.

Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander

Votes: 233,054

4. The Honeymooners (1955–1956)

30 min | Comedy, Family

A bus driver and his sewer worker friend struggle to strike it rich while their wives look on with weary patience.

Stars: Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows, Joyce Randolph

Votes: 4,309

5. The Simpsons (1989– )

TV-PG | 22 min | Animation, Comedy

The satiric adventures of a working-class family in the misfit city of Springfield.

Stars: Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Harry Shearer, Julie Kavner

Votes: 341,899

6. The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

The lives and trials of a young single woman and her friends, both at work and at home.

Stars: Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod, Valerie Harper

Votes: 6,233

7. M*A*S*H (1972–1983)

TV-PG | 25 min | Comedy, Drama, War

The staff of an Army hospital in the Korean War find that laughter is the best way to deal with their situation.

Stars: Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swit, Jamie Farr

Votes: 47,635

8. SpongeBob SquarePants (1999– )

TV-Y | 23 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

The misadventures of a talking sea sponge who works at a fast food restaurant, attends a boating school, and lives in an underwater pineapple.

Stars: Tom Kenny, Rodger Bumpass, Bill Fagerbakke, Clancy Brown

Votes: 76,251

The Cosby Show replaced

9. Cheers (1982–1993)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Drama

The regulars of the Boston bar Cheers share their experiences and lives with each other while drinking or working at the bar where everybody knows your name.

Stars: Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger, George Wendt

Votes: 44,241

includes Frasier

10. Saturday Night Live (1975– )

TV-14 | 90 min | Comedy, Music

A famous guest host stars in parodies and sketches created by the cast of this witty show.

Stars: Don Pardo, Lenny Pickett, Darrell Hammond, Kenan Thompson

Votes: 40,097

11. The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Widower Sheriff Andy Taylor, and his son Opie, live with Andy's Aunt Bee in Mayberry, North Carolina. With virtually no crimes to solve, most of Andy's time is spent philosophizing and calming down his cousin Deputy Barney Fife.

Stars: Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts, Frances Bavier

Votes: 11,017

12. The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

The misadventures of a TV writer both at work and at home.

Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam

Votes: 7,958

13. Modern Family (2009– )

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Romance

Three different but related families face trials and tribulations in their own uniquely comedic ways.

Stars: Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell

Votes: 319,145

14. Your Show of Shows (1950–1954)

90 min | Comedy

Best remembered by its posterior title, Your Show of Shows, this live variety show included comedy sketches with TV pioneers Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca.

Stars: Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Felisa Vanoff, Carl Reiner

Votes: 264

15. Friends (1994–2004)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy, Romance

Follows the personal and professional lives of six twenty to thirty-something-year-old friends living in Manhattan.

Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc

Votes: 715,691

16. The Carol Burnett Show (1967–1978)

TV-G | 60 min | Comedy, Family

Television show featuring skits by Carol Burnett and her comedy troupe.

Stars: Carol Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Lyle Waggoner

Votes: 4,312

17. The Danny Thomas Show (1953–1965)

30 min | Comedy, Family

Danny Williams, a successful nightclub singer, encounters a variety of difficult or amusing situations in trying to balance his career with his family: his outspoken wife Kathy, teenage ... See full summary »

Stars: Danny Thomas, Rusty Hamer, Marjorie Lord, Angela Cartwright

Votes: 778

Roseanne replaced

18. Arrested Development (2003– )

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy

Level-headed son Michael Bluth takes over family affairs after his father is imprisoned. But the rest of his spoiled, dysfunctional family are making his job unbearable.

Stars: Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett

Votes: 261,342

19. The Golden Girls (1985–1992)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

Four previously married women live together in Miami, sharing their various experiences together and enjoying themselves despite hard times.

Stars: Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty

Votes: 28,619

20. The Joey Bishop Show (1961–1965)

30 min | Comedy

Joey Barnes is the host of a TV talk show originating in New York. Each episode dealt with events in his personal and professional life as a celebrity. Many guest stars appeared on the ... See full summary »

Stars: Joey Bishop, Joe Besser, Abby Dalton, Corbett Monica

Votes: 209

The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet replaced

21. Barney Miller (1975–1982)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

The Captain of the NYPD 12th Precinct and his staff handle the various local troubles and characters that come into the squad room.

Stars: Hal Linden, Abe Vigoda, Max Gail, Steve Landesberg

Votes: 4,347

22. The Beverly Hillbillies (1962–1971)

TV-G | 25 min | Comedy, Family

A nouveau riche hillbilly family moves to Beverly Hills and shakes up the privileged society with their hayseed ways.

Stars: Buddy Ebsen, Donna Douglas, Irene Ryan, Max Baer Jr.

Votes: 7,066

23. Bewitched (1964–1972)

TV-G | 25 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

A witch married to an ordinary man cannot resist using her magic powers to solve the problems her family faces.

Stars: Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York, Dick Sargent, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 15,098

24. The Bob Newhart Show (1972–1978)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy

The professional and personal misadventures of a psychologist and his family, patients, friends and colleagues.

Stars: Bob Newhart, Suzanne Pleshette, Bill Daily, Marcia Wallace

Votes: 4,396

25. Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000– )

TV-MA | 28 min | Comedy

The life and times of Larry David and the predicaments he gets himself into with his friends and complete strangers.

Stars: Larry David, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman

Votes: 88,669

26. The Flintstones (1960–1966)

TV-G | 30 min | Animation, Short, Adventure

The misadventures of two modern-day Stone Age families, the Flintstones and the Rubbles.

Stars: Alan Reed, Mel Blanc, Jean Vander Pyl, Bea Benaderet

Votes: 30,482

Designing Women replaced

27. Everybody Loves Raymond (1996–2005)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy

The comical everyday life of sports columnist Ray Barone and his dysfunctional family.

Stars: Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett, Doris Roberts

Votes: 59,524

28. Family Ties (1982–1989)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Chronicles liberal ex-hippies Steven and Elyse Keaton, their conservative son Alex, daughters Mallory and Jennifer, and later, youngest child Andrew.

Stars: Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter, Justine Bateman

Votes: 14,692

29. Get Smart (1965–1970)

TV-G | 25 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Maxwell Smart, a highly intellectual but bumbling spy working for the CONTROL agency, battles the evil forces of rival spy agency KAOS with the help of his competent partner Agent 99.

Stars: Don Adams, Barbara Feldon, Edward Platt, Robert Karvelas

Votes: 10,094

30. Ally McBeal (1997–2002)

TV-PG | 45 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Follows the personal and professional life of lawyer Ally.

Stars: Calista Flockhart, Greg Germann, Jane Krakowski, Vonda Shepard

Votes: 28,427

Happy Days replaced

31. Home Improvement (1991–1999)

TV-G | 22 min | Comedy, Family

The daily trials and tribulations of Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor, a television show host raising three mischievous boys with help from his loyal co-host, loving wife, and eccentric neighbor.

Stars: Tim Allen, Earl Hindman, Taran Noah Smith, Zachery Ty Bryan

Votes: 37,376

32. Father Knows Best (1954–1960)

30 min | Comedy, Family

The popular radio show comes to life in this hit sitcom about a wise family man, Jim Anderson, his common-sense wife Margaret and their children Betty, Bud and Kathy.

Stars: Robert Young, Jane Wyatt, Billy Gray, Lauren Chapin

Votes: 1,682

In Living Color replaced

33. Dennis the Menace (1959–1963)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

Television episodes built around the same sorts of incidents found in Hank Ketcham's long-running comic strip.

Stars: Herbert Anderson, Jay North, Gloria Henry, Billy Booth

Votes: 1,608

Green Acres replaced

34. Kate & Allie (1984–1989)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

When Allie Lowell divorces her husband and gets custody of their two children, she moves to New York City and moves in with her best friend, Kate McArdle, also divorced and raising a ... See full summary »

Stars: Susan Saint James, Jane Curtin, Frederick Koehler, Allison Smith

Votes: 1,450

35. King of the Hill (1997–2010)

TV-PG | 30 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

A straight laced propane salesman in Arlen, Texas tries to deal with the wacky antics of his family and friends, while also trying to keep his son in line.

Stars: Mike Judge, Kathy Najimy, Pamela Adlon, Johnny Hardwick

Votes: 42,905

36. The Larry Sanders Show (1992–1998)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy

A comedic behind the scenes look at a late night talk show.

Stars: Garry Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor, Wallace Langham, Rip Torn

Votes: 7,055

37. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959–1963)

30 min | Comedy, Family

Sensitive teenager Dobie Gillis exasperates his grocer father Herbert T. Gillis and is the apple of his mother Winnie Gillis' eye. Dobie has an almost singular focus on the opposite sex, ... See full summary »

Stars: Dwayne Hickman, Bob Denver, Frank Faylen, Florida Friebus

Votes: 1,309

Laverne & Shirley replaced

38. Leave It to Beaver (1957–1963)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family

The misadventures of a suburban boy, family and friends.

Stars: Jerry Mathers, Hugh Beaumont, Barbara Billingsley, Tony Dow

Votes: 6,079

39. Mad About You (1992–1999)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Romance

Paul and Jamie Buchman are a recently-married New York City couple. They point out the gentle humor in domesticity and life's everyday situations.

Stars: Paul Reiser, Helen Hunt, John Pankow, Leila Kenzle

Votes: 19,308

Louie replaced

40. Malcolm in the Middle (2000–2006)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Family

A gifted young teen tries to survive life with his dimwitted, dysfunctional family.

Stars: Frankie Muniz, Bryan Cranston, Justin Berfield, Erik Per Sullivan

Votes: 110,240

41. The Wonder Years (1988–1993)

TV-PG | 22 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

Kevin Arnold recalls growing up during the late 60s and early 70s; the turbulent social times make the transition from child to adult unusually interesting.

Stars: Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern, Alley Mills

Votes: 32,311

Married... with Children replaced

42. The Donna Reed Show (1958–1966)

30 min | Comedy, Family

The Stones consist of loving homemaker Donna, her pediatrician husband Alex, and their children Mary and Jeff. Many situations arise like when they found a baby on their doorstep or take in... See full summary »

Stars: Donna Reed, Paul Petersen, Carl Betz, Shelley Fabares

Votes: 1,207

Maude replaced

43. The Patty Duke Show (1963–1966)

TV-G | 30 min | Comedy, Family, Music

Cathy Lane, teen-aged daughter of a globe-trotting journalist, comes to live at the home of her uncle, a newspaper editor in New York City. Curiously, Cathy is the spitting image of her ... See full summary »

Stars: Patty Duke, Jean Byron, William Schallert, Paul O'Keefe

Votes: 1,065

The Middle replaced

44. The Phil Silvers Show (1955–1959)

30 min | Comedy, Family

Sergeant Ernie Bilko is the ultimate con man. He runs the motor pool at a small Kansas U.S. Army Camp. Colonel Hall, nominally in charge of the base, tries to keep Bilko's plans in check. ... See full summary »

Stars: Phil Silvers, Harvey Lembeck, Paul Ford, Allan Melvin

Votes: 1,257

Monty Python's Flying Circus replaced

45. I Married Joan (1952–1955)

Not Rated | 30 min | Comedy

The adventures of the scatterbrained wife of a respected city judge.

Stars: Joan Davis, Jim Backus, Geraldine Carr, Beverly Wills

Votes: 276

The Odd Couple replaced

46. Murphy Brown (1988–2018)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

The personal and professional misadventures of an opinionated but beloved woman working as a TV journalist.

Stars: Candice Bergen, Grant Shaud, Robert Pastorelli, Faith Ford

Votes: 7,973

47. Nurse Jackie (2009–2015)

TV-MA | 27 min | Comedy, Drama

A drug-addicted nurse struggles to find a balance between the demands of her frenetic job at a New York City hospital and an array of personal dramas.

Stars: Edie Falco, Merritt Wever, Paul Schulze, Dominic Fumusa

Votes: 23,309

48. The Office (2005–2013)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy

A mockumentary on a group of typical office workers, where the workday consists of ego clashes, inappropriate behavior, and tedium.

Stars: Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson

Votes: 321,442

49. Parks and Recreation (2009–2015)

TV-14 | 22 min | Comedy