50 Best Sitcoms US & UK
50 of the all time best sitcoms in the English language described in short for your pleasure. They are in the order we thought of them and if you’re a comedy fan you have to make sure you’ve seen at least one episode of each.
Have we missed any of your favourites? Let us know! If’ you’ve seen all of these then you’re a TRUE comedy Fan.
1. Mork & Mindy
1978 – 1982
Creators: Gary Marshall, Joe Gladberg and Dale McRaven
Why: The mania of Robin Williams. What would he do next?
Reason for re-watching: Robin Williams
2. Barney Miller
1974 – 1982
Creators: Danny Arnold & Theodore J Flicker
Why: An exaggeration, only slight, of working in an office>
Reason for re-watching: Steve Landesberg (Det. Sgt. Dietrich)
1988 – 1997
Creators: Roseanne Barr and more
Why: Domestic struggle told as horror.
Reason for re-watching: The cast, the gags, and the great John Goodman.
1978 – 1973
Creators: James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels, David Davis, Ed Weinberger
Why: Ensemble cast, the ‘evil Danny Divito v the sublime Andy Kaufman
Reason for re-watching: ‘Earth to Andy Kaufman!’
5. Red Dwarf
Creators: Bob Grant and Doug Naylor
Why: The uptight v ‘The Free.’ And the word “SMEG!”
Reason for re-watching: Having your brain rewired by tight mad plots.
1992 – 1998
Creator: Barry Kemp
Why: Newhart, an acquired taste, once you have it you’ll never lose it.
Reason for re-watching: The timing of greatness, deadpan genius.
7. The Golden Girls
1985 – 1992
Creator: Susan Harris
Why: Sublime character creation
Reason for re-watching: Look out of the Elvis Impersonators.
1990 – 1998
Creators: Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David
Why: You know why
Reason for re-watching: Eccentric personalities sparkle each other.
1993 – 2004
Creators: David Angell, Peter Casey, David Lee
Why: Wit, true wit in a sitcom.
Reason for re-watching: The asthetes meet Dad. Special mention to ‘Bulldog’ and the wonderful ‘Ham Radio’ episode.
1982 – 1993
Creators: James Burrows, Glen Chalres, Les Charles
Why: Sam and Diane.
Reason for re-watching: Coach, Carla, Norm, Woody, Frasier, and Cliff.
11. South Park
Creators: Matt Stone and Trey Parker
Why: Profanity overload works.
Reason for re-watching: Kenny
12. The Simpsons
Creator: Matt Groening
Why: The greatest satire invented (and it’s AMERICAN)!
Reason for re-watching: The bliss of knowing the world as it really is.
13. The Office
2001 – 2003
Creators: Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant
Why: Because it’s a story of a man who is redeemed by love.
Reason for re-watching: The whole cast, spot on all the time.
1982 – 1989
Creators: Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis
Why: Comedy creation at its finest by cast and production.
Reason for re-watching: Multiple and effortless insults.
15. Fawlty Towers
1975 – 1979
Creators: John Cleese and Connie Booth
Why: 11 of the greatest farces known to TV (Caesar Salad is a mite iffy)
Reason for re-watching: The British are all maniacs.
1972 – 1983
Creators: Larry Gelbart
Why: War is wrong, war is mad; laughter is coping.
Reason for re-watching: Radar. Don’t bother with the later seasons when it got smug.
1977 – 1981
Creator: Susan Harris
Why: Ridiculously funny and some of the all time great US comedy performers.
Reason for re-watching: Richard Mulligan
18. Only Fools and Horses
Creator: John Sullivan RIP
Why: The greatest of characters, warm, comic, of our time.
Reason for re-watching: Everything.
19. The Vicar of Dibley
1994 – 2007
Creator: Richard Curtis
Why: It’s warm and it’s full of love of the English as we like to think of them.
Reason for re-watching: Lots but we love ‘Alice’ and ‘Owen.’
20. Dad’s Army
1968 – 1977
Creator: Jimmy Perry
Why: Old boys at the top of their game, effortless.
Reason for re-watching: Arthur Lowe, pompous but a man with integrity.
21. Yes Minister/Prime Minister
1980 – 1987
Creator: Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn
Why: This is government.
Reason for re-watching: Peerless comedy from Paul, Nigel and Derek.
1974 – 1977
Creators: Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais
Why: Tight writing extracting laughter from a miserable place.
Reason for re-watching: Ronnie Barker, one of the few comedy genius performers.
23. Steptoe and Son
1962 – 1974
Creators: Ray Galton and Alan Simpson
Why: Father son relationships and dysfunction made real and funny.
Reason for re-watching: The sordid life of others makes you feel superior doesn’t it?
24. Till Death do us Part
1965 – 1975
Creator: Johnny Speight
Why: A bigot laughed at and becomes a hero to a few and a fool to the rest of us.
Reason for re-watching: Love Dandy Nichols
25. The Good Life
1975 – 1978
Creators: John Esmonde and Bob Larbey
Why: Class comedy about class.
Reason for re-watching: Just big kids having a good time.
26. One Foot in the Grave
1990 – 2000
Creator: David Renwick
Why: Real life, real laughs.
Reason to re-watch. The touching drama that underpins the humour.
27. Father Ted
1995 – 1998
Creators: Graham Linehan & Arthur Mathews
Why: The greatest sitcom ever.
Reason to re-watch: Everything. It’s bliss.
28. Men Behaving Badly
1992 – 1999
Creator: Simon Nye
Why: We’re just ordinary blokes and we like sex, drinking and dosing.
Reason to re-watch: Even the minor characters make you laugh long.
29. Absolutely Fabulous
1992 – 2004
Creators: Dawn French & Jennifer Saunders
Why: Outrageous comedy is usually never this good.
Reason to re-watching: Well they are all wonderful but ‘Bubble’ is my type of girl.
30. The Royle Family
Creators: Caroline Aherne & Craig Cash
Why: It’s a family and families are like this.
Reason to re-watch: The lack of movement.
31. Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads
1973 – 1974
Creators: Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais
Why: Feel good and of it’s time it gives friendship a good name.
Reason to re-watch: James Bolam
32. Drop The Dead Donkey
1990 – 1998
Creators: Andy Hamilton & Guy Jenkin
Why: Sharp satire and bonkers characters, class.
Reason to re-watch: A mite dated but political arses are always with us.
33. Rising Damp
1974 – 1978
Creator: Eric Chappell
Why: Leonard Rossiter and Richard Beckinsale
Reason to re-watch: Leonard Rossiter’s face.
34. Hancock’s Half Hour
1956 – 1960
Creators: Ray Galton & Alan Simpson
Why: The lad himself.
Reason to re-watch: ‘The Blood Donor’ and that line…
35. The Young Ones
1982 – 1984
Creators: Everyone that turned up.
Why: Of it’s time and offbeat but decent anarchy is hard to find these
Reason to re-watch: Spot the guest bands playing in the middle of the ‘plot.’
36. The League of Gentlemen
1999 – 2002
Creators: Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton & Reece Shearsmith
Why: Dark men.
Reasons to re-watch: For the shiver-laughs.
37. I’m Alan Partridge
1997 – 2003
Creators: Steve Coogan
Why: The parody to end all clichés.
Reason to re-watch: How it all escalates for the poor wee man.
38. Gimme Gimme, Gimme
1991 – 2001
Creators: Jonathan Harvey & Kathy Burke
Why: The two leads, perfect comedy duo
Reason to re-watch: Dysfunction is seldom done so well.
39. Just Good Friends
1983 – 1996
Creator: John Sullivan
Why: It may be a bit past it but the lines are genius.
Reason to re-watch: It’s by John Sullivan.
40. The Phil Silvers Show
1955 – 1959
Creator: Nat Hikin
Why: Writing craft, an eternal battle and Mr Phil Silvers.
1979 – 1992
Creator: Peter Tilbury
Why: Intelligent indolence
Reason to re-watch: Dazzling argument for fun.
42. Citizen Smith
1997 – 1980
Creator: John Sullivan
Why: We all have dreams.
Reason to re-watch: Will ‘Wolfie’ ever succeed?
43. Ripping Yarns
1976 – 1979
Creator: Michael Palin
Why: The daft English comedy that generates affection for a world that should have existed.
Reason to re-watch: ‘Tomkinson’s School Days.’
44. To The Manor Born
1979 – 1981
Creator: Peter Spence
Why: Elegant love story.
Reason to re-watch: Misunderstandings and the haughtiness.
45. Up Pompeii
1969 – 1975
Why: Innuendo ago go.
Reason to re-watch: How many expressions does Frankie have?
46. Black Books
2000 – 2004
Creators: Dylan Moran & Graham Linehan
Why: What a character is Bernard.
Reason to re-watch: Every character is perfect plus surreal touches of parody, genius.
1983 – 1984
Creators: John Stevenson & Julian Roach
Why: Uproar across the class divide.
Reason to re-watch: The containment of madness.
1981 – 1988
Creators: Ian Davidson & Peter Vincent
Why: Mothers eh?
Reason to re-watch: Ronnie Corbett is sublime.
49. Hot Metal
1986 – 1988
Creators Andrew Marshall & David Renwick
Why: Sharp, searing comedy.
Reason to re-watch: Robert Hardy and Geoffrey Palmer
50. The New Statesman
1987 – 1992
Creators: Laurence Marks & Maurice Gran
Why: Politics is always funny…if done right.
Reason to re-watch: Politics hasn’t changed has it?
What to read about some more top comedy of all time?
See our 12 Best UK Comedy Sketches
Read our choice of 25 classic one-liners
Take your time. Have you seen these 75 Classic Comedy Films?
And if you really have a lot of time on your hands: 101 Short Jokes.