The All-Time Best Sitcoms!

Alan Sepinwall, Maria Fontoura, David Fear and Rob Sheffield at The Rolling Stone took on the monumental task of Ranking the 100 All-Time Best SitcomsKen Levine (who’s written for shows that made the list) explains why creating this ranking is a fool’s errand.  While I agree with Ken, I’m fool enough to play along. 

Of the top 100 on their list, I’ve seen less than half.  41 to be exact.  Since we’re just going to compare their top 10 to mine, that won’t be an issue since I’ve seen all of their top choices regularly except for two.  So without further fanfare, here are Rolling Stone’s All-Time Best Sitcoms compared to mine.

Rolling Stone Craig
10. Larry Sanders Show (HBO, 1992-1998) 10. Andy Griffith Show (CBS, 1960-1968): Episodes featuring Barney are among the best sitcom episodes ever.
9. Parks and Recreation (NBC, 2009-2015) 9. Mary Tyler Moore Show (CBS, 1970-1977): was must-see tv.
8. Honeymooners (CBS, 1955-1956) 8. Modern Family (ABC, 2009-2020): Started as a fun watch and then became must-see.
7. Mary Tyler Moore Show (CBS, 1970-1977) 7. Frasier (NBC, 1993-2004): I’m one of the folks that prefer Frasier to Cheers.
6. M*A*S*H (CBS, 1972-1983) 6. Big Bang Theory (CBS, 2007-2019): I came to this one late, but then caught up.  BBT became must-see for us.
5.  All in the Family (CBS, 1971-1979) 5. Sanford and Son (NBC, 1972-1977): S&S is often compared to All in the Family, but I think that S&S holds it’s own against AitF (and is better when comparing the later seasons of each)
4. I Love Lucy (CBS, 1951-1957) 4. Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS, 1996-2005): I didn’t start watching ELR until near the end of the run.  It grew on me and I’ve now seen every episode at least once.
3.  Seinfeld (NBC, 1989-1998) 3. I Love Lucy (CBS, 1951-1957): Every episode until they move to the country is classic.
2. Cheers (NBC, 1982-1993) 2. Seinfeld (NBC, 1989-1998): was required viewing since everyone discussed the latest episode the day after it aired.  Holds up under multiple viewings. 
1. Simpsons (Fox, 1989-Present) 1. Honeymooners (CBS, 1955-1956): Simple format, perfectly cast and still funny over half a century later.

I was surprised that Two and a Half Men didn’t make the All-Time Greatest list. The years featuring Charlie Sheen would have made mine. It just didn’t work for me once he was gone. Jon Cryer was still funny but, for me, the magic left with Charlie. (And while we’re on the topic of Jon Cryer — wouldn’t he have made a great Barney Fife??)