Who didn’t love Raymond? This show is now in syndicate heaven; Everybody Loves Raymond is actually based on events (somewhat embellished, I’m sure) from Ray Ramano’s life. Raymond is a smart, funny sitcom, and just made it into the top ten with 9 seasons.
(10 Seasons, 236 Episodes)
Is anyone willing to say that Friends was their Thursday night guilty pleasure? No? Well, given the ratings of this wickedly-funny show, I am inclined not to believe you! Millions tuned in every Thursday to see, what else? Would Ross and Rachel finally get together? Or later, would they get back together? Or later still, would they get together and stay together for the baby that they made together… while not together???
#8 The Jeffersons
(11 Seasons, 253 Episodes)
“Mo..oovin’ on up…” Who can forget the catchy tune at the start of this long-running sitcom? The show followed the lives of George and Louise Jefferson, an upper middle-class African American couple, and their maid Florence. The Jeffersons holds the title of longest running sitcom with a predominately African American cast.
#7 Married… With Children
(11 Seasons, 262 Episodes)
This was the first show to air prime-time on then brand-new network, Fox, and has the distinction of being the longest-running live-action sitcom on the Fox network to date. Married… was about a women’s shoe salesman and his dysfunctional family. If you’ve seen this show (don’t lie, you have) you might be surprised to know that the show won multiple Emmy and Goldon Globe awards. Perhaps not surprising, unless you also know that In 1989, Terry Rakolta, a homemaker from Michigan, led a boycott against the show. Who knew?
(11 Seasons, 264 Episodes)
The only cast member who didn’t remain with the show for the entirety of the series was “Eddie” the dog. Frasier has the distinction of being the longest-running spin-off series ever. You may not know that Frasier was originally a character in Cheers; Speaking of which…
(11 Seasons, 270 Episodes)
Our number five spot goes to the show that rarely took place outside of the bar, the shows namesake. Even though each episode was largely similar, there was something really comforting to Cheers’ fans about these people that did, over time, become like friends. There are, interestingly, 2 pubs in Boston that are set up to mimic the original Cheers bar. I was lucky to sit on Norm’s stool in 2003; the original bar set (complete with some of the actors names carved on the bar top) was in the Hollywood Entertainment Museum for many years, unfortunately, the museum closed in 2007.
#4 My Three Sons
(12 Seasons, 380 Episodes)
Another of 1980′s Nick at Nite’s lineup, My Three Sons was about the life of a widower and aeronautical engineer named Steven Douglas, raising his three sons. Sons, like many long-running sitcoms of that era, started out in black and white (the first 36 episodes) and continued on for 11 more seasons in color. An interesting thing about this show, perhaps it was because of the time it ran, the show remained strong in the ratings department despite the family moving, getting married, remarried, and introducing more children.
#3 South Park
(14 Seasons, 202 Episodes)
South Park is not technically a sitcom, but is truly a long-running comedy. I am going to say it… Here I go… I have never watched an episode of South Park. Wow. No lightning or anything. In researching the show, however I found the disclaimer at the beginning of the show to be intriguing: ”All characters and events in this show—even those based on real people—are entirely fictional. All celebrity voices are impersonated… poorly. The following program contains coarse language and due to its content it should not be viewed by anyone.” I found a hilarious clip about FaceBook; and although I am probably the last person on the planet to see it, I nearly snorted beer out of my nose…
#2 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
(14 Seasons, 435 Episodes)
It was a quaint show, but The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet entertained so many in the 14 years it ran. This was originally a radio program, coming to TV (black and white, of course) and then ended up in color. A uniqueness that this show had, possibly an explanation for it’s long success, is that the cast were actual family. Ozzie and Harriet holds the title of the longest-running “live-action”/non-animated sitcom in US TV history!
#1 The Simpsons
(21 Seasons, 464 Episodes)
Here we are at the coveted number one spot! Is anyone surprised that it’s an animated program? Although, as with South Park, The Simpsons are not technically a traditional sitcom. Bart Simpson has been 8-years-old for 21 years, and everyone is fine with that, and why not? Big Bird has been 6-years-old since 1969! I used to watch The Simpsons and enjoy the crass humor; now that I am a parent… I have to watch in secret, and doubly enjoy the crass humor!
Congratulations to the Top Ten Longest Running Sitcoms of All Time! The research was fun, in fact, Netflix is all queued up with some classics now that my whistle has been whetted for some great laughs!
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