In my post yesterday, I briefly touched on the Emmy awards from the other night. Of course being the nerd I am, I started thinking more and more about the history of the Emmys and had to do some additional research (yeah, that's fun for me somehow).
At first, I was kind of surprised to see which shows had won how many Emmy awards for Outstanding Comedy Series, but the more I thought about it, it actually all kind of made sense.
Then I started realizing that the Emmy award winners could actually help us figure out which series is the greatest sitcom of all time purely on a statistical level by removing all subjective feelings.
So what I have done below is list the winners from each decade and choose a Decade Winner (from the 1950's through the 2000's). Then at the bottom, I have put together an All-Time Category consisting of those six Decade Winners and you get to choose which show is the Greatest Sitcom Ever.
Series with the most votes (in the comments section below this post) wins. I will also accept e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter responses.
I'm not going to weigh in on this one. This is all about YOU. So let me know what you think.
- The Red Skelton Show (’52)
- I Love Lucy (’53, ’54)
- Make Room for Daddy (’55)
- The Phil Silvers Show (’56, ’57, ’58)
- The Jack Benny Show (’59)
WINNER: You know that crappy Steve Martin movie that came out a few years ago called "Sgt. Bilko"? Yeah, that was a modernization of "The Phil Silvers Show", which is an absolute classic. But I'm sure no one remembers that series, so "I Love Lucy" it is. Not a bad consolation prize.
- Art Carney Special (’60)
- The Jack Benny Show (’61)
- The Bob Newhart Show (’62)
- The Dick Van Dyke Show (’63, ’64, ’65, ’66)
- The Monkees (’67)
- Get Smart (’68, ’69)
WINNER: "Get Smart" (the classic TV series, NOT the awful Steve Carrell movie) made me pause for a minute, but after further review, it's not even close. "Van Dyke" was the first sitcom to really perfect the show at home/show at work formula. Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam stole the show at the office and gave Rob Petrie all he could handle but at least he had Mary Tyler Moore to come home to.
- My World and Welcome to It (’70)
- All in the Family (’71, ’72, ’73, ’78)
- M*A*S*H* (’74)
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show (’75, ‘76’, ’77)
- Taxi (’79)
WINNER: "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in a minor upset. I know "All in the Family" won more Emmy's and probably was more culturally relevant (although, not by much as "Moore" really showcased the independent woman of that era), but "Moore" just kept crafting the work/home dynamic that "Van Dyke" had perfected and in my humble opinion, still stands as the template for the perfect sitcom. Having Ted Knight's Ted Baxter as the greatest supporting character doesn't hurt either.
(Special recognition to "Taxi" for winning in '79 and again in '80 and '81. The actual decade barrier hurt its chances more than anything)
- Taxi (’80, ’81)
- Barney Miller (’82)
- Cheers (’83, ’84, ‘89)
- The Cosby Show (’85)
- Golden Girls (’86, ’87)
- The Wonder Years (’88)
WINNER: Every time I watch an episode of "Cheers" on DVD, I can't help but think that it would have been the greatest get-together-with-your-friends-and-watch series of all time. Shows like "Friends" and "How I Met Your Mother" are now able to exist because of "Cheers", with its focus on the ensemble as opposed to the Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke star-driven predecessors.
- Murphy Brown (’90, ‘92)
- Cheers (’91)
- Seinfeld (’93)
- Frasier (’94, ’95, ’96, ’97, ’98)
- Ally McBeal (’99)
WINNER: The biggest landslide of all, and it's NOT "Seinfeld". You know what, I'm not even going to insult the winner with an explanation.
- Will & Grace (’00)
- Sex & the City (’01)
- Friends (’02)
- Everybody Loves Raymond (’03, ’05)
- Arrested Development (’04)
- The Office (’06)
- 30 Rock (’07, ’08, '09)
WINNER: This was the hardest decision for me by far. I don't think a TV person like me will even remember "30 Rock" in 30 years (I was PRAYING for "The Office" to win this past Sunday so that those two shows would be tied and I could justify going that way). While "30 Rock" is a consistently well-written and genuinely funny show, there is never an EPIC TV moment that will be replayed or talked about for years to come. I always enjoy "30 Rock" but I never remember it. "Arrested Development" should have walked away with this decade but viewers are too stupid to realize brilliance until it's too late. So, with great reluctance, I give the nod to "Everybody Loves Raymond". It had that classic sitcom feel, some big moments, great cast and never did anything wrong (so why doesn't it feel more right?)
The All-Time nominations have been made, now it's time for you decide the Greatest TV Show Ever. For me personally, it's not even a discussion, but I can't wait to hear your thoughts on your winner.
Once again, the nominees are...
- I Love Lucy
- The Dick Van Dyke Show
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show
- Everybody Loves Raymond
Feel free to comment below!