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What’s the Best Sitcom in History? You Said…

FriendsWe’ve now completed our sitcom tournament and you, our readers, have come up with a winner.

The voting started with a selection of more than 200 beloved comedies. From there, we paired the candidates down to 58 choices. Even then, things were starting to get difficult.

In round three, things got really tough though as we pitted legendary shows against one another — I Love Lucy vs. The Honeymooners; The Dick Van Dyke Show vs The Andy Griffith Show; M*A*S*H vs All in the Family; The Cosby Show vs Cheers; Seinfeld vs Friends; and Everybody Loves Raymond vs The Big Bang Theory. Any of them could easily have come out as the big winner.

In round four, the victors of round three were paired off. In the end, I Love Lucy won over The Andy Griffith Show and Seinfeld beat Everybody Loves Raymond. Cheers and M*A*S*H were so close that we moved them both to the final round. We also introduced a wildcard category in which shows that had been eliminated in round three were given a second chance. Friends was the easy victor.

And then, in the final round, it came down to just five challengers — Cheers, Friends, I Love Lucy, M*A*S*H, and Seinfeld. After more than 27,000 tournament votes, we now have our winners.

Despite being beaten by Seinfeld in round three, Friends has won the title. You, our readers, believe that the gang at Central Perk have the best sitcom in history. Not too far behind them is all-time classic I Love Lucy, a show that many would have thought would have won. And then, right behind Lucy, is the little show from the 1990s, Seinfeld.

Thanks to everyone who voted and left their feedback! We’re planning on doing another tournament soon!

What do you think of the winners? Are you surprised? Any suggestions for future tournaments?

 

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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

kwlo7 June 19, 2014 at 6:59 pm

1. FRIENDS 2. MASH 3. Seinfeld 4. Cheers then probably more modern ones like Modern Family and The Office

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Sean June 14, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Friends is a decent show, but I’d venture a guess that the reason why this show is even considered to be at the top spot is women. Pretty much every girl I know that is my age has a Friends box set. The show isn’t crap, but if it’s compared to the likes of Seinfeld, MASH, (especially) Cheers, and even the Cosby Show….it’s crap. The show continually jumped the shark with terrible love interest pieces…especially at the end. You can thank women for the reason this show is so high and also why it ran for so long. You can also thank them for nearly every reality tv show to date. I’m completely right..but I’ll be labeled a pisg headed misogynist…which of course…. I yam what I yam.

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Jack Carney May 16, 2014 at 2:53 am

For me….All in the Family is number 1. The first five seasons were by far the best seasons in tv sitcom history. It pains me too see that it is not mentioned more by the posters on this thread. The acting and story lines were excellent. I look at it this way. I always go to my local library to check out DVD s of the top sitcoms. Every time I go, I will always see Friends, Frasier, Seinfeld, MASH, Cheers, Everybody Loves Raymond, Andy Griffith Show, Barney Miller, and some others always available in the stacks. Every time I have to reserve All In The Family because it is not available. Either the other library patrons own the above seasons or All In The Family is very popular. Just my observation

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Eddie January 15, 2013 at 10:08 am

Friends? get out of town! It’s not even in the same league as MASH, Cheers and Seinfeld.

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Janice December 27, 2012 at 10:58 am

Hands down, Friends….

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James August 19, 2012 at 8:30 am

I agree that the “best of all time” title should be reserved for shows that have stood the test of time. I think that M*A*S*H* should have won the title. While I love “I love lucy” I think that MASH’s ability to stay so popular after over 30 years off the air coupled with the fact that the final episode drew so may viewers, (almost 1/2 of the US population in 1983) more than qualifies it as the best of all time. The show still remains on the air in over 100 countries and in at least that many languages.

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Gustavo April 29, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I Love Lucy, Friends, The Simpsons (I know it is not a sitcom but it has such similar qualities to one, Plus the first fifteen seasons were hilarious), Cheers and M*A*S*H. This is my list, but I am not at all surprised Friends won, not only is it extremely funny but the characters were so relatable that you found yourself in the show cutting of Chandlers toe or running away from satin (the dog) or “being on a break”. Great choice, and for those who do not think so well you are entitled to your opinion but please do not try to repress our opinion.

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Carlos December 5, 2011 at 12:37 am

Like it or not, I don’t care, but FRIENDS is the best sitcom of all time. Haters can go jump in a pool.

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VICKIE March 6, 2011 at 11:13 pm

IN THE ERA OF TELEVISION, WITH THE OUTSTANDING ARTISTS AND TV SERIES, I CANNOT BELEIVE THAT FRIENDS COULD HAVE BEAT OUT ALL OF THE BEST. THE ONLY THING THAT FRIENDS HAD AS THEIR ADVANTAGE WAS THEIR TIMESLOT. TAKEN OVER FROM CHEERS. I NEVER FOUND THEM INTERESTING OR FUNNY AT ALL. WHOEVER VOTED THEM IN AS THE BEST SITCOM OF ALL MUST HAVE BEEN THEM

V

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david March 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I absolutely hated Friends–it has no business being voted the best or in the top 10 anywhere. Where is the Odd Couple, WKRP in all of this? By far better acted, better written and just plain better. I would put Friends somewhere behind Me and the Chimp or My Mother the Car!!!

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Ms MJ February 26, 2011 at 5:51 am

I think its a tie between I Love Lucy and The Nanny. Both shows have me LOL….literally.

If I am down in the dumps, all I have to do is watch either of these shows and I forget about my troubles.

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Dan February 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm

I think it is safe to say that one generation of viewers voted more than others. To me, Friends and Seinfeld are too young to earn a “best ever” award if it is based on sustainability and continuous syndication runs. Although I’m not a big fan of it, “I Love Lucy” should be the real winner as it is still on the air after all these decades. M*A*S*H certainly qualifies for the same reasons. Time will be the ultimate judge for Seinfeld and Friends. And measuring DVD sales and online viewing adds a whole new dimension to the criteria.

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Doug Sloop February 7, 2011 at 4:31 am

Seinfeld Hands Down is THE GREATEST tv sitcom to EVER hit the airwaves ! The 4 goofballs on that show have kept a nation (possibly THE WORLD) watching them over and over for more than a decade now after the show has stopped production of new material ! I can only hope that maybe one day to see a new episode or movie pop up with these four NYers REUNITED ! And when Jerry brings up the idea down at Monks , Elaine will push him in the chest (almost knocking him down) and scream GET OUT !

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david January 3, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Seinfeld is clearly the TRUE victor overall…

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Charlie December 13, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Look, I think that all the older generation who think “I Love Lucy” is the clear winner need to really rethink this. I have always enjoyed watching Lucy, as have my parents who are part of your generation. Even they admit that while Lucy was hilarious, many sitcoms today are much smarter and funnier with greater wit than than Lucy’s writers could ever provide. You take Lucille Ball out of the show: You have no show. That is how good she was. She transcended the script she was given. The writing wasn’t necessarily great – she made it great. If there was a poll of the the funniest sitcom actor, she would definitely deserve to be number one of all time. I think we can agree on this. But her show really does not deserve this distinction, whether or not you find the modern comedy to be humorous. That being said, Friends doesn’t even belong in the Top 10 of all time. Oh, before I step off my soap box. You really can’t fault Friends for their jokes revolving around sex unless you also fault “I Love Lucy” for being so sexually repressed that their characters slept in separate beds. In closing, I just want to say that “I Love Lucy” was was arguably the best sitcom of its time.

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