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?

Canceled and renewed TV show

54 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Adrian says

    I Love Lucy should have won. It’s really one of the only shows that holds its own across the eras, and despite being more than half a century old, is still relevant. Sure, Friends is good, but the best in history?

    Also, I can’t believe the Big Bang Theory was so well voted. Sure, I watched it, I liked it, but I’m starting to think it’s not getting any better, only more stagnant. I can’t imagine it being the best thing in sitcom history, it’s not even the best sitcom on now.

  2. Carrie says

    I completely agree. You know a TV show has to be good when a decade later people still quote it. =) Seinfeld is another good one.

  3. Hugh G Rection says

    Get real do you think any of the winners will be here as long as The Andy Griffith Show.No way.The The Andy Griffith Show should have won “hands down”

  4. Dorothy says

    Just discovered your website, but I would have voted for Seinfeld! Its the only show EVERYONE can relate to in some way, shape or form. They touched every imaginable thing we’ve all said, thought or done. Friends? Well, once they all started ******** each other, they weren’t “friends” anymore were they? The creators sure ended up in left field by the time THAT show ended!

  5. STTOS says

    Unfortunately I just saw this now or else I would have voted. These would be my top 10 , in alphabetical order:
    The Andy Griffith Show
    Cheers
    The Dick Van Dyke Show
    Everybody Loves Raymond
    Frasier
    Hogan’s Heroes
    Leave It To Beaver
    M*A*S*H
    The Odd Couple
    Seinfeld
    Honorable Mention: Get Smart, Gilligan’s Island, The Honeymooners, I Dream of Jeannie, Wings.

  6. Don says

    Yep! I Love Lucy is a classic and should have won hands down. Not far behind should have been MASH! Obviously, the winners were voted in by younger viewers. It’s too bad that more older viewers didn’t vote.

  7. Tyler says

    Some very good shows were left out, IMO.

    My own personal faves (top ten, in no particular order):

    3rd Rock From the Sun
    All in the Family
    Roseanne
    Designing Women
    Gilligan’s Island
    That ’70s Show
    The Wonder Years
    Newhart
    Everybody Loves Raymond
    Frasier

    If I had those shows to watch (and only those shows — but if I could have 13, I’d throw in The Andy Griffith Show, The Golden Girls and Leave it To Beaver — adding in The PJs and Futurama to get to 15, if non live-action comedies could be on the list) my comedy needs would be met for the rest of my life!

  8. Jimmy says

    Friends? Please. I was in “the age bracket” to which Friends was supposed to appeal, and while I found it humorous, nothing could touch the hemlines of Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance. The show is absolutely earth-shattering in what it did for television and remains one of the world’s most seen television series.

  9. R & K Green says

    WHAT HAPPENED TO “FRASIER”??! fANTASTIC, FUNNY SHOW. BUT, FOR THE SHOW I SAW ON YOUR LIST, “I LOVE LUCY” WAS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE “THE” BEST! NEXT WOULD BE “THE HONEYMOONERS”, THEN “FRASIER”, THEN “HAPPY DAYS”. WE AGREE WITH OTHER PEOPLE’S REMARKS THAT IT’S THE “YOUNGER” GENERATION THAT VOTED FOR “FRIENDS”. WE TRIED TO WATCH IT…COULDN’T UNDERSTAND THE HUMOR OR WHAT PEOPLE LIKED ABOUT IT. HEY, YOUNGER FOLKS….RENT SOME OF THE OLD CLASSICS AND YOU’LL SEE “REAL” HUMOR!

  10. Dee says

    The results are from tunnel visioned internet users. Unfortanetly this is the way it was given. I can say without a doubt in my mind that Friends is NOT the best comedy of all times. It would have to be in my top ten, but NEVER number one! NEVER!

    M*A*S*H* is my number one!
    I Love Lucy! (#2)
    These not in order: The Cosby Show, Cheers, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Honeymooners, Frasier, Becker, The Big Bang Theory (OMG best one out now!), and finally Seinfeld.

    The results you’ve recieved are no doubt based on people that no longer watch the classics.

    *sigh* I am becoming my parents…LOL But at least I know true comedy when I see it.

  11. Brianne says

    Big Bang Theory should have won. I love friends but Big Bang is funnier and better. The characters are better and the story line is better as well.

  12. Idolfanatic says

    Seinfeld was truly my favorite show on TV. It was about everyday life and it was so real and so funny. Friends definitely wins for 2nd place, although it really was very close ….

  13. Wolfgang says

    Obviously, the vote results are age biased. How could today’s youngsters really get the beauty and humor of I Love Lucy? Even the fact that the Carol Burnett show and All in the Family didn’t make it to the finals proves this bias. Perhaps the vote should have been segragated into decades and indicate the winners against the competition within respective ten year time frames.

    I remember my grandmother coming for a visit from Germany and watching the Lucy show with our family. However, even though she couldn’t understand English, she laughed hysterically while watching that show. Who wouldn’t enjoy Lucy and all her crazy antics? Also, my mother so loved that show that she watched the reruns all the rest of her life, easily ten times or more.

    Yes, Friends was sometimes very funny and it was fun to watch the interactions of four young people in modern times. But ultimately, it was held down with its occassional lapses into inappropriate subjects that the family couldn’t enjoy.

    For really biting humor delving into timely topics, watch and study All in the Family.

    • Kurt Brown says

      It’s a sad day when a good shows like Freinds and Sienfeld and ahead of shows like I love Lucy. The shows from the 60’s and 70’s don’t attracted todays youth. However, They were all about clean wholesome humor, Not sex. I realize that times have changed, but they still were so much better then any of todays sitcoms. I grew up on Barney Miller, Welcome Back Kotter, M*A*S*H, All In The Family. These we the great shows!!!!!!!!!!

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