The Never Ending Reign Of Situation Comedies
In the early television days the first situation comedies were family oriented shows like Father Knows Best, which aired in 1954 and Leave it to Beaver, which aired in 1957. Later on came My Three Sons, which aired in 1960 and ended in 1972. These were just a few of the first shows that had comedy plots, but often had a more sentimental touching side as well.
In 1971, All in the Family was aired for the first time on CBS. No one could ever forget the prejudicial and hilariously disgusting antics of Archie Bunker, played by Carroll O’Conner. His silly, but lovable wife Edith was forever being ridiculed by Archie. His daughter Gloria distressed him by marrying the meathead Michael, played by now famous director and producer, Rob Reiner.
Another great sit com that aired in 1972 and ran until 1983, lasting 11 years was M.A.S.H. It had hilarious situations and cast members like Alan Alda who played Hawkeye Pierce, and the memorable Klinger played by Jamie Farr. This army hospital series was the result of M.A.S.H. the movie.
The 1970’s also brought us the first African American situation comedies and they were all great successes. Sanford and Son, Good Times, and The Jeffersons, were watched and loved by black, white, and all other people alike. The characters were all etched in our memories as some of the funniest shows ever.
The 1980’s did not slow down the situation comedy shows one bit. These memorable years gave us shows like Married with Children, The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Night Court, and Cheers. Later we got the show Frasier, as a spin off from Cheers.
It seems that ever since 1950’s situation comedies have been a dependable source of entertainment for television viewers. There is nothing more American than sitting down at 7:00 pm on a week night with family members and watching several sit com episodes back to back. It has become almost traditional.
Situation comedy reruns are some of the most watched ever. Many different ones from Father Knows Best to the more recently cancelled shows can be seen on cable and satellite channels. To most of us who love some of these shows, it really does not matter if we have seen a particular episode two or three times. We will often catch ourselves watching it one more time just because we simply can not resist.