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In a recent poll of Uncle Scoopy's Fun House readers, we posed the following question...
What is the Best All Time Television Comedy?

This is actually a poll we did several years ago. I thought it would be fun to see what, if anything, had changed.

For this one, I left out sketch comedy shows and fake news. Any exceptions (like MST3K or Monty Python) were included because they were featured in the poll last time.

The nominees included classics from the 50's all the way up to some of the most popular shows of today. I did get a few emails complaining that the poll was biased toward a younger demographic (with shows like "Arrested Development" making the list). But in the end, I think our readers did a great job and cast their votes for the shows that deserved to win.

Here are the poll results summarized by Scoopy Jr., as well as DVD info.

10. (tie) "Friends"

From 1994-2004, this must-see TV staple defined pop culture.

Many die hard fans own every episode on DVD and will tell you it was the greatest show ever. While I agree that it was a witty, well written and well acted comedy series. It was also a very safe series. Perhaps that was the charm? Perhaps that was the secret to it's success? The writers/producers figured out what worked very early on and never rocked the boat. In the end, you always knew what to expect from every episode...no real conflicts, no "I guess I learned something today" moments...just six good looking people making you laugh.

Click here to buy "Friends" from Amazon.com

10. (tie) "I Love Lucy"

One of the first shows filmed in Hollywood, and for all practical purposes the first sitcom ever filmed (remember, we're talking 1951 folks! back in the days of live TV).

Historical importance aside, 54 years later Lucy's slapstick formulas (in many cases the actual plots) are still being used in sitcoms! So I guess they did something right!

Click here to buy "I Love Lucy" from Amazon.com

9. "The Honeymooners"

It's the only other Golden Era show to make our top 10, but there is no denying its impact on TV.

Ralph Kramden is without a doubt the origin of all working class, everyday leading men. From Fred Flintstone to Homer Simpson. From Archie Bunker to Al Bundy. It all started here.

Still not convinced this is a great TV comedy? Well chew on this...the show was only on from 1955-1956! Just 39 episodes! But everyone who has every sat down in front of the boob tube knows classic lines like "baby, you're the greatest" and "One of these days, Alice... bang... zoom!".

Click here to buy "The Honeymooners" from Amazon.com

8. "All in the Family"

Funny? yes. But it was also one of the most risk-taking comedies to ever air!

Today's "racy" shows don't even hold a candle to half of the topics "All in the Family" dealt with. You think a show about abortion, war or racism stirs up controversy in 2005? Try it 30 years ago!

Click here to buy "All in the Family" from Amazon.com

7. "Cheers"


To put it simply, "Cheers" was the sitcom during the 80's. Sure, there were other great comedies during the decade like "The Cosby Show" and "Night Court". But "Cheers" didn't preach a lesson and "Cheers" wasn't slapstick.

I guess in many ways, "Cheers" was the "Friends" of the 80's: well written; funny and memorable dialogue; regular-joe characters.

For my money it was the ordinary nature of the characters that won over audiences. With few exceptions, most of the characters were overweight, insecure, poorly dressed or just not very good looking. You know like real people! The characters sitting at the bar each week were the kinds of people that most of us either have had, or would like to have a beer with in real life.

Click here to buy this movie from Amazon.com

6. "Married... with Children"

Has there ever been a bigger or better loser than Al Bundy?

When it debuted in 1987, it was basically "the anti-Cosby show". Anything and everything that America loved about the good-ol-sugar-coated-happy-ending family sitcom was either insulted, flushed or trampled under the high heels of big breasted bikini-clad babes! Nothing was sacred and everyone was equally offended!

I still laugh out loud today when I am lucky enough to catch 10 year old re-runs. Al Bundy is simply the best and the worst husband, father and head of any household in TV history.

Click here to buy "Married... with Children" from Amazon.com

5. "Fawlty Towers"

What's all this, then? I have to say I was very surprised to see this show ranked so high in our poll! I guess this means our readers have exceptional taste.

From 1975-1979 John Cleese was absolutely brilliant in his bed and breakfast as the incompetent and arrogant owner who constantly got into absurd over-his-head situations. I honestly think it's not for everyone since it is very British (and not very Python). However, if you appreciate "humour" from across the pond, this should be a must have on your DVD list.

Click here to buy "Fawlty Towers" from Amazon.com

4. "Monty Python's Flying Circus"

And Now for Something Completely Different....

This was one of the exceptions to our poll requirements, but let's face it, you just can't have a "best comedy" poll without Monty Python!

From day one, the Python troupe either broke, rewrote, or made fun of every rule of television comedy. To this day they remain the inspiration for every comedy writer since. Often imitated, never duplicated, and still hilarious three decades years later.

Click here to buy "Monty Python" from Amazon.com

3. "M*A*S*H"

When we did this poll last time, "M*A*S*H" finished in second place. Does that mean it's less funny now? Why did it drop?

Reason #1...times have changed. The anti-war/anti-Vietnam undertones worked well in the 70's, but for most folks these days it's far more popular to support our troops and support the war in Iraq.

Reason #2...this time around the top 2 are available on DVD!

Personally I think the #3 spot is about right. "M*A*S*H" was a great show, but the reality is that it delivered too much drama to be considered the #1 comedy of all time.

Click here to buy "M*A*S*H" from Amazon.com

2. "The Simpsons"

D'oh! Our previous winner has been dethroned!

Personally I think it's a pretty even toss up between the #1 and #2 spots. Both were consistently funny from day one. Over the years, both poked fun at current events as well as everyday life. Both added silly characters. Both added even sillier plots. Yet both always managed to make the silliness work and make us laugh!

Besides, as Comic Book Guy would say, 'Homer is the Best...TV character...Ever'.

Click here to buy "The Simpsons" from Amazon.com

1. "Seinfeld"

And the winner is...a show about nothing. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

From the Soup Nazi to the re-gifter. From the Human Fund to Art Vandalay. Has any other show given us so much without giving us anything? Such is the comic genius of "Seinfeld". No formulas. No "dad's a doctor, mom's a lawyer and everyone learns a lesson at the end" stuff. No hugs. Just pure silliness.

Click here to buy "Seinfeld" from Amazon.com

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