Best sitcom of the last 30 years?

Limiting this because it’s the period I’m most familiar with, and some may be slightly older, though I cut it off after such obviously great ones as All In The Family, The Bob Newhart Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show just to keep it somewhat narrowed down. Please feel free to include any you think I’ve left out.

A bit too U.S.-centric for my liking, the first sitcom that came to mind for me was Fawlty Towers.

I had MAS*H checked at first. Went down the list, one by one… then I saw South Park!

The title of the poll is Best American Sitcom of the last 30 years?

Yeah, sorry - I missed the “American” qualifier in the thread title.

I also realized I left out the “other” option on the poll, so I guess people will have to post a reply for anything not listed.

Damn it! I want to pick more than one. South Park, MASH* and Curb Your Enthusiasm are all epic. Ah well.

Funnily enough, Fawlty Towers ended over 30 years ago!

Although I think Seinfeld went way downhill in its last few years, it’s the pinnacle of the multi-cam sitcom. Whenever I catch it in reruns, it has that “I Love Lucy” timelessness about it.

Arrested Development set the standard for single-camera sitcoms sans laugh track, but I think I’ll have to wait a while before it peaks. For everyone like me who loves AD, 30 Rock, Scrubs, and Community, there’s someone who absolutely hates them. There’s yet to be a single-cam sitcom approaching universal appeal.

I voted for MASH, though I’d not have included it in the poll had I devised it.

Soap. That’s an easy choice as there were only 4 season so the show didn’t have time to go downhill like some of the other shows. Soap was able to hit on a lot of issues without being preachy like so many 70’s sitcoms.

Whoops. I meant to vote for “Arrested Development” but clicked “Curb Your Enthusiasm” instead. Sorry about that.

I have fond memories of WKRP and am a big fan of NewsRadio, but I just finished watching all three seasons of A.D. on DVD recently and there were episodes in there that had me laughing so hard I had to pause the show so I could catch my breath. And it’s chock full of goofy details that you don’t always catch the first time through. Just brilliant.

Whoops, I just read the thread title.

I’m a huge fan of Newsradio, and Seinfeld holds up well, but AD just kills me. Have to go with that.

Edit: Didn’t notice Futurama, but I refuse to compare live action sitcoms with animated shows.

I’m really torn. If they had quit around the late 90s, The Simpsons would easily be my pick.

But they kept it going and it’s been terrible for at least a decade.

I voted Friends, but would have voted Will & Grace had you included it. Never failed to laugh at W&G.

I haven’t watched it in reruns so I don’t know how it holds up, but I voted for Cheers. I remember it as always fresh, maybe because they had so many characters to play with.

Wow, you put “Get a Life” on the list? I had almost forgotten that show! I hope they release it on DVD—but sorry, there’s no way it’s the best sitcom of the last 30 years.

“Night Court” and “Malcolm in the Middle” aren’t the very best, either, but they should have been on the list.

I disagree with GameHat. I voted for “The Simpsons,” because for me, quantity and longevity count for something. “The Simpsons” has given me more entertainment, more laughs, more great lines, more memorable episodes, more great characters—has enriched my life more than any other sitcom. Plus, it has a broad appeal. While I love something like Arrested Development, with its in-jokes and sly references, I can see how it’s not for everyone and could be an acquired taste. I think “the best” ought to be something with broad appeal.

Both Barney Miller and The Dick Van Dyke Show were better than anything on the list, although Fawlty Towers does give both a run for their money.

Aw, I can’t choose without the pictures.

The best one I encountered was the first (half) season of Community. It’s the first sitcom that kept me laughting throughout. If only the latest episode wasn’t such a stinker.

I went with Futurama, as it’s the only one that I cared enough about to watch all the way through. Though I have a hard time thinking of it as a sitcom. If we left out animated, I’d probably go with Seinfeld, although I liked News Radio a lot.

Most definitely Taxi. Dark, twisted humor at its best. One of the main characters is evil incarnate, and never apologizes for his actions; another’s brain is drug-addled; yet another goes through a period of split personalities. No wrap-up-the-episode-with-a-feel-good-moral-of-the-story here!

To me, the Simpsons doesn’t quite fit the definition of sitcom. It’s a different animal. It’s more inclined towards satire and absurdities, as well as it is animated. But if we do take it into account, then it’s surely at the top or a top contender. If the Simpsons had ended at around season eight or nine, it would have been absolutely legendary, as in almost insurmountable. Now we have seen it falter for a few years, so the entire run isn’t as impressive as it could have been. However, that doesn’t take away from all of its accomplishments, which are many. “Bart Sells His Soul” is probably my favorite episode of any show, ever.