#atozchallenge: Sitcom

sitcom =
situation + comedy


The cast of I Love Lucy: William Frawley (Fred Mertz), Lucille Ball (Lucy Ricardo), Desi Arnaz (Ricky Ricardo), Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz). Source: MovieFanGirl20/Fanpop.com

A sitcom, or situation comedy, is a comedy centered around a group of characters who share a common environment, typically living or working together. They’ve been around since television’s infancy. Some, like The Honeymooners with Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, and Audrey Meadows or I Love Lucy with Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley, have run continuously since they were first aired in the 1950’s, others last less than one season.

A couple of examples:

  • The Andy Griffith Show, with Andy as the sheriff of Mayberry, North Carolina, which also starred Don Knotts, Ronny Howard, and Francis Bavier.
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show, where Dick played the head writer of The Allan Brady Show. We saw him at work with co-writers Buddy Sorrell (Morey Amsterdam) and Sally Rogers (Rose Marie), director Mel Cooley (Richard Deacon) and the star (Carl Reiner), and at home with wife Laura (Mary Tyler Moore), son Richie (Larry Matthews), and neighbors Jerry and Millie Helper (Jerry Paris and Anna Morgan Guilbert).
  • All In The Family, with Carroll O’Connor playing blue-collar bigot Archie Bunker, with his wife Edith (Jean Stapleton), daughter Gloria (Sally Struthers) and Gloria’s husband Mike (Rob Reiner), also known as Meathead.
  • Murphy Brown, with Candice Bergen in the title role as a reporter on a weekly newsmagazine show, also starring Faith Ford, Joe Regalbuto, Grant Shaud, and Charles Kimnbrough.
  • The Big Bang Theory, with Johnny Galecki and Jim Parsons playing a pair of Cal Tech physics professors who are roommates and live across the hall from an attractive woman (Kaley Cuoco) who works as a waitress while she waits for her big break as an actress.

One type of sitcom that’s popular in the US is the “Britcom,” sitcoms licensed (usually) from the BBC which typically air on affiliates of the Public Broadcasting Service. Shows such as Keeping Up Appearances with Patricia Routledge and Clive Swift, Are You Being Served? with Mollie Sugden, John Inman, and Frank Thornton, and As Time Goes By with Dame Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer air every Saturday night on Georgia Public Television, and remain popular even though they’ve been rerun many times over.

SITCOM is also used as a “backronym” (a backward acronym), a word which has become an acronym (instead of the other way around). It stands for “single income, two children, oppressive mortgage.” I hope that doesn’t apply to you…

What are your favorite sitcoms?


16 thoughts on “#atozchallenge: Sitcom

  1. There have been so many great sitcoms over the years, like Barney Miller, MASH and The Odd Couple. I used to like Two and A Half Men before it got stupid. Current favourites are The Big Bang Theory and Mom. The new Odd Couple also has some funny bits, but can’t compare to the original, or the movie.


  2. Favorite sitcoms. Hmm. Seinfeld. Cheers. Happy Days. The Andy Griffith Show. Modern Family. Grandfathered. All in the Family. MAS*H. Friends.
    I’ve found that sitcoms are on the way out. They used to pretty much rule the 8-9 hour on TV. That is no longer true. Now, they tend to run in packs. Thursday night used to be “the night,” but that is no longer true. I think part of this shift has to do with hour-long shows taking on the aspects of comedy (which used to the territory of the sitcom) and the soap opera (as daytime soaps are dying a slow and fairly painful death).


  3. I think we’d get along quite well. I like Big Bang Theory, Keep Up Appearances (mind the bicycle, dear), plus a lot of the others you’ve mentioned like I Love Lucy (though later on Lucy started getting on my nerves). I’ve enjoyed Frasier. Lately, I seem to be looking for the political sitcom (used to watch Spin City): The Thick of It (or In the Loop) and Parks and Recreation (just started watching). I really liked Steve Carrell/US The Office, but what is it? Not quite a sitcom. Still, it doesn’t mean I’ll give up my regular sitcoms though!
    Figured I should stop by and say hi!


  4. ah, the sitcoms of yesteryear… Today’s sitcoms are nowhere near as good as they were in decades gone by…
    I miss yesterday’s sitcoms!

    Michele at Angels Bark


    1. You can see a lot of them on MeTV, Antenna TV, COZI, etc. The only current one I watch with any degree of regularity is The Big Bang Theory. On the other hand, MeTV shows “Hogan’s Heroes” at 10 and 10:30 weeknights, and we rarely miss it. They also show Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, MASH, and The Andy Griffith Show, altho one of our local stations shows that, so we get Mayberry RFD instead. Like I said, you really need to get on your cable company…


  5. I’m glad the backronym doesn’t apply to me. It has though, lol, which is why we now live in a small, affordable home with the other half of our kids 🙂
    Sitcoms are fabulous. I love a good sitcom. Some of them I simply never have tired of: Friends, Frasier, Will & Grace, Wings, HIMYM — many from the 70’s and 80’s too, but harder to catch. It seems to me they’re not as good as they used to be, but ah, the ones that are. Modern Family is probably my ‘new’ choice.


    1. The only one we watched on any regular basis was Frasier, and for a time Wings. They used to play “Friends” reruns during rain delays, so I’ve seen a few of those; I didn’t fully appreciate it until I saw the theory that Phoebe was a crack addict who would stare in the window of Central Perk and make up stories of herself and the rest of the gang. All of a sudden, it all fell into place…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I didn’t understand at first, but I went back and reread and I got it now. hahaha I’m so silly. Some great tunes I haven’t heard in a long while like putting your hand in the hand of the man…. etc. Great Song!!! Love the sitcoms you chose also. 🙂 Have a great weekend.


  7. My hands down favorite sitcom is The Big Bang Theory. I love the geeky humor. I also like Last Man Standing. I usually like anything Tim Allen is in. I don’t like most sitcoms because they are usually so raunchy. Or they have elements I don’t like which I won’t mention here. I really miss shows like Andy Griffith. Luckily, that’s on Netflix!


  8. Favourite sitcoms, Many of the ones you mention. Big Bang Theory, Dick Van Dyke, Night Court. So many, it’s hard to list them all here. Probably better if you just stop by and check out some of the ones I’m listing this month. 😉 hee-hee
    And yes, I love Britcoms too. One of my favourites is the IT Crowd. Hilarious. And the Office. But I like the American version as well.


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