Top 10 Black Sitcoms

Thanks for checking in for another Top 10 Tuesday. This week the list is based off a two things. How it affected our community (socially), and shows I wouldn’t mind watching reruns of. I will tell you right now THE WIRE is not on the top 10 list, so I am already prepared for the backlash (lol). I will also state this, like other lists, are MY personal preferences. Keep in mind I fairly young, so how I respect and understand that shows/artist like Flip Wilson & Richard Pryor paved the way, they were ahead of my time and I haven’t seen all the episodes. That being said, let’s jump right in.

10. Amen –

I remember when this came out, my grandmother and me used to watch it. It came on the scene and portrayed the black church which was something (to my knowledge) that had not been done before. The thing what made it so funny is it captured all the various dramatic personalities of church folk so well. Being raised in the church since birth, it was comical. Deacon Ernest Frye was absolutely hilarious. Or what about Rolly?

9. In Living Color –

Watching reruns, it is not as funny as back in the day. But when it first came out, they were trendsetters and created some of the most memorable characters. Starting the first episode cracking on Tyson set the precedence for the remaining seasons. Or how about Whitney Houston and the rhythmless nation? Or how about the Crystal Waters one? Ha ha he, ha ha ho, I be rich, you be po!

8. Good Times –

My initials are JJ, so that part of the show was not cool…lol. But everyone grew up on this show, and EVERYONE remember Penny burnt by the iron.

7. Eddie Murphy (SNL) –

I personally don’t think Saturday Night Live is that funny, but that stretch with Eddie on it was hilarious. Hot tub, Mr. Robinsons neighborhood & Buckwheat where classics!! Otay.

6. What’s Happening –

Grew up on this show. Had to make the list. Yes, I used to try to do the Re-Run dance when no one was around.

5. The Jeffersons –

Some of these I don’t think needs an explanation.

4. Sanford and Son –

I used to think this show was so funny. When I was younger I found (don’t ask me where), some old Red Foxx comedy tapes. Didn’t know he was such a dirty old man. You old fish eyed fool!

3. Martin –

Some may argue with Martin being so high, but Martin came out in my era, and was hilarious. Guess you love it or hate it.

2. Soul Food –

I can’t say too many shows capture the essence of the black family like this. There were characters you loved to hate, and were annoying, but at the end of the day they were a close knit family. I love how they captured how we (couples) love one another intimately, and how we interact and form family relationships. It was well written, and how I wouldn’t recommend allowing the kids to watch it (because of the sex scenes), it is definitely one to have in your collection.

1. Cosby Show / A Different World –

Ok, this is cheating to list them both, but both these shows were iconic. I remember how we used to reorganize our schedules on Thursdays so that we didn’t miss (because to program a VCR at that time you had to have a engineering degree). This show was so important for our community for what it represented and the role models it presented for many of us from broken homes. Then when they came out with A Different World (spin-off), all I could say was wow. First of all the cast was just beautiful. Second, it showed the black college lifestyle and gave youth from the inner city a visual, or glimpse into a lifestyle many of us had not been exposed to. I actually thought college would be like that. Granted it wasn’t at all, but that’s besides the point. lol. Both these shows permanently etched their way in African-American culture as a positive influence. Hats off to Cos.


227, All of Us, Amen, Benson, Chapelle Show, Eve, Everybody Hates Chris, Family Matters, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, Gimme A Break, Hangin with Mr. Cooper, In The House, Living Single, Moesha, My Wife and Kids, NY Undercover, One on One, Roc, The Bernie Mac Show, The Flip Wilson Show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Jamie Foxx Show, The Parkers, The Proud Family, The Richard Pryor Show, The Steve Harvey Show, The Wayans Bros, The Wire, Webster

* Here is an interesting article I just read about entitled – The Demise of the Black Sitcom. Check it out.


5 responses to “Top 10 Black Sitcoms

  1. I pretty much agree with this list. I probably would have flipped Martin and Soulfood. I think you might really have to take a long look at adding Family Matters and The Fresh Prince simply b/c of the generational staying power. My children watch the Price and Family Matters EVERYDAY. They laugh at the same stuff that we used to…they also watch Martin and Cosby too, so I think those type of syndicated shows would have to be higher.

    I LOVED the Wire, but I don’t think that it is a top 10 sitcom/show. I think it was kind of like a black exploitation. I actually liked The Corner better.

  2. I agree. I was struggling with some of those, so I had to try to categorize them by ones I would watch replays of, those which added to us in a positive way, etc. You are right. How Family Matters was pretty corny, heck most of us watched it and everyone knows who Urkel was. Fresh Prince was good too. Actually I would say better. My kids also watch it on Nick at Night or TV Land (one of those jokers). Replay value is crazy, and dude had almost every black woman in Hollywood on that show at one point and time. I could agree that should be on the list. Maybe removing Good Times. I liked it, but I was more of a fan of What’s Happening and the others.

    Dude, I forgot about The Corner. Yea, I liked that better than the Wire myself. Can’t believe I forgot that one.

    Yea man, Martin was high on my list too. Back in the day if you would have asked me, he definitely would have been my #2. We just recently got the entire DVD set of Soul Food and watched it (again) over the course of this summer. Watching it in that manner, and me being a few years older (experienced more life), I look at that show a bit different from when it initially came on. AND…that is one of the few shows that actually ended and didn’t leave you hanging. They wrote that joker well, and the series had longevity. It was probably the only thing worth having Showtime for. Not only that, but aside from the relationships of family, I love how they showed how sensual our people are (I will leave that one alone). Martin was my boy, and like I said you either love him or hate him. That was the show for our era. Dude made a way for shows like Jamie Foxx (which was pretty silly too).

    I tell you another one that was surprisingly good to me was My Wife and Kids. I like how they portray us on there, and it is pretty funny. Don’t think it had enough power to make the top 10, but if I had a top 15 it would be on there.

  3. Rome, how the hell Soul Food make it. That is a honorable mention show. I would have to more Good Times up some, at least before Soul Food. The Roc or NY Undercover should be on there before Soul Food. Man, take Soul Food off.

  4. Man, you know I was a fan of NY Undercover, but let’s be real here. As tight as that show was, it really fell off near the end…especially when homey died. It was like BOO. lol. Malik my boy, but come on. I actually won’t argue with you though because when I first did the list, I had NYU at #10, but took em off when I started thinking about those later seasons. It is still my show though (still watch it on TV ONE).

    Now I will debate with you about the other. Goodtimes I can’t call. I almost didn’t even put that one on the list, so definitely wouldn’t move it up…hahahah. Dude, would you actually sit and watch those reruns right now? It was a staple show for our generation, but real talk I tried to watch em as I was older, and just couldn’t do it at all. I’d watch What’s Happening before Good Times. Roc was good, but naw man. Remember when he decided to go live? I won’t say it sucked because I truly admire what that brotha did, but can’t put that on the list. That show didn’t have enough.

    Go get the DVD set of Soul Food and watch it again. You had a lot change in life too bruh since it first came out. Trust, I used to think like that too. Like Soul Food was just straight to me, but not all that. But when I watched it again…back to back episodes…and how the family grew, man, they did alright with that series. Plus it was up there as far as longest running black sitcoms too (I thought).

  5. I will check Soul Food out again but man my expectations will not be there. I just was not a big fan of Soul Food, plus you just got it so far up on the list. I will have to argue that one but there is no way to argue #1. That is the show hands down!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s