From Blair Warner's feathered hair to Julia Sugarbaker's face-swallowing bifocals, from Rose Nylund's St. Olaf stories to Deacon Ernest J. Frye's swagger, the 1980s were an unforgettable decade in American television. As in any era, there were plenty of hits (Cheers, The Golden Girls) and many more misses (Living Dolls, The Charmings), but the sitcoms of this time had a distinct '80s vibe. Reagan cracks were common, "very special episodes" featured perhaps way-too-complicated-for-sitcoms subjects, and the pressures of an economic recession and the waning years of the Cold War were significant influences on many sitcom plots.
But for all their legwarmers and Reaganomics jokes, 1980s sitcoms gave us some of the best television in history. The final episode of M*A*S*H in 1983 was must-see TV before such a thing existed. The Golden Girls showed the world that older women were still vibrant, smart, sexual, and empowered—and very, very funny. Future stars, like Leonardo DiCaprio (Growing Pains), Regina King (227), and Michael J. Fox (Family Ties) started honing their acting chops. Many of these shows remain funny, and relevant, today. For those of us who are aficionados of 80s television, it can be a challenge to pick the absolute best sitcom of the era, the one that stands out as particularly hilarious and bingeworthy 30-odd years later. But let's give it a shot. Which show do you think stands the test of time and could truly be deserving of being called the one 1980s sitcom that is still the funniest?
- Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Betty White555 votes
- Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, George Wendt466 votes
- Ed O'Neill, Katey Sagal, Christina Applegate475 votes
- Harry Anderson, John Larroquette, Richard Moll382 votes
- John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, Suzanne Somers222 votes
- Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Tom Bosley209 votes