A funny thing happened on television over the course of the last half-century or so. The situation comedy, or
sitcom, style of programming was born and grew into a true art form. One which is just as meaningful as
motion pictures, paintings, or sculpture.
Over the years, the situations for these shows have frequently centered on family life and various occupations.
A few have ventured into the realm of the supernatural. Some have even featured the not-so-funny situation of
war. All of this and more in a creative presentation usually limited to thirty minute episodes.
I put the invisible little man who lives in my brain and who manages my memory files to the test, and had him
compile my personal list of favorite classic sitcoms. I'm sure he forgot a few. He's not perfect, after all. He didn't
bother to arrange them in alphabetical or chronological order either (he's a bit lazy, if you must know). Your list,
depending on your age and taste, may vary. In any event, here goes.
What makes a classic television sitcom? I believe it is one which stands the test of time. A show that was funny
in 1960 and is still funny today is a classic. Especially if you've watched it many times as I have. Some people
may see some of these programs as being too innocent or even a bit corny by today's standards. Personally,
I'd rather have that over most of the trashy and unfunny sitcoms of today!
While the public most often associates the success and longevity of these programs to the actors, there are
many other talented artists who were just as important. These include the creators, writers, directors, musicians,
and crews. While the contributions of these talented artists are no less significant, it is the faces of the actors
and the characters they portrayed that we remember the most.
The photographs of the actors accompanying this SPOTLIGHT will long be remembered for their roles in the
classic sitcoms in which they starred. The many laughs they provided are a testimony to their creativity, one that
will last long into the future. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised in the least to see humans living in colonies on other
planets laughing at these sitcoms a thousand years from now!
Just what do all of these sitcoms have in common? The answer to this question is relatively simple. All of these
sitcoms touch a nerve in one way or another. They connect. They resonate. They make us feel good. They make
While many of these sitcoms have had dramatic moments capable of bringing tears to our eyes, they were
created primarily to make people laugh. Lets face it, there are a lot of unpleasant things in life. Much of this
world is not-so-funny. If artists can make people laugh, how great is that! Therefore, the lasting legacy of these
sitcoms can be summed up in three words...so many laughs. Not a bad legacy, indeed!