Before Craig T. Nelson turned into a conservative mouthpiece who idiotically wanted government out of his Social Security (Wait, what?), he was Coach Hayden Fox for the University of Minnesota and then the coach for the Orlando Breakers. At first he is not married to Christine. This later changes at around season three where they live together and tie the knot. My favorite character of the show is played by the great Jerry Van Dyke (Dick Van Dyke's brother) who at the last episode stated something along the lines of "I'm not going anywhere. I'm coming back tomorrow." These hilarious moments helped shape this ABC comedy as one of my top five favorites.
4) Night Court
This courtroom sitcom was wild and wacky. Starring Harry Anderson, known earlier for his role on Cheers as a magician, Night Court progressively had crazier plots, sillier jokes, and off-the-wall premises. Without a doubt my favorite character from the show would have to be the slimy, sleazy Dan Fielding, played by the incomparable John Larroquette. You almost felt sorry for the guy later on in the show. Unfortunately, the show was pulled by NBC late in its life without any fanfare. The actors and actresses were simply told to clean out their lockers and go. Very classy, NBC. I laugh at your current misfortune.
3) The Cosby Show
What many consider to be the ultimate family sitcom, The Cosby Show brought with it an affluent African-American family from Brooklyn. You had the father, Heathcliff Huxtable, the family man who one could just imagine how spectacular he'd be as their father, you had Clair Huxtable, Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa, and Rudy. The first two seasons are without a doubt my favorites. They had everything-- amusing situations, great jokes with excellent punchlines, Cosby at his sharpest, and cute, little Rudy. Olivia is a poor substitute in my opinion. The Cosby Show was a ratings blockbuster, reigning at number one on the Nielsen list for the longest time. The show went out on top before it got too old. With warm memories and humorous and natural dialogue, The Cosby Show ranks number three on my list.
While not the most photogenic main character on television, Roseanne lent her comedic talents in sitcom form with this nine season show. Actually, let's forget that ninth season ever happened, shall we? It's for the best. Roseanne not only was funny, but so was Dan Conner played by John Goodman. Their relationship and chemistry led to some unforgettable moments. The thing I dislike about this show, however, comes in two varieties: 1) Roseanne becomes a man-hating annoyance midway through season six, and 2) Jackie becomes an irritating joke character by the end of the show. Regardless, my favorite season would have to be season four. It was truly the show running at all cylinders.
1) The Golden Girls
Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia make up the players in The Golden Girls, my personal favorite sitcom of all time. One could ask what does a young adult have in common with four elderly ladies, and the answer is not much. I obviously couldn't relate to most of their problems, yet the jokes, plots, and characters are ones that I love tremendously. From Dorothy's constant threats to send her mother back to Shady Pines retirement home to Blanche's rampant sexual escapades to Rose's numerous Saint Olaf stories, The Golden Girls was seven seasons of pure comedic bliss. Bea Arthur (RIP) who played Dorothy wanted out after the seventh season while the show was still on top. The other girls went on to a CBS spin-off entitled "The Golden Palace" where we saw them take care of a Miami hotel, glimpsed at a young Don Cheadle, and revisited Cheech Marin. The show was canceled after only one season.
There you have it, my list of unorthodox faves. You have shows that I never got in to like Cheers, Frasier, among others. You have shows that barely missed the list like All in the Family, Wings, Saved by the Bell, and Boy Meets World. And you have shows I can't find the funny in like Friends and Seinfeld. What about you? If you're from outside the United States, what sitcoms are indigenous to your area of the world that you love? Let me know in the comments section.