This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

The History of Television Sitcom

downloadDownload printPrint

In the beginning, there was….well, depending on how far back in the beginning you want to go, the first situation comedy depiction most likely was animated storytelling around a fire in a cave at dinnertime, with a captive audience, exhausted from a long day of hunting, fishing, running from dinosaurs and other beasts – you know, a typical workday. Ugg, being the most lucid, or perhaps just the best at an early form of charades, regaled the dinner crowd who feasted on a banquet of brontasaurus burgers accompanied by various assorted fruits and roots with his latest tale of how Glimkf rom two caves down got caught cheating on his wife and has to clean the fire pit for the next month. This was possibly accompanied by a few charcoal drawings on the cave walls for further emphasis

Are you Looking For A Custom Essay about “The History Of Television Sitcom” NOW? You Found It!

Professional Writers that Guarantee an On-time Delivery


experts online

Fast forwarding several millenniums, TV situation comedy as the modern world has come to know it, was the offspring of the Golden Age of Radio, back when people had to use their imagination to depict the scenes, according to the voice actor’s convince-ability ratio, along with appropriate sound effects to fill in the blanks. But as progress marched onward with the evolution of television, for the most part, the audience became accustomed to accepting whatever was showing (the gradual dumbing down of the many rather than the few…don’t take offense, now! Somebody other than this writer coined the phrase “boob tube”). Not that all early television fare was mind-numbing drivel; far from it. Many of those early shows gleamed with originality, wit and messages with heart. But as people started working more, the networks started expanding, and with the advent of cable television, sitcoms have sadly sunk slowly in the west, for the most part. There are still a few brilliant diamonds in the rough that come along, now and again. British comedies, in particular, are almost always fraught with wit and fast-flying dialogue. But as TV viewers, most people have become pretty accustomed to accepting humdrum mediocre shows as being “as good as it gets.”

Speaking of British comedy, Pinwright’s Progress, was first broadcast on the BBC from 1946 to ’47, and therefore could be considered situation comedy’s flagship, In America, producer/director William Asher is often considered to be the father of the genre. His resume’ is vast; it all started with Our Miss Brooks, starring Eve Arden, from 1952 to 1956. From there, Asher went on to become the lead director of the hit classic I Love Lucy, and after that, he was part and parcel of more than two dozen hit shows. These included The Patty Duke Show, Bewitched, and several more. Interestingly, Asher was married to Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery for ten years (1963 to ’73). Their marriage started one year prior to the initial broadcast of Bewitched and ended one year after the show went off the air. Could this possibly be chalked up to the cost of fame? We’ll never know, as they never participated as contestants on Family Feud. But game shows are a whole different animal.

TV sitcoms have become a longstanding category of television entertainment, as demonstrated by the immense popularity of such long-running shows as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Cheers, Seinfeld, Cosby, Roseanne, Friends, Frasier, Will & Grace, and in more recent years The Office and Scrubs. Particularly in troubled times, there’s always been a market for lifting the public’s spirits with laughter. TVLand’s popularity attests to the sitcoms durability, due to its broadcast of former hit shows, and now a few original ones such as Hot in Cleveland.

Some of the most popular sitcoms which continue to live on in perpetuity via reruns actually had pretty short-lived air time, surprisingly. Gilligan’s Island is the standout example of this weird conundrum – it lasted only three seasons, but its reruns have been broadcast for decades. Other short-lived broadcast sitcoms that grew more popular after the demise of their run time yet eerily live on via syndication and reruns include The Addams Family and The Munsters – these were considered rival shows because both ran for the same two seasons – between 1964 and 1966 – and they were oddly reminiscent of each other due to the, shall we say, eccentricities of the family members? America’s current actor who has come closest to filling Jimmy Stewart’s considerable “everyman” actor shoes, Tom Hanks, had his career initially launched by the sitcom Bosom Buddies, where he and Peter Scolari dressed in drag in order to stay in affordable housing in New York. It also only lasted two seasons, 1980 to ’82. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe Tom Hanks has stopped to take more than an occasional breath since then. And we’re lucky he hasn’t.

The variety show was an early precursor to sitcoms. These started almost as soon as the first snowy images first came to life on the television screen. Viewer favorites in the 1950s included Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows. It featured Carl Reiner, Imogene Coca and many others. One of the show’s main writers was Mel Brooks (who went on to create Get Smart with Buck Henry and then to movie and Broadway fame with such hits as The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles and more). The movie My Favorite Year, starring Peter O’Toole in 1982, was loosely based on Your Show of Shows.

Get a Personal "The History Of Television Sitcom" Tailored Essay For You in 3 Hours!

100% Customized to Your Need with Expert Writers


We seem to have survived the era of chubby, average guy husbands married to gorgeous wives – thankfully, that may have fallen by the wayside with the demise of According to Jim. What could have possessed these glamorous gals to settle, or that we’d buy it that so many of them did so? I mean, come on! Jim Belushi’s a very likable fellow, but there sure was an overabundance of this type of casting for about a decade. You have to hand it to Roseanne for believable casting, as well as the onscreen chemistry she had with John Goodman. Like ’em, hate ’em, or love ’em, TV sitcoms have proven they’re here to stay. And thank goodness for this bizarre, entertaining reality escape which helps us leave our troubles behind and where laughter reigns supreme, if only for twenty-three minutes (that’s minus commercials, folks). So go ahead – give yourself permission to yuck it up, friends.

Remember! This is just a sample.

You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers.

Get custom essay

121 writers online


Remember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

experts 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help you just now

delivery Starting from 3 hours delivery

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

The History Of Television Sitcom. (2019, Jun 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 27, 2023, from
“The History Of Television Sitcom.” GradesFixer, 12 Jun. 2019,
The History Of Television Sitcom. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 27 May 2023].
The History Of Television Sitcom [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Jun 12 [cited 2023 May 27]. Available from:
copy to clipboard

Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!


    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!

    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now