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What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

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What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

Old 01-04-13, 11:20 AM
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What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

Last summer, a Boston freelance writer, Robert D. Sullivan, undertook a massive project: He set out to rank the top 100 sitcom episodes of ALL TIME, and by “all time,” he doesn’t mean the way it’s currently defined on the Internet, i.e., since 1994. Using a combination of his own opinion, the opinions of friends and colleagues, IMDB ratings, and a mix of other sources (including The AV Club), Sullivan compiled a massive collection, with extensive write-ups on each episode. It’s an impressive and comprehensive effort, and I cannot recommend enough that you check it out in its entirety. The entire list contains a lot of favorites from the current generation, and a lot of sitcom episodes from before most of us were born. Agree or disagree with the choices, you gotta respect the effort and the scope of the project, and anyone that includes that episode of Fawlty Towers in his top 5 is good in my book.

To give you a taste (and hopefully encourage you to check out the entire project), I have included Robert Sullivan’s Top 20 episodes of All Time below, with links to his write-ups.




20. “Chuckles Bites the Dust,” The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1975)

19. “The Doll,” Curb Your Enthusiasm (2001)

18. “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” The Dick Van Dyke Show (1965)

17. “Charity,” The Office (UK) (2002)

16. “Better Living Through TV,” The Honeymooners (1955)

15. “Goodbyeee,” Blackadder (1989)

14. “The Lars Affair,” The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1973)

13. “The Two Mrs. Cranes,” Frasier (1996)

12. “Fancy Party,” Parks and Recreation (2011)

11. “The Contest,” Seinfeld (1992)

10. “The Key,” Yes, Prime Minister (1992)

9. “Lucy Does a TV Commercial,” I Love Lucy (1952)

8. “Pier Pressure,” Arrested Development (2004)

7. “The Letter,” Everybody Loves Raymond (1997)

6. “The Dinner Party,” The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1973)

5. “Man in a Hurry,” The Andy Griffith Show (1963)

4. “I’ll Be Seeing You,” Cheers (1984)

3. “Edith’s Problem,” All in the Family (1972)

2. “Communication Problems,” Fawlty Towers (1979)

1. “Never Bathe on Saturday,” The Dick Van Dyke Show (1965)



Read more: http://www.uproxx.com/tv/2013/01/wha...#ixzz2H1Z3p3jK
Nice that some of the older shows get noticed.
Old 01-04-13, 11:57 AM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

The Soap pilot would be high up on my list. Looking at this blog he said he doesn't really like it, and no episodes are on the list due to the cliffhanger nature of the show. Harsh.
Old 01-04-13, 12:20 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

As God is my witness, no top 20 is complete without "Reverend Jim: a Space Odyssey" and "Turkeys Away".
Old 01-04-13, 01:25 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

I second the "Reverend Jim" love. I remember reading about how the cast was fighting desperately not to laugh during the driver's test, and looking it up on YouTube I was surprised to see that Jeff Conaway actually does completely lose it at the very end.

I've never been a fan of "greatest of all time" lists but I have no qualms with the Curb, Office, and Cheers episodes chosen as their respective "greatest episode."
Old 01-04-13, 02:05 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

Here is the full list, if anyone's interested:
http://robertdavidsullivan.typepad.c...st-so-far.html
Old 01-04-13, 04:21 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

Originally Posted by sydonesia View Post
I second the "Reverend Jim" love. I remember reading about how the cast was fighting desperately not to laugh during the driver's test, and looking it up on YouTube I was surprised to see that Jeff Conaway actually does completely lose it at the very end.

I've never been a fan of "greatest of all time" lists but I have no qualms with the Curb, Office, and Cheers episodes chosen as their respective "greatest episode."
Reverend Jim had the best episodes on Taxi. Never liked Andy Kaufman, his schtick wore off after the first couple episodes. Mary Tyler moore and Dick VanDyke also had some great laughs, glad to see it wasn't all from the last decade
Old 01-04-13, 04:33 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

Ugh, since when is Community the greatest of anything? I would respect the list more if it didn't kowtow to the hipster fan base of Community and Parks and Rec.
Old 01-04-13, 05:04 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

Originally Posted by JimRochester View Post
Reverend Jim had the best episodes on Taxi. Never liked Andy Kaufman, his schtick wore off after the first couple episodes. Mary Tyler moore and Dick VanDyke also had some great laughs, glad to see it wasn't all from the last decade
Kaufman had a pretty awesome episode where he thought he was Alex and did an impression of Judd Hirsch the whole time.

And I always liked the Louie episodes best. Really glad to see "Louie Goes Too Far" as the highest-ranked Taxi episode. It has a memorable DeVito monologue that does a great job humanizing a pretty despicable character.
Old 01-04-13, 05:30 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

All in with Who is Cliff Claven? and Cape Feare.
Old 01-04-13, 05:38 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

Originally Posted by Terminal View Post
Ugh, since when is Community the greatest of anything? I would respect the list more if it didn't kowtow to the hipster fan base of Community and Parks and Rec.
Did you even read the full list? Those two shows combine for a grand total of 4% of the list.

Not exactly kowtowing to "the hipster fan base".
Old 01-04-13, 05:41 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

Originally Posted by TimeandTide View Post
Did you even read the full list? Those two shows combine for a grand total of 4% of the list.

Not exactly kowtowing to "the hipster fan base".
There should have been a certain limit like until 1994 or something like AFI does. Feels like pandering.
Old 01-04-13, 05:50 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

Originally Posted by cleaver View Post
All in with Who is Cliff Claven?
Definitely.
Old 01-04-13, 07:42 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

It's really difficult to endorse any list that fails to mention Newsradio's Daydream, which I would probably list as my favorite half hour of TV of all time. I really love the P&R, Community, and Newsradio inclusions and the inclusion of Slow Donnie (perhaps in my top 5 half hours of all time) on the list, though.
Old 01-04-13, 07:55 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

I didn't take it seriously after I read he used Imdb ratings. The ratings on imdb in general are awful but especially for TV shows.
Old 01-04-13, 11:33 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

I would have also added WKRP's "An Explosive Affair" (2 parts), which included Johnny Fever's worries about the phone police.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/cTPzTG1Lx60" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 01-05-13, 01:08 AM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

It's a good mix of shows.

Originally Posted by Terminal View Post
Ugh, since when is Community the greatest of anything?
Have you ever watched the show?

I agree with the inclusion but not with the episodes chosen. I'd go with "Introduction to Statistics," "Modern Warfare," or "Digital Estate Planning." I'd say "Modern Warfare" is probably the funniest episode of any comedy in the past 5 years. It's a work of art.

Same for Cheers, I'd opt for "An Old Fashioned Wedding."
Old 01-05-13, 02:17 AM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

Right now, the Hub is airing the episode of Facts of Life where the girls enter a contest to meet El DeBarge. I can confirm that this episode does not belong on this list.
Old 01-05-13, 04:33 AM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

But if there was a Hub crossover where the girls met Pinkie Pie and the rest the My Little Pony gang that could make the list.
Old 01-05-13, 06:28 AM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

"The Contest" was a safe choice. There are dozens of Seinfeld episodes that were much funnier. I assume it was only chosen due to its controversial nature and because it's one of the only Seinfeld episodes that most people know the title of and what it was about.
Old 01-05-13, 09:58 AM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

Originally Posted by whoopdido View Post
"The Contest" was a safe choice. There are dozens of Seinfeld episodes that were much funnier. I assume it was only chosen due to its controversial nature and because it's one of the only Seinfeld episodes that most people know the title of and what it was about.
The Outing should have been in there.
Old 01-05-13, 01:56 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

Originally Posted by whoopdido View Post
"The Contest" was a safe choice. There are dozens of Seinfeld episodes that were much funnier. I assume it was only chosen due to its controversial nature and because it's one of the only Seinfeld episodes that most people know the title of and what it was about.
Any episode from season 4 would be a good choice for best episode. "The Contest" has the history behind it though. It was a HUGE deal after it aired, and may have been the episode that took it from a niche show to mainstream smash (the RERUN scored more viewers than its original airing.)

All in with Who is Cliff Claven?
If you want to talk about a safe choice, that would have been it. Cheers is my favorite show, and Cliff is my favorite character, but that isn't even the best Cliff episode, much less the best Cheers episode. The Jeopardy portion is a CLASSIC, don't get me wrong, but if you go back and watch the whole episode, 80% of it isn't even about Jeopardy, it's about a lame subplot involving Sam losing his black book. The last five minutes is tremendous, but the other fifteen just bring it down.

"Cliffie's Big Score" where Cliff gets dates with Diane and Carla for the postman's ball is so much funnier.
Old 01-05-13, 03:12 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

The problem with this list is that it has been massaged to give the author episodes that were convenient for writing essays about various comedy archetypes or conventions. Look at the episodes chosen for The Andy Griffith Show and what is said about them. The ones chosen aren't nearly as strong as:

Opie's Fortune
Opie's Charity
The Birdman
The Pickle Story
or
Briscoe Declares for Aunt Bee

And that's just a small list of superior TAGS episodes to the ones chosen. The problem is that he wanted to praise the use of Knotts in the subplot and the way the other episode evokes Rod Serling. It's a nice effort, and I actually plan to read all the essays over time. It has still corrupted this list in terms of its actual episodic content. On a show by show basis, he seems to be recognizing the shows in pretty much the correct ratio.
Old 01-05-13, 10:52 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

Seriously, FOUR mentions for community and only one for "Bob Newhart"? Where was the "Over the river and through the woods" episode where Bob and his friends spend thanksgiving together getting drunk and then trying to order Moo Goo Gai Pan from a chinese restaurant? That episode is hilarious. Nice they included "Barney Miller" ep "Hash" that was a good one too. Loved that Better off Ted was mentioned for the best episode "Racial Insensitivity".

Ted: The system doesn't see black people?
Veronica: I know. Weird, huh?
Ted: That's more than weird, Veronica. That's basically, well... racist.
Veronica: The company's position is that it's actually the opposite of racist, because it's not targeting black people. It's just ignoring them. They insist the worst people can call it is "indifferent."
Ted: Well, they know it has to be fixed, right? Please... at least say they know that.
Veronica: Of course they do, and they're working on it. In the meantime they'd like everyone to celebrate the fact that it sees Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Jews.
Old 01-06-13, 10:21 AM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

The problem with the list for me is that it favors shows that have been re-run frequently and ignores some real gems that only lasted one or two seasons. An example for me would be the 1967 "He and She"







Also missing in action on the list is "Car 54 Where Are You?". My personal favorite: "How Smart Can You Get":

Old 01-06-13, 12:42 PM
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Re: What Are The 100 Best Sitcom Episodes Of All Time?

Originally Posted by Terminal View Post
Ugh, since when is Community the greatest of anything? I would respect the list more if it didn't kowtow to the hipster fan base of Community and Parks and Rec.
Your website touts such classic gems like Naughty Teen and Sex Hunter: Wet Target.

In other words, shut your mouth, as you clearly have no credibility to be making any judgments of other shows.

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