Television sitcoms of the 1980s and '90s served as springboards for the careers of some of the top actors and actresses of the 21st century. Some of the best sitcoms of this era ran for so long that they overlapped decades and, in 2011, are still in syndicated rotation on TV.
Married With Children
FOX's sitcom, "Married With Children" aired for 11 seasons from 1987 to 1997. The show featured a dysfunctional family of characters called the Bundys. The family was made up of an unhappy shoe salesman, his bonbon-eating wife, their airhead daughter and their forever sexually unsatisfied son, Bud. The humour of the show was based largely on the family's low-class behaviour.
Full House ran on ABC for eight seasons from 1987 to 1995. The show starred Bob Saget as a wholesome father whose wife was killed in a drunk-driving accident. In an effort to provide a full, loving family for his daughters Stephanie, DJ and Michelle, he allowed his best friend and brother-in-law to move in with them. "Full House" featured clean, wholesome humour that often subtly included a moral or lesson at the end.
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Running on NBC for six seasons from 1990 to 1996, "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" was about a street-smart teenager, Will, played by Will Smith. After getting into too many fights at home in Philadelphia, his mother sent him to live with his aunt and uncle in Bel Air, California. Comical adventures ensued when Will's bold personality clashed with his new family's upper-class routine. The show also featured renowned comedic co-stars Tatyana Ali, Alfonso Ribeiro and James Avery.
A spin-off of the 1980s hit show, "Cheers", "Frasier" played on NBC for 11 seasons, and centred around the character Dr. Frasier Crane, who moved back home to Seattle, Washington after a divorce. Working as a radio-psychiatrist, Frasier lived with his father, who was a retired policeman, and his father's caretaker, Daphne. Frasier's psychiatrist brother Niles' secret love for Daphne added an underlying story to their comical adventures.
Seinfeld ran on NBC from 1990 to 1998. The hit comedy series centred around a wacky group of friends in New York City, starring Jerry Seinfeld as himself, a stand-up comedian. The show's humour was based on the nuances of everyday life played up, examined and criticised. The show's humour became a cultural phenomenon and in 2002, "TV Guide" named it the greatest television program of all time.
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