100 Essential TV Comedies
5 Shows & Movies | by Vulture
A stand-up comedian and his three offbeat friends weather the pitfalls and payoffs of life in New York City in the '90s. It's a show about nothing.
Get a Life
Get a Life is a television sitcom that was broadcast in the United States on the Fox Network from September 23, 1990, to March 8, 1992. The show stars Chris Elliott as a 30-year-old paperboy named Chris Peterson. Peterson lived in an apartment above his parents' garage. The opening credits depict Chris Peterson delivering newspapers on his bike to the show's theme song, "Stand" by R.E.M. The show was a creation of Elliott, Adam Resnick and writer/director David Mirkin. Mirkin was executive producer/showrunner of the series and also directed most of the episodes. Notable writers of the series included Charlie Kaufman, screenwriter of Being John Malkovich; and Bob Odenkirk, co-creator of Mr. Show with Bob and David and Tenacious D. The show was unconventional for a prime time sitcom, and many times the storylines of the episodes were surreal. For example, Elliott's character actually dies in twelve episodes. The causes of death included being crushed by a giant boulder, old age, tonsillitis, stab wounds, gunshot wounds, falling from an airplane, strangulation, getting run over by cars, choking on cereal, and simply exploding. For this reason, it was a struggle for Elliott and Mirkin to get the show on the air. Many of the executives at the Fox Network hated the show and thought it was too disturbing and that Elliott's character was too insane.
Living Single is an American television sitcom that aired for five seasons on the Fox network from August 22, 1993, to January 1, 1998. The show centered on the lives of six friends who share personal and professional experiences while living in a Brooklyn brownstone. Throughout its run, Living Single became one of the most popular African-American sitcoms of its era, ranking among the top five in African-American ratings in all five seasons. The series was produced by Yvette Lee Bowser's company, Sister Lee, in association with Warner Bros. Television. In contrast to the popularity of NBC's "Must See TV" on Thursday nights in the 1990s, many African American and Latino viewers flocked to Fox's Thursday night line-up of Martin, Living Single, and New York Undercover. In fact, these were the three highest-rated series among black households for the 1996–1997 season.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Will, a street-smart teenager, moves from the tough streets of West Philly to posh Bel-Air to live with his Uncle Philip, Aunt Vivian, his cousins — spoiled Hilary, preppy Carlton and young Ashley — and their sophisticated British butler, Geoffrey. Though Will’s antics and upbringing contrast greatly with the upper-class lifestyle of his extended relatives, he soon finds himself right at home as a loved part of the family.
Martin is an American sitcom produced by HBO Independent Productions that aired for five seasons, from August 27, 1992 to May 1, 1997 on Fox. The show is both titled after and stars actor-comedian Martin Lawrence along with supporting characters Tichina Arnold, Thomas Mikal Ford, Carl Anthony Payne II, and Tisha Campbell. Reflecting the rising popularity of the Fox network throughout the 1990s, Martin was one of the network's highest-rated shows during the sitcom's five-season run. In contrast to the popularity of NBC's "Must See TV" on Thursday nights in the 1990s, many African American and Latino viewers flocked to Fox's Thursday night line-up of Martin, Living Single, and New York Undercover. In fact, these were the three highest-rated series among black households for the 1996–1997 season.