Is Seinfeld the Greatest Sitcom of All Time?

Seinfeld_Cast_300Seinfeld has been voted the greatest sitcom of all time — not that there’s anything wrong with that. Or is there?

In a poll conducted by 60 Minutes in tandem with Vanity Fair, the show about nothing edged out the classic comedy The Honeymooners with 22 percent of the vote. (Ralph, Alice & Co. received 20 percent.)

Trailing the two shows were Friends (16 percent), Cheers (14 percent), Arrested Development (7 percent), Mary Tyler Moore (6 percent) and 30 Rock (5 percent).

Do you agree with 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll results? Sound off in our poll!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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200 Comments
  1. ha says:

    I Love Lucy!!!!

  2. mattyc says:

    I Love Lucy, The Golden Girls, Modern Family, Maude and All in the Family come to mind.

  3. Toni says:

    The Cosby Show, I Love Lucy, or The Dick Van Dyke Show are better than any on that list.

  4. Robert Taylor says:

    Where is “I Love Lucy” in your list? Get it together, people.

    • Kristen says:

      Vanity Fair is dumb!!!!!!!!!!!!! “I Love Lucy” was the first sitcom. We wouldn’t have sitcoms if it wasn’t for “I LOVE LUCY”. They need to read up on their television history.

  5. Jamie says:

    No way is Friends even close to Seinfeld in terms of quality. Boring, bland and predictable.

    • Mac19 says:

      You’re right, but the demo for this website probably prefers it.

      • Kate says:

        that is exactly what i thought. i am in that demo and before i saw seinfeld or cheers i thought friends was the greatest

    • Rebecca says:

      I cannot stand Seinfield.

      • Brendan says:

        I agree. I never really got the show… and I only really ever liked Elaine. My favorite sitcoms are Friends, Golden Girls, I Love Lucy, Cosby Show, Roseanne, Will & Grace and Parks & Rec. There are others that I like as well but I could list almost a hundred before I got to listing Seinfeld. It’s one of the most overrated shows in my opinion.

    • tara17 says:

      Friends is my favorite sitcom of all times, but objectively I would give first place to Cheers, Seinfeld second.

  6. chiana says:

    MASH would probably be my first choice, followed by Community. Probably some time would have to pass before we could have some support for Community. It messes with many of the accepted standards of a situation comedy. I personally love it, in the same way that I loved Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods. Not everyone likes their sacred cows tipped though, so I expect that I’m ahead of my time.

  7. joe says:

    i love lucy…. the best

  8. jenny says:

    I love all the comments about I LOVE LUCY!!!! Such an amazing show, and it should definitely one of the choices!!!!

  9. Bob Smith says:

    M*A*S*H

  10. John Stevenson says:

    Wow, really?? Sienfeld?? Man, I am so SICK of this overrated piece of crap being held up like it was the best thing ever. Just proof that Americans have no taste.

    • Ashley Brown says:

      Where are you from John? Please educate us stupid Americans about how much smarter you are because you are from a different country. I’m sure your country has made WAY more classic television shows than the ones made by Americans since “Americans have no taste.” Since you claim we have no taste, please tell us what television show NOT made by Americans should have won this poll. By the way, I’m not a fan of Seinfeld either.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      I find it odd you’re making such a weird generalizations about Americans, but whatever. I’m an American, and I’m not really on the Seinfeld bandwagon.

    • Ralph says:

      AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Keenan says:

      No. John that would be Friends. The comedy for people too stupid for Seinfeld.

    • well, I’m not American and I happen to agree that Seinfeld is the best sitcom ever…
      Unfortunaly, a good taste and education is like an arm. Some just don’t have any. And apparently, you don’t have (not because you don’t like Seinfeld, but for insulting people like that).

    • murley says:

      while I don’t agree with your broad and condescending statement about americans lacking taste, I do think Seinfeld is overrated and, in my opinion, hasn’t held up. When I watch it now I find myself wondering did I ever find it funny?

    • erin says:

      A-FREAKING MEN!!!! to Seinfield being an overrated piece of crap,
      I wouldn’t even consider it in TOP 5 or even TOP 10
      MY top 5 would be
      1 WINGS-Killer writing,Great Cast!! including Timothy Daly ,Crystal Bernard and Tony Sholub (Monk)
      2 NEWSRADIO- Who dosen’t love Bill McNeal (Deceased Phil Hartman)
      3 CHEERS-NORM!!!-Loved Coach
      4 WKRP IN CINCINNATTI, “As god is my witness I thought turkeys could fly”
      5 FRAISER- Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce,Best and Funniest Brothers Ever !!

    • TM says:

      I’m British and I love Seinfeld, it’s simply one of the greatest shows of all time. It was original and there hadn’t been anything like it on tv before, a show about nothing that is both funny and entertaining, genius.

      Friends, on the other hand, is atrocious. It’s not funny, the characters are boring stereotypes who go out of their way to avoid being offensive or controversial. Seinfeld created one female character in Elain that had more about her than the three female Friends combined. If in doubt, watch the Seinfeld episode ‘The Contest’ and try and imagine Freinds tackling that subject.

      One criticism I have of Seinfeld is the last series was a bit weak, and it was never the same show after LD left.

      • Eli says:

        Right, any show that doesn’t tackle daring subjects and try to be offensive and/or controversial must by default be atrocious… (that’s called sarcasm by the way)
        And really, “boring stereotypes”? 90% of all humor and comedy is based around stereotypes, have you never seen a stand-up comedy show? Or some of the best British comedy ever, Fawlty Towers, Monty Python, Blackadder, COUPLING (which is basically a less PG version of Friends). Just cause something isn’t all deep and smart doesn’t mean it’s bad comedy you pretentious hipster twit.

  11. Brendan says:

    Community
    How I Met Your Mother
    The Office
    Scrubs
    The Big Bang Theory
    Parks and Recreation
    Modern Family
    Frasier
    Sports Night
    30 Rock
    Fresh Prince of Bel Air
    Home Improvement
    Spin City

    in that order.

    • Brendan says:

      Whoops.
      Arrested Development goes just behind Parks and Rec and ahead of Modern Family. Don’t know where my brain was on that one.

      • BJ Wanlund says:

        99.9% of your list are 3-camera comedies, commonly referred to as “sitcoms”. the other .01% (Modern Family, The Office, Community, Parks and Recreation, and Scrubs) are 1-camera comedies. They are not sitcoms in the traditional sense, and should NOT be categorized with the likes of Sports Night.

    • Angela says:

      I can agree with a good number of the shows on this list. “Community” and “Frasier” are a couple of my personal favorites.
      As for the poll above, out of that list I went with “Mary Tyler Moore” myself. I was kinda sad to see it so low in results. I have no problem with “Seinfeld” from the episodes I have seen, but it wouldn’t be among my personal picks for best sitcom ever.

    • LovesGoldfish says:

      Sports Night!

  12. Thomas says:

    Got to be Cheers for me.

    • Christine says:

      The lack of comments for Cheers in this section sickens me. Cheers is a classic

      • I voted for Cheers too. Probably fallen out of the modern pop culture from lack of reruns, whereas Friends and Seinfeld are still in reruns as far as I know. I would totally watch it if they put the reruns back on, even if they shorten the theme song like they did for the reruns that were on while the show was still putting out new episodes.

      • Eli says:

        They are all classics you bimbo

  13. kevin says:

    All in the Family hands down is the greatest show ever,Cheers is right up there also

  14. kate says:

    FRIENDS. period. end of story.

  15. Maryb says:

    Are you kidding me. No M*A*S*H or All in the Family on the list? I Love Lucy?

    • Melanie says:

      I was wondering the same thing about these 3 missing classics. Also, The Cosby Show. It’s the demo if people interacting with this poll.

  16. Jonathan says:

    I love lucy
    duh

  17. leigh says:

    No. Absolutely no. No way. There were way better sitcoms than Seinfeld. MASH, the Golden Girls, Maude, the Cosby Show, All in the Family, the Jeffersons – all way better.

  18. Terry says:

    If you leave out the Andy Griffith show you are so wrong!

  19. Meredith says:

    If a poll does not include “I Love Lucy”, it should immediately be discredited. I also concur with MASH and The Cosby Show. All three are amazing sitcoms and deserve credit. It makes me wonder who were actually polled!

  20. Linda says:

    The Cosby Show and Frasier. Two of my all time faves.

  21. bjwanlund says:

    I VEHEMENTLY disagree with that list. Here are 7 sitcoms that outclass Seinfeld in every conceivable way:
    Will & Grace (quite possibly one of the best sitcoms ever)
    Golden Girls
    Designing Women
    I Love Lucy
    I Dream of Jeannie
    Mama’s Family
    The Dick Van Dyke Show

  22. jacobsjj1982 says:

    The Simpsons. Parks & Rec. FRASIER.

  23. Josh says:

    Seinfield is so overrated I consider Freinds and The big bang theory my top two

  24. The Cosby Show! Close second would be The Golden Girls

  25. CC says:

    M*A*S*H* and Seinfeld are the two best ever.

  26. Couch Potatohead says:

    The Dick Van Dyke Show for certain. It’s timeless.

  27. Rachel Donner says:

    My Top 10 List in order:
    M*A*S*H
    All in the Family
    Cheers
    Family Ties
    Mary Tyler Moore
    Golden Girls
    Facts of Life
    The Office (UK)
    The Cosby Show
    Arrested Development

  28. Adam Benson says:

    How on earth is The Cosby Show not in this list?

  29. CC says:

    Most shows being mentioned are great but I Love Lucy is the WORST show ever made. What a steaming pile of excrement.

  30. Sarah says:

    How does a list of the greatest sitcoms get made without I Love Lucy being on it?

  31. Abe From says:

    Seinfeld already seems dated, but I Love Lucy is timeless.

  32. gnd says:

    NewsRadio, Night Court, and Newhart OH MY!

  33. Wally Walters says:

    The greatest American sitcom is “Married… with Children,” provided you ignore the last five seasons. But the first five years constituted the closest thing to True American Satire ever on TV.

    “Green Acres” and “Arrested Development” were a pretty close second. And if we allow for the inclusion of foreign shows, “Fawlty Towers” would also be up at the top.

  34. gayle r. says:

    What about Brady bunch? A little cheesy yes but I loved it as a kid and my kids love it now.

  35. Dave says:

    I know I’m proabably in the minority here, but I never really liked Seinfeld and thought the show was overrated. Same thing with Friends – seemed like everybody loved it, and it made me cringe. I’ve seen a couple of episodes of Seinfeld that made me chuckle but I never (and still don’t) understand why people loved the show so much.

    • rr says:

      I’m 100% with you there on Seinfeld and Friends.
      Married… with Children tops my relatively current list, with Big Bang Theory the heir apparent.
      M*A*S*H and All in the Family top the all time list with a plethora above the Vanity Fair poll.

  36. Leonard says:

    All in the family, I love lucy, dick van dike show, MASH, cheers, friends, the office usa, and will and grace. In that order. Seriously, what poll asks for people to vote on the best sitcom ever and not include I love lucy is clearly too focused on recent comedies.

  37. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I can see how Seinfeld was ground-breaking for its time as it was the first cynical sitcom in a world of family comedies. And I sometimes liked it when it was originally airing. Not all episodes, but sometimes I liked it. However, it is one of those shows I go back and watch and wonder what I ever saw in it. I don’t like it now. I find it too cynical and I want to smack all the characters. I would not have voted for it.
    .
    I would love to call Community the best sitcom of all time, but is that fair to do with only 3 seasons behind it? It seems like if you can keep up the quality over a lengthy period of time, that ought to count for lots of bonus points. Also, so much of this subjective, and single camera comedies don’t really belong in the same category as traditional multi-cam comedies, at least IMO.
    .
    If we’re talking traditional sitcoms who had longevity, then I would pick Frasier as my no. 1 pick. I could watch that show over and over again and still be amused. It had a Shakespearean structure in its writing and the cast had great chemistry. And I will confess I did like Friends a lot, even if the whole Rachel/Ross thing ruined the show for me. Now if we’re talking single-cam comedies, then I really want to pick Arrested Development. That show changed what was possible for sitcoms to do and paved the way for the success of other single-cam comedies. But since it was on such a short length of time, then I’m going to pick M*A*S*H* as the best comedy since they kept it good for so many years.

    • I would hold Community in regard higher than even Cheers, I’d think, but it kind of transcends the sitcom label for me with its innovative, often cinematic storytelling. And while I liked Frasier (and Seinfeld, more or less), Cheers is probably the most innovative and funny show of its time and showed us all how its done with very specific characterizations that are probably scientific in execution (it’s probably no coincidence that Lilith likes Cliff but not Carla).

      I’d like some more love for Wings, though, even if it was just Cheers in an island airport.

  38. joao gordinho says:

    SCRUBS!!!!!

  39. raghav says:

    arrested development is the best sitcom of all time I reckon.it is brilliantly written and the comic timing is amazing. it was shut down way before its time, but I am so very excited for season 4 to come out.

  40. raghav says:

    arrested development is the best sitcom of all time I reckon.it is brilliantly written and the comic timing is amazing. it was shut down way before its time, but I am so very excited for season 4 to come out.
    Comment by raghav – December 3, 2012 04:43 PM PST REPLY TO THIS POST

  41. Lynn says:

    “Its Your Move!” best sitcom of all time. it only last 18 episodes but Jason Bateman was hilarious!!

  42. Janine says:

    I’ve tried to like Sienfeld but I never found it funny and I can never understand why it ends up at the top of so many greased show polls. Then again, I also never liked The Honeymooners, the number two choice in this poll, either. For my money the best sitcoms are I Love Lucy, Cheers, and Friends with the latter coming out slightly above the other two for me, mostly because it’s the one I grew up with.

  43. Belle says:

    Friends is winning over SEINFELD…that’s insanity!!!! Seinfeld was and will always be the show everyone can relate to and laughs at!! Lucy should be on the list, but SEINFELD is the best sitcom of all time then, now, and future!!!!

  44. Wally Walters says:

    @Lynn: Yes, “It’s Your Move” was terrific.

  45. Princess Adora says:

    Dharma and Greg! J/K ;) I voted for Arrested Development, but I’d like to add:
    – Parks and Rec
    – The Office – the first 5ish seasons
    – That 70s Show
    – The Cosby Show
    – My Name is Earl
    – 3rd Rock from the Sun
    That’s about all. I’m loving New Girl, but it’s too early.

  46. mike says:

    Where is M*A*S*H and I love Lucy, it is a true tragedy they are not on the list

  47. gary says:

    I dont get why people think Jerry Seinfeld…Maybe it because he is the common man even though he is worth like 1 billion. I tried to watch Seinfeld while i was in highschool and never liked it tried to watch it now in my mid 20s and still dont get where it is so funny

  48. scon says:

    Friends has always been funny and clever throughout all ten seasons! Seinfeld is funny as well but they didn’t get good til the sixth season.

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