That’s not to say there aren’t good ones prior to 1995. “Cheers,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and both long-running Bob Newhart comedies are some of the all-time great sitcoms, so if you really want a blast from the past, check them out sometime.
But this list is for the ones that have aired since “NewsRadio” debuted. See what you think of the rankings and relive some of your favorite moments and episodes with the videos.
10. ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’
This new FOX sitcom about a police precinct in New York may very well make its way higher up this list as time goes on — it did win two Golden Globes. But for now, until it shows it can stand the test of time, the squad of the “Nine-Nine” will have to wait and see in spot No. 10.
9. ‘Party Down’
This gone-too-soon Starz comedy came from the mind of “Veronica Mars” creator Rob Thomas and featured a star-studded lineup of Lizzy Caplan, Jane Lynch, Ken Marino, Adam Scott, Ryan Hansen and Martin Starr as six wannabe actors working for a Hollywood catering company. “Party Down” only lasted two seasons, but it is definitely worth checking out if you missed it.
8. ‘Spin City’
Why isn’t “Spin City” higher on the list? Because it just wasn’t the same without Michael J. Fox. His departure after Season 4 in order to spend more time with his family and devote more time working for Parkinson’s research left a huge hole in the show, as did the same-time departure of creator Bill Lawrence. But the first four seasons of this political comedy are still terrific.
An underrated comedy, this little gem of a show chronicled the everyday lives of the people who worked at a tiny airport in Nantucket, Mass. The show wasn’t exactly action-packed, but it was the easy, fun chemistry between the cast — which included Tim Daly, Steven Weber, Crystal Bernard, Thomas Haden Church and Tony Shalhoub — that made it a winner. Full episodes of “Wings” (like the one below, a personal favorite) are available on Hulu.
Phil Hartman’s murder left an enormous hole in the entertainment world and while he was most certainly gone far too soon, fortunately there are four seasons of this quirky radio station comedy in which to enjoy his work (in addition to “Saturday Night Live,” of course). Below is a very funny episode that has Hartman and his eventual “NewsRadio” replacement Jon Lovitz in fine form together.
5. ‘Murphy Brown’
What made “Murphy Brown” so great was that not only was it full of laughs, but this sitcom set at a news station — helmed by five-time Emmy winner Candice Bergen — was not afraid to delve into issues of the day. Much like its title character, the show used cutting humor to speak its mind and drive home its message.
Talk to any med students or current doctors and a lot of them will tell you that out of all the fictional medical shows on TV, past or present, “Scrubs” is the one closest to their actual experience. Another winner from the mind of Bill Lawrence, this ensemble sitcom set in a hospital is an outstanding example of mixing workplace shenanigans with character stories.
3. ’30 Rock’
This Emmy-winning comedy took viewers behind the scenes at a comedy sketch show a la “Saturday Night Live,” with the stalwart showrunner Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) surrounded by one of the craziest casts of characters in television history. In the blink of an eye, “30 Rock” could go from slapstick to political to jokes so subtle you have to rewind to make sure you got it, all while producing brilliant satire about the entertainment industry.
2. ‘Parks and Recreation’
Is there a sweeter comedy in television history than the story of plucky Indiana native Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) making her small town of Pawnee better one park at a time? It’s hard to argue that there is. Throw in Knope’s eccentric-yet-amazing supporting staff and insanely talented parade of guest stars, and it’s no surprise NBC supported “Parks and Rec” for seven seasons despite it never being a ratings juggernaut.
1. ‘The Office’
The quintessential workplace comedy, “The Office” started with four key players — with Steve Carell’s brilliant portrayal of Michael Scott at the center — but it quickly expanded its world to bring the wonderful, diverse supporting cast to the forefront. With the stark lighting and minimal makeup, this Emmy-winning NBC faux-documentary truly felt like a look inside the simple-yet-beautiful lives of just your average, everyday office workers at a paper company, anchored by one of TV’s greatest love stories — Jim and Pam (John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer).