20 Funniest Sitcoms With Laugh Tracks

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Throughout the years, sitcoms have established themselves among the most beloved formats of TV shows, launching productions that have become classics while still impressing audiences with new shows today. And just as sitcoms have been around for as long as we can remember, so have laugh tracks. This essential feature is part of some of the most memorable shows on television, all of which relied heavily on laugh tracks to induce a better response from the audience and engage them in whatever was going on in the show.

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Although laugh tracks were a common practice for a long time, they were also controversial, with a large part of the audience claiming that they spoiled shows instead of making them better. Thus, television gradually abandoned this practice over the years, to the point where laugh tracks are no longer as common in modern TV sitcoms. Take a look at 20 funny sitcoms that do feature laugh tracks.

20 Bewitched (1964-1972)

Bewitched hit television in 1964 and became one of the best shows ever made in history. This Sol Saks creation, starring Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York, aired for eight seasons, following Samantha, a witch who, after marrying a mortal man, attempts to lead the life of an ordinary housewife. But her peaceful day-to-day life is constantly disrupted by her family, who simply can’t stand the fact that she married a non-magical man.

What Makes It Great

This Sol Saks show became a TV classic thanks to Montgomery’s talent, its hilarious script, and its groundbreaking premise. What’s more, it now allows us to catch a glimpse of the sexism and gender stereotypes of the time in order to appreciate how much of an evolution the industry went through. Its popularity spurred the development of I Dream of Jeannie, a very similar sitcom that became its rival, as well as remakes all over the world. Stream on Roku

19 2 Broke Girls (2011-2017)

2 Broke Girls premiered in 201, introducing Max and Caroline, two women in their mid-20s, who meet while working at a Brooklyn diner. Despite being raised in contrasting economic backgrounds, the pair becomes the best of friends right away, and start saving up for a common goal: launching a cupcake venture. This CBS show starred Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs as the leads, and aired for six seasons until its cancelation.

What Makes It Great

Throughout its run on the air, 2 Broke Girls was mostly acclaimed for the on-stage chemistry between Dennings and Behrs, as well as its portrayal of women friendship and signature sassy humor. This latter point, however, also sparked criticism from part of the audience, who often considered it vulgar and offensive. Stream on Roku

18 Two and a Half Men (2003-2015)

For eight seasons, Charlie Sheen starred in Two and a Half Men as Charlie Harper, a jingle writer whose life is turned upside down when his brother Alan moves into his house with his son, following a breakdown in his marriage. This sitcom, also co-starring Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones, aired for 12 seasons, although Sheen’s character was written out of the show in Season 8 due to his drug rehabilitation and subsequent feud with the producers. Replacing him was Ashton Kutcher, playing billionaire Walden Schmidt until the show’s finale.

What Makes It Great

Despite the controversies surrounding the show, Two and a Half Men became one of the most successful TV sitcoms of its time, garnering several nominations and awards. Among the most praised aspects of the show were the work of the cast members and its witty dialogue, which kept the audience entertained one episode at a time. Stream on Peacock

17 iCarly (2007-2012)

icarly
iCarly

Release Date
September 8, 2007

Main Genre
children

Among the most popular teen sitcoms of all time is iCarly, the Nickelodeon show starring Miranda Cosgrove that ran for six seasons. Joined by actors such as Jennette McCurdy, Nathan Kress, and Jerry Trainor, Cosgrove stars as Carly Shay, a teenager whose ordinary life is turned upside down once her web show becomes a smash hit.

What Makes It Great

Throughout its time on the air, iCarly grew into an audience favorite for, among other things, its clever humor that was enjoyable for audiences of all ages, the performances of its young stars, and the storylines introduced in each episode. Its popularity among audiences was sustained long after its finale, prompting a revival in 2021. Stream on Paramount+

16 NewsRadio (1995-1999)

NewsRadio is an NBC sitcom created by Paul Simms and starring Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Andy Dick, and Maura Tierney, among others. It aired for five seasons, following the eccentric employees of WNYX, a fictional New York City news radio station that undergoes the leadership of a new director, who struggles to gain any respect. NewsRadio ended in 1999 and quickly grew into one of the best shows of the 1990s with a legacy that endures to this day.

What Makes It Great

Conflicts between Simms and NBC caused NewsRadio‘s time slot to be altered several times over the course of the seasons, making it very hard for the show to gain a foothold on television. Still, it managed to build a loyal fan base and earned critical acclaim for its innovative nature, clever humor and the work of its cast. Stream on Roku

15 The Flintstones (1960-1966)

flintstones

The Flintstones premiered in 1960 as the first animated sitcom with a prime-time slot on TV. This production by Hanna-Barbera introduced audiences to the Flintstones, a Stone Age family undergoing the same issues as any modern family, alongside their neighbors and friends, the Rubbles. The animated show aired for six seasons, and despite the fact that several decades have gone by since the airing of its final episode, it is still attracting new fans today.

What Makes It Great

The Flintstones is arguably among Hanna-Barbera’s greatest cartoons, and ranks comfortably among the best animated programs in television history. Some of what made it such an award-winning classic was its innovative premise, memorable characters, and its simple yet fun storylines, capable of entertaining audiences of all ages. Stream on Max

14 Mom (2013-2021)

mom
Mom

Release Date
September 23, 2013

Anna Faris and Allison Janney star in Mom, a sitcom from Chuck Lorre, Eddie Gorodetsky, and Gemma Baker that aired for eight seasons on CBS. In it, Faris is Christy, a single mother trying to rebuild her life as she deals with her addiction to drugs and alcohol by attending Alcoholics Anonymous. Among all the things this woman must deal with is her estranged relationship with her mother Bonnie, another recovering addict who is also struggling to pull it together.

What Makes It Great

Throughout its run on the air, Mom was met with critical and audience acclaim for a number of reasons, primarily, Faris and Janney’s undeniable on-screen chemistry in the lead roles. But other than that, the sitcom was praised for its ability to deal with real issues such as addiction and teen pregnancy seriously, while retaining its trademark humor. Stream on Hulu

13 Man with a Plan (2016-2020)

Several years after ending his stint as Joey on the globally popular sitcom Friends, Matt LeBlanc starred in Man with a Plan, a CBS show that also starred Liza Snyder, Grace Kaufman, Matthew McCann, and Hala Finley. In it, LeBlanc plays Adam, a man who is left to care for his three children after his wife decides to start working again. But little does this family man know that his children are not the precious creatures he thinks they are, and that taking care of them on a day-to-day basis is a pretty daunting task.

What Makes It Great

Although Man with a Plan didn’t get the best reviews from critics, it did manage to hook the audience enough to stay on the air for four seasons. Among its most praised features were LeBlanc’s work in the lead role, its humor appealing to all ages, and its universal themes and struggles experienced by most families. Stream on Paramount+

12 Will & Grace (1998-2006)

Eric McCormack and Debra Messing star in Will & Grace, an NBC sitcom that originally aired for eight seasons and ended in 2016. In it, the actors play Will and Grace, a gay lawyer and an interior designer who are best friends and navigate the ups and downs of life in New York City together. Joining the leads in this sitcom are Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes.

What Makes It Great

Although Will & Grace was met with some criticism after its premiere, it eventually managed to establish itself as a television classic, acclaimed for its trailblazing portrayal of the LGBTQ+ community in the media. Its huge popularity with audiences led to the show being picked up for an additional four seasons a decade after its final episode. Stream on Prime Video

11 I Love Lucy (1951-1957)

I Love Lucy hit American televisions in 1951, and led the nation for four years as its most-watched production. This CBS sitcom, starring Lucille Ball, follows the life of Lucy Ricardo, a New York City housewife, who is married to a bandleader and who has one goal in mind: to make it in the entertainment industry. I Love Lucy ran for six seasons and spurred the production of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.

What Makes It Great

Back in the 1950s, I Love Lucy cemented its place in television as a groundbreaking production, paving the way for all the sitcoms that followed with highly innovative techniques for the time. This, combined with the acting skills of Ball and the rest of the cast, as well as the adventures that the characters experienced in each episode, made it one of the most influential shows in the history of television. Stream on Paramount+

Related: 10 Sitcoms That Were Clearly Inspired by Friends

10 Frasier (1993-2004)

frasier
Frasier

Release Date
September 16, 1993

1993 marked the premiere of Frasier, an NBC sitcom that served as a spin-off of the 1982 hit show Cheers. It aired for 11 seasons, with Kelsey Grammer playing Frasier Crane, a therapist who moves back to his native Seattle after his marriage fails, and lands a job hosting his own radio show. But his newfound peaceful life is interrupted when his father is involved in a work-related accident that forces Frasier to take him into his home, giving him no other choice but to reconnect with his estranged family.

What Makes It Great

Frasier‘s brilliant script, clever humor, and the performance of Grammer in the lead role made this sitcom one of the most acclaimed shows in television history, with a legacy that endures even to this day. In the wake of its popularity with audiences, Paramount+ released a revival series last year, with the star reprising his most acclaimed role, and while it didn’t quite match the original show’s success, it was very well received by fans. Stream on Prime Video

9 That ‘70s Show (1998-2006)

When it comes to great teen sitcoms, one can’t help but think of That ’70s Show, the Fox TV sitcom that launched young actors like Topher Grace, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and Laura Prepon to stardom. This production aired for eight seasons, following a group of friends from Point Place, Wisconsin, as they went through the ups and downs of adolescence and the challenges that come with growing up.

What Makes It Great

That ’70s Show was hailed for accurately capturing the aesthetics of the eponymous decade, evoking nostalgia in the audience and dealing with the most important themes of the period. Among the most marvelous features of the show is the talent of its young cast, packed with actors who grew up to become major stars. That ’70s Show managed to sustain its popularity over time, leading Netflix to release the sequel series That ’90s Show in 2023. Stream on Peacock

8 The IT Crowd (2006-2013)

The IT Crowd is a British sitcom from Channel 4, starring Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson, and Matt Berry. This acclaimed production aired for four seasons, following the day-to-day activities of Maurice, Roy, and their boss Jen, the IT crew of a London company. Despite their advanced skills and how much the company depends on them, these two technicians avoid interacting with the rest of the staff at all costs, and spend their days secluded in a dark basement monkeying around.

What Makes It Great

Although The IT Crowd initially struggled to win over audiences, it eventually managed to become an acclaimed show that, even to this day, still maintains its fan base. Perhaps the most outstanding element of the show throughout its time on the air was the chemistry between the three main actors, who, aided by a brilliant script, managed to entertain the audience in each and every episode. Buy on AppleTV

7 Cheers (1982-1993)

Cheers
Cheers

Release Date
September 30, 1982

Cheers hit NBC in 1982, with Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Nicholas Colasanto, Rhea Perlman, and George Wendt leading the cast. The show is set in a Boston bar and follows the life of its owner, employees, and customers, who visit this welcoming place to have a drink and disconnect from their routine. Cheers remained on the air for eleven seasons, and its finale became the most watched episode of the decade.

What Makes It Great

Much like The IT Crowd, Cheers got off to a rocky start with audiences, yet critics’ encouragement kept it afloat long enough to become the TV classic it is today. Its memorable ensemble cast and cozy setting made this production a crowd favorite, also spurring the production of several more shows, most notably Frasier. Stream on Hulu

Related: 20 Classic Sitcoms Worth Rewatching

6 Mr. Bean (1990-1995)

Nowadays, Mr. Bean ranks among the best-known and best-loved characters in film and television. This eccentric, bumbling little man, played by Rowan Atkinson, was first introduced to the public in the 1990 British show created by the actor together with Richard Curtis. This 15-episode sitcom aired for five years, following the character’s wacky adventures until 1995 and spawned a spin-off show and two movies.

What Makes It Great

Mr. Bean became a critically and audience acclaimed series, earning a host of accolades and the affection of audiences all over the world. Perhaps the main contributing factor to the show’s wild success was its physical humor and sparse dialogue, which, combined with Atkinson’s superb acting skills, made it accessible to audiences of all kinds, transcending language and cultural barriers. Stream on Prime Video

5 The Munsters (1964-1966)

The Munsters first hit television in 1964, introducing audiences to a family much like any other, except for one minor detail: nearly all of its members are monsters. This CBS sitcom, which satirized hit sitcoms while featuring some of cinema’s classic monsters, starred Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, and Al Lewis, and aired for two seasons until a drop in ratings prompted its cancelation.

What Makes It Great

Armed with a groundbreaking premise and drawing from the finest comedy productions of the era, The Munsters managed to break out among the shows of the 1960s to become a classic TV sitcom. The adventures of this family of monsters made audiences empathize with them, and the cast’s impeccable performances endeared them to kids and grown-ups alike. Stream on Peacock

4 Seinfeld (1989-1998)

In 1989, Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld treated audiences to Seinfeld, an NBC show that, over its nine seasons, grew to become an all-time favorite. This sitcom, in which the stand-up comedian and producer plays a fictionalized version of himself, revolves around his misadventures in New York City alongside three of his closest friends. Its legacy is still relevant today.

What Makes It Great

For many, Seinfeld is known as “a show about nothing”, and yet, back in the 1990s, it changed television for good. David and Seinfeld’s production pulled off a unique style by finding humor in totally ordinary situations, charming audiences and critics alike with its witty scripts. As a result, it became one of the greatest shows of all time, paving the way for all the sitcoms that followed. Stream on Netflix

3 The Big Bang Theory (2007-2019)

The Big Bang Theory poster
The Big Bang Theory

Release Date
September 24, 2007

The Big Bang Theory is a CBS sitcom, released in 2007 and starring Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, and Kaley Cuoco. This hit sitcom by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady aired for 12 seasons, following Sheldon and Leonard, two highly intelligent yet socially awkward physicists from Caltech, who spend their days with their equally awkward friends and their neighbor from across the hall, an aspiring actress who couldn’t be more different from the rest of the group.

What Makes It Great

The Big Bang Theory is a geeky show that managed to charm audiences with its clever humor brimming with scientific and cultural references. Although it did not have the best reviews during its first season, it eventually managed to cement itself as a TV hit, praised, among many things, for the amazing chemistry between its cast. Besides earning a place among the most beloved shows on television, The Big Bang Theory scored many accolades and spurred the development of a spin-off show, Young Sheldon, launched in 2017 and another one that is currently in the works. Stream on Max

2 How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014)

Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, and Alyson Hannigan star in How I Met Your Mother, a sitcom that aired for nine seasons and endeared itself to audiences worldwide, even though its finale failed to live up to expectations. Set in 2030, the show introduces Ted Mosby as he shares with his children the adventures of his youth with friends in New York City that led him to meet their mother.

What Makes It Great

Although, in its early days, How I Met Your Mother was widely compared to Friends, the show rose above criticism by bringing out its own identity. Aided by its innovative storytelling structure and talented cast, it managed to keep audiences hooked from season to season. Moreover, its superb blend of comedy and drama earned it widespread acclaim, and allowed a large part of the audience to relate to the experiences of the main characters. Stream on Hulu

1 Friends (1994-2004)

friends
Friends

Release Date
September 22, 1994

Rounding out this list is Friends, arguably television’s most popular sitcom ever. Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer star in this masterpiece by David Crane and Marta Kauffman. It followed the adventures of six New York City friends in their 20s to early-30s for 10 seasons. Friends swept the world in no time, leaving an indelible mark on popular culture and launching its young actors to utter stardom.

What Makes It Great

Friends ranks comfortably among the best TV series in history, and it is the favorite sitcom of millions of people around the world. Few shows have managed to achieve what Crane and Kauffman’s iconic production did, much less retain its popularity for so many years. Among the things that turned Friends into one of television’s biggest hits, we can highlight the chemistry between its leads and their outstanding performances portraying such relatable characters, its timeless humor, and its ability to tackle real issues while still delivering the laughs. Stream on Max

If you loved this list, check out our video below about the longest-running sitcoms of all time.

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