The Best Black Sitcoms

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List Criteria: Vote up your favorite comedy shows about or targeted to African Americans

List of the best black sitcoms, past and current. Viewers love these top African-American comedy series for many reasons. They often portray life in the black community and the inner-workings of an African American family. Often they have interesting or eccentric characters and they’re just downright funny. Although there have been good black sitcoms and not-so-good black sitcoms, these are some of the best African-American comedy shows you can watch, old or new.

The best black sitcoms on TV today are descended from an interesting heritage. The first black sitcom-type program, Amos ‘n’ Andy, began its run in 1950, but it inspired controversy -- protests against it claimed that it portrayed blacks in an unfavorable, lower-class light. Black sitcoms began to come into their own with Sanford and Son, which many critics believe readied the general public to receive The Cosby Show in the 80s. A far cry from Amos ‘n’ Andy, The Cosby Show featured black characters who were educated and intelligent, earning it a spot as one of the best African-American comedy shows.

Of course, some of the best black sitcoms have faded in popularity with age. Remember 90s black sitcoms like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Although the Fresh Prince no longer holds a prime time spot, Will Smith is still one of the funniest black characters (and actors) of all time. Other unforgettable African-American characters that earn their shows a place on this list include Martin Payne (Martin) played by comedian Martin Lawrence, Weezie (The Jeffersons), and Arnold Jackson (Diff’rent Strokes).

With many black sitcoms to choose from today, viewers shouldn’t be at a loss for great African-American comedy shows. Black sitcoms may have changed over the years, but the best black comedy shows will continue to be enjoyed for years to come.
Collection Photo:  ABC
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  1. 1
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    most listed
    Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Keshia Knight Pulliam

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  2. 2
    + 582
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    BernNadette Stanis, Ralph Carter, Jimmie Walker

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  3. 3
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    the people's #1 but ranked low on reranks
    Will Smith, James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro

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  4. 4
    + 573
    - 159


    Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley, Marla Gibbs

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  5. 5
    + 566
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    Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson, LaWanda Page

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  6. 6
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    Bernie Mac, Kellita Smith, Jeremy Suarez

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  7. 7
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    ranked low on reranks
    Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Thomas Mikal Ford

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  8. 8
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    Terry Crews, Tichina Arnold, Tequan Richmond

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  9. 9
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    Reginald VelJohnson, Jaleel White, Kellie Shanygne Williams

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  10. 10
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    added by looksharp
    Keenen Ivory Wayans, Jim Carrey, Kelly Coffield Park

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  11. 11
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    Damon Wayans, Tisha Campbell-Martin, George Gore II

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  12. 12
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Fred Berry, Danielle Spencer, Shirley Hemphill

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  13. 13
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    Lisa Bonet, Kadeem Hardison, Jasmine Guy

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  14. 14
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    Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Conrad Bain

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  15. 15
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    Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, John Witherspoon

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  16. 16
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    Queen Latifah, Kim Coles, Erika Alexander

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  17. 17
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Bill Cosby, Gerald Edwards, Erika Scheimer

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  18. 18
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    Jamie Foxx, Garrett Morris, Garcelle Beauvais

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  19. 19
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Charles S. Dutton, Ella Joyce, Rocky Carroll

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  20. 20
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    Regina King, John Witherspoon, Gary Anthony Williams

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  21. 21
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    ranked low on reranks & added by KailaniGriffin
    Kyla Pratt, Tommy Davidson, Jo Marie Payton

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  22. 22
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    Steve Harvey^! Cedric the Entertainer^! Merlin Santana

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  23. 23
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    Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Tamera Mowry-Housley, Jackée Harry

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  24. 24
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    Tracee Ellis Ross, Golden Brooks, Persia White

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  25. 25
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    added by Douglasschip
    Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Marcus Scribner

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  26. 26
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    Helen Martin, Marla Gibbs, Hal Williams

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  27. 27
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    Mark Curry, Holly Robinson Peete, Sandra Quarterman

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  28. 28
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Robert Guillaume, James Noble, Inga Swenson

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  29. 29
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    added by alishajcurtis
    Mo'Nique, Dorien Wilson, Countess Vaughn Mo'Nique,  Countess Vaughn, Dorien Wilson, Yvette Wilson, Jenna von Oy, Ken Lawson

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    Brandy Norwood, William Allen Young, Marcus T. Paulk

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  31. 31
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    Raven-Symoné, Orlando Brown, Anneliese van der Pol

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  32. 32
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Loretta Devine, Ja'net DuBois, Pepe Serna

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  33. 33
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    added by RogerRamos
    Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell, Vanessa Baden

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  34. 34
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    Kyla Pratt, Robert Ri'chard, Flex Alexander

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  35. 35
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    Sherman Hemsley, Clifton Davis, Anna Maria Horsford

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  36. 36
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    - 84
    Smart Guy is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Black Sitcoms

    added by jacobslovie420
    Smart Guy Li Bingbing

  37. 37
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    LaVan Davis, Lance Gross, Cassi Davis

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  38. 38
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    Hosea Chanchez, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Coby Bell

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  39. 39
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    Nell Carter, Kari Michaelsen, Lara Jill Miller

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  40. 40
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    Redd Foxx, Rosanna DeSoto, Pamela Adlon

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  41. 41
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    Mike Henry, Sanaa Lathan, Kevin Michael Richardson

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  42. 42
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    Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Eddie Griffin, Karen Malina White

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  43. 43
    + 155
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    Susan Clark, Alex Karras, Emmanuel Lewis

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  44. 44
    + 159
    - 98


    LL Cool J^! Maia Campbell^! Alfonso Ribeiro

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  45. 45
    + 189
    - 128


    Logan Browning, Denise Boutte, Lamman Rucker

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  46. 46
    + 144
    - 118


    Sinbad, T.K. Carter, Erin Davis

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  47. 47
    + 21
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    often listed
    Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Doug E. Doug

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    Duane Martin, LisaRaye McCoy, Khamani Griffin

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    Robert Townsend^! Suzzanne Douglas^! Reagan Gomez-Preston

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  50. 50
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    added by LanaYoshii
    Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Ron Artest

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