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The Best '80s Black Sitcoms

Updated July 13, 2020 2.8k votes 778 voters 68.1k views22 items

List RulesVote up your favorite African American comedy shows that aired in the 1980s.

Although the Black sitcom boom happened in the '90s, the 1980s had a ton of hilarious African American comedy shows as well. Black sitcoms have been around since the early days of network television, but shows like The Cosby Show and Diff'rent Strokes are arguably more famous than any other Black sitcoms throughout TV history.  

Which shows appear on this list of the top '80s Black sitcoms? A Different World and What's Happening Now!! top our list. Other shows include Benson, Amen, and The New Odd Couple. 

Where do your favorite 1980s funny Black sitcoms fall on this list? Be sure to vote up the best ones, and share your thoughts in the comments section. Then, check out our list of '80s black TV shows.

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  • 1
    The Cosby Show
    230
    53

    The Cosby Show

    Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad

    Premiered1984

    The Cosby Show is an American television sitcom starring Bill Cosby, which aired for eight... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 2
    The Jeffersons
    155
    25

    The Jeffersons

    Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley

    Premiered1975

    The Jeffersons is an American sitcom that was broadcast on CBS from January 18, 1975, through... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 3
    A Different World
    202
    54

    A Different World

    Lisa Bonet, Kadeem Hardison

    Premiered1987

    A Different World (NBC, 1987) is an American sitcom created by Bill Cosby, and a spin-off of... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 4
    Diff'rent Strokes
    185
    48

    Diff'rent Strokes

    Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges

    Premiered1978

    Diff'rent Strokes is an American television sitcom that aired on NBC from November 3, 1978, to... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 5
    Sanford
    157
    40

    Sanford

    Redd Foxx, Dennis Burkley

    Premiered1980

    Sanford is an American situation comedy, which was the revival of the 1972–1977 sitcom Sanford... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #42 of 89 The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time#180 of 314 The Best Shows of the 1980s, Ranked

  • 6
    227
    149
    46

    227

    Helen Martin, Marla Gibbs

    Premiered1985

    227 is an American situation comedy that originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 7
    Amen
    129
    37

    Amen

    Sherman Hemsley, Clifton Davis

    Premiered1986

    Amen is an American television sitcom produced by Carson Productions that ran from September... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 8
    Gimme a Break!
    131
    49

    Gimme a Break!

    Nell Carter, Kari Michaelsen

    Premiered1981

    Gimme a Break! is an American sitcom which aired on NBC for six seasons from October 29, 1981... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 9
    What's Happening Now!!
    131
    53

    What's Happening Now!!

    Martin Lawrence, Fred Berry

    Premiered1985

    What's Happening Now!! is an American television situation comedy that serves as a sequel... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 10
    Benson
    90
    38

    Benson

    Robert Guillaume, James Noble

    Premiered1979

    Benson is an American television sitcom which aired from September 13, 1979, to April 19,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #168 of 453 The Funniest TV Shows of All Time#48 of 165 TV Shows Most Loved by African-Americans

  • 11
    Family Matters
    47
    8

    Family Matters

    Reginald VelJohnson, Jaleel White

    Premiered1989

    Family Matters is an American sitcom which originated on ABC network from September 22, 1989... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 12
    Webster
    86
    42

    Webster

    Susan Clark, Alex Karras

    Premiered1983

    Webster is an American situation comedy that aired on ABC from September 16, 1983 until May 8,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #53 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows#29 of 37 '80s Shows You Want To See Rebooted

  • 13
    The Redd Foxx Show
    61
    29

    The Redd Foxx Show

    Redd Foxx, Rosanna DeSoto

    Premiered1986

    The Redd Foxx Show was a short-lived sitcom that premiered January 18, 1986 on ABC. The show... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 14
    Bustin' Loose
    39
    43

    Bustin' Loose

    Jimmie Walker, Vonetta McGee

    Premiered1987

    Bustin' Loose is an American situation comedy that was loosely based on the 1981 film of the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 15
    Checking In
    33
    40

    Checking In

    Ruth Brown, Marla Gibbs

    Premiered1981

    Checking In is an American sitcom that aired on CBS in April 1981. The series is a spin-off of... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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    #4 of 81 The Worst TV Spin-Offs#24 of 25 The Best Spin-Offs of the '80s

  • 16
    Frank's Place
    28
    35

    Frank's Place

    Tim Reid, Robert Harper

    Premiered1987

    Frank's Place is an American comedy-drama series which aired on CBS for 22 episodes during the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 17
    Charlie & Co.
    25
    38

    Charlie & Co.

    Gladys Knight, Jaleel White

    Premiered1985

    Charlie & Co. is an American sitcom that originally aired on CBS from September 18, 1985 to... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 18
    The Littles
    25
    41

    The Littles

    Jimmy Keegan, Bettina Bush

    Premiered1983

    The Littles is an animated television series, originally produced between 1983 and 1985. It is... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 19
    Melba
    21
    36

    Melba

    Melba Moore, Lou Jacobi

    Premiered1986

    Melba is an American television sitcom which aired on CBS from January 28, 1986 until... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 20
    The Robert Guillaume Show
    21
    39

    The Robert Guillaume Show

    Robert Guillaume, Wendy Phillips

    Premiered1989

    The Robert Guillaume Show is a short-lived sitcom vehicle for Robert Guillaume, the former... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 21
    He's the Mayor
    17
    33

    He's the Mayor

    Pat Corley, Kevin Hooks

    Premiered1986

    He's the Mayor is an American television sitcom that first aired on ABC on January 10, 1986 on... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 22
    The New Odd Couple
    14
    38

    The New Odd Couple

    Ron Glass, John Schuck

    Premiered1982

    The New Odd Couple is an American sitcom that aired on ABC from 1982 to 1983, and was an... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button