Entertainment
7.9k voters

The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time

Updated May 12, 2021 63.2k votes 7.9k voters 493.7k views95 items

List RulesVote up your favorite sitcoms and comedies that center both Black stories and Black characters.

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, including some of the best Black sitcoms of the decade.

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 Black people 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.

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    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

    Joseph Marcell, Tatyana Ali

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  • 2
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    Martin

    Tichina Arnold, Garrett Morris

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    A Different World

    Charnele Brown, Dawnn Lewis

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    Sanford and Son

    Noam Pitlik, Gregory Sierra

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    Living Single

    Mel Jackson, Erika Alexander

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    Family Matters

    Judyann Elder, Reginald VelJohnson

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    The Bernie Mac Show

    Bernie Mac, Kellita Smith

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  • 8
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    The Jeffersons

    Isabel Sanford, Franklin Cover

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  • 9
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    In Living Color

    Marc Wilmore, Kim Wayans

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  • 10
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    Everybody Hates Chris

    Terry Crews, Tichina Arnold

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  • 11
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    My Wife and Kids

    Noah Gray-Cabey, Brooklyn Sudano

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    Good Times

    Esther Rolle, Bern Nadette Stanis

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  • 13
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    The Cosby Show

    Raven-Symoné, Malcolm-Jamal Warner

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  • 14
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    Sister, Sister

    Jackée Harry, Deon Richmond

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    The Jamie Foxx Show

    Garrett Morris, Ellia English

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    #28 of 71 The Best Shows On The WB#23 of 65 The Best TV Shows Starring Stand-Up Comics

  • 16
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    The Wayans Bros.

    Darrel Heath, John Witherspoon
  • 17
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    The Boondocks

    Regina King, John Witherspoon

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    The Proud Family

    Kyla Pratt, Tommy Davidson

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  • 19
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    Moesha

    Marcus T. Paulk, Brandy Norwood

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    Girlfriends

    Jill Marie Jones, Golden Brooks

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    Black-ish

    Peter Mackenzie, Jenifer Lewis

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    227

    Toukie Smith, Helen Martin

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    The Steve Harvey Show

    Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer

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    #30 of 55 The Best Daytime TV Shows#47 of 165 TV Shows Most Loved by African-Americans

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    Diff'rent Strokes

    Mary Jo Catlett, Danny Cooksey

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    The Parkers

    Mo'Nique, Dorien Wilson
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