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The Greatest Black Sitcoms of All Time

Updated October 30, 2020 66.3k votes 7.7k voters 484.9k views89 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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  • 1
    Martin
    2,296
    526

    Martin

    Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell-Martin

    Premiered1992

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  • 2
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
    2,546
    609

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

    Will Smith, James Avery

    Premiered1990

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  • 3
    A Different World
    1,381
    299

    A Different World

    Lisa Bonet, Kadeem Hardison

    Premiered1987

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  • 4
    Sanford and Son
    1,410
    319

    Sanford and Son

    Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson

    Premiered1972

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  • 5
    Living Single
    1,216
    268

    Living Single

    Queen Latifah, Kim Coles

    Premiered1993

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  • 6
    The Jeffersons
    1,295
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    The Jeffersons

    Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley

    Premiered1975

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  • 7
    Family Matters
    1,367
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    Family Matters

    Reginald VelJohnson, Jaleel White

    Premiered1989

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  • 8
    In Living Color
    1,192
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    In Living Color

    Keenen Ivory Wayans, Jim Carrey

    Premiered1990

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  • 9
    My Wife and Kids
    1,549
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    My Wife and Kids

    Damon Wayans, Tisha Campbell-Martin

    Premiered2001

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  • 10
    The Bernie Mac Show
    1,460
    409

    The Bernie Mac Show

    Bernie Mac, Kellita Smith

    Premiered2001

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  • 11
    Everybody Hates Chris
    1,661
    479

    Everybody Hates Chris

    Terry Crews, Tichina Arnold

    Premiered2005

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  • 12
    Good Times
    1,445
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    Good Times

    BernNadette Stanis, Ralph Carter

    Premiered1974

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  • 13
    Sister, Sister
    1,010
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    Sister, Sister

    Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Tamera Mowry-Housley

    Premiered1994

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  • 14
    The Cosby Show
    1,764
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    The Cosby Show

    Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad

    Premiered1984

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  • 15
    The Wayans Bros.
    1,024
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    The Wayans Bros.

    Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans

    Premiered1995

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  • 16
    The Jamie Foxx Show
    996
    284

    The Jamie Foxx Show

    Jamie Foxx, Garrett Morris

    Premiered1996

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  • 17
    The Boondocks
    1,077
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    The Boondocks

    Regina King, John Witherspoon

    Premiered2005

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  • 18
    The Proud Family
    1,018
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    The Proud Family

    Kyla Pratt, Tommy Davidson

    Premiered2001

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  • 19
    Moesha
    833
    250

    Moesha

    Brandy Norwood, William Allen Young

    Premiered1996

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  • 20
    Girlfriends
    879
    297

    Girlfriends

    Tracee Ellis Ross, Golden Brooks

    Premiered2000

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  • 21
    Black-ish
    1,106
    375

    Black-ish

    Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross

    Premiered2014

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  • 22
    The Steve Harvey Show
    818
    258

    The Steve Harvey Show

    Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer

    Premiered1996

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  • 23
    227
    610
    224

    227

    Helen Martin, Marla Gibbs

    Premiered1985

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  • 24
    Diff'rent Strokes
    759
    320

    Diff'rent Strokes

    Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges

    Premiered1978

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  • 25
    The Parkers
    708
    249

    The Parkers

    Mo'Nique, Dorien Wilson

    Premiered1999

    Mo'Nique,  Countess Vaughn, Dorien Wilson, Yvette Wilson, Jenna von Oy, Ken Lawson
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