70's Television Sitcoms
If you remember back in time about 3 decades or more, I bet you can recall a great many 70's sitcoms that were very successful. As a matter of fact, several of the more successful 70's sitcoms are playing on television today. Here is a short list of 70's sitcoms that might be playing on your TV as you read this: Welcome Back Kotter, Happy Days, M*A*S*H, Laverne & Shirley and Good Times to name just a few funny TV shows from that era.
Happy Days, which brought back the 50’s generation into everybody’s living room was a major success with one of televisions most memorable characters (Fonzi). Every week this 70’s sitcom brought us into the Cunningham household where many of us got to grow up with the naïve Richie Cunningham as well as characters like Arthur Mozzarella (The Fonz), Ralph Malph, Potsie Webber and Lavern & Shirley before they got their own popular TV sitcom.
Happy Days was such a big hit it would spin off several other very popular 70’s sitcoms, including: Lavern & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Joanie Loves Chachi, Out of the Blue and Blansky‘s Beauties. While not as controversial as many of the 80’s sitcoms, Happy Days along with many of the other 70’s sitcoms would bring along a new line of humor to television viewers across the country. The antics of Richie, Ralph Malph and Potsie would almost always get one or all three friends into difficult, but funny, situations that could happen to just about anyone, but Fonzi was always there to save the day for them.
The 70’s sitcom spin-off of Laverne & Shirley, ended up being almost as popular as Happy Days. Both 70’s TV sitcoms were produced by Penny Marshall’s (Lavern) brother Garry Marshall. Like Happy Days, Lavern & Shirley took place in 1950’s Milwaukee. Many of you may remember that Shirley Feeney and Laverne DeFazio were introduced to Ritchie Cunningham by Fonzi on Happy Days and would be love interests for Ritchie and the Fonz. In Laverne & Shirley, the girls shared an apartment in Milwaukee and worked at a Milwaukee brewery along with their super funny friends, Lenny & Sqiggy. The very funny 70’s sitcom focuses on the lives of Laverne & Shirley and how their two totally opposite personalities make for some uproarious situations that the two girls always find themselves getting into.
The 70`s television sitcom, Good Times took place in a Chicago housing project and dealt with the life of the Evan`s family. Good Times was one of the first weekly televised sitcoms that dealt with blue collar African Americans being shown living in very poor conditions. It showed how the Evan`s family, trying to get out of the projects, dealt with their impoverished living conditions and how they did whatever it took for them to survive. It was brilliant how the writers of this popular 70’s sitcom would add the element of comedy throughout all of Good Times episodes.
The 70`s TV sitcom, Welcome Back Kotter portrayed comedian Gabe Kaplan as a wise cracking teacher, who returns to his Brooklyn, New York roots to teach a bunch of smart-mouthed trouble makers. A little known fact about Welcome Back Kotter is that most of the characters in the very successful TV show were based on people from Gabe Kaplan's teenage years as a New York City remedial student. He managed to get through to Vinnie Barbarino, Arnold Horshack, Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington and Juan Luis Pedro Phillippo DeHuevos Epstein by befriending the motley crew, but by no means, this did put a halt to the non-stop comical classroom antics.
M*A*S*H, the TV version of the Academy Award winning movie of the same name was an Emmy Award winning (14 in all) 70`s sitcom that brought the reality of war (laced with humor) into our homes on a weekly basis. Many of the television sitcom’s episodes are based on real-life stories gotten from former Mash surgeons. Army surgeons, B.J. Hunnicutt and Hawkeye Pierce were two of the 70’s sitcom’s many main characters who brought to light the shocking horror’s and trauma’s that many soldiers lived through during the war. Some of the other colorful character’s in M*A*S*H were Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan, Father John Patrick Francis Mulcahy, Maxwell Q. Klinger (cross dresser) and of course Radar. These along with many other characters brought with them a great deal of fun and laughter to go along with the serious situations encountered in a war zone. This 70’s sitcom enlightened the world on what war was like for the doctors and nurses in a war zone. M*A*S*H was so successful, it has been rated among the best 70‘s sitcoms as well as one of the best 80‘s sitcoms.
These are but a few of the many popular and successful 70's TV sitcoms. The list of 70’s sitcoms is quite large, but I just noted a few of my favorites. The 70's may have come and gone, but people are still watching 70’s sitcoms everyday.
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