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Greatest Sitcom Episodes
The 70's TV Comedy Archive

These are the episodes of sitcoms that I enjoy the most:

The top sitcom episode of all time is the
The Odd Couple-"The New Car". 
To give this a number is an insult because it is in a class by itself.  I don't think there is an episode of any show funnier than this.  The way Felix says "Forza Del Destino" is hilarious and the scene where Oscar rolls the drunk out of the street is side splitting.


"Woodrow!, You came here with teeth!"

No. 1---Sanford and Son-"The Engagement"
Of all my years of sitcom watching this is probably the funniest single half-hour I have ever seen.  This is one of the few sitcom episodes that absolutely makes me lose it everytime I see it.  Has the single funniest line in history "Woodrow!, You came here with teeth!"  I don't think anybody could come up with anything as funny ever again. Just the whole hopeless situation with Fred hating his relatives and the relative hating his fiancee is great.  Lamont just sits on the stairs and stays out of everyone's way, he knows it's going to be a riot.  In fact a priest thinks there is a riot going on when he finally shows up to the party. 


No. 2---Laverne and Shirley-"Not Quite South of the Border"
Such a funny premise.  The girls go to a seedy resort and don't even have a fourth wall in their room.  A goat keeps jumping in and out of the room and they have another roomate who keeps running to the bathroom, plus the pool is a kiddie pool that is standing room only.  Then the room nearly blows away as they girls are torn through a tropical storm.  The amount of situations and their reactions to it are what makes this a classic.
No. 3---Sanford and Son-"Blind Mello Jelly"
This is the episode where Fred and Bubba try to get back some old blues records from a library where they traded them in.  Fred really couldn't part with the records (but he'll part with them if you really want him too), which happened at Lamont's urging, so he dresses up Bubba as the son of the artist on the records.  The classic line in this is, "I want my daddy's records", which is Bubba's.  The scene when Lamonst acts all sophisticated to negotiate the sale of the records to a distinguished dealer is hilarious.
No. 4---Three's Company-"The Bake-off"
This is the episode where Chrissy eats the pie that Jack baked by accident.  He was going to enter it into a contest, but she didn't know and ate one piece. When Janet catches her, she tells her to get rid of it.  Not knowing how to handle the situation Chrissy eats the entire pie.  The sight of Chrissy stuffing large amounts of pie in her mouth are classic.  The pie fight at the end when everybody gives up at the contest is a classic scene too.


No. 5---One day at a time-"A Visit from Dad"
"I'm scared..."
You can really feel the desperation of Ann Romano at the end of this episode. A great performance by Bonnie Franklin as she has an argument with her ex-husband.  She finally lays all the feelings down and this was a final closure to their relationship.  Ann says to herself, "I'm scared..." over and over as the episode fades out, someone who seemed strong for nearly a half hour now is totally on her own and shows that she really has weaknesses. A fantastic episode.  Actually not very comedic, but that's okay too.
No. 6---Laverne and Shirley-"The Beatnik show"
Watch for Art Garfunkel as a tree.  Laverne's reaction to this is classic she hums Dixie while running her index finger up and down her lips.  Shirley tries to become a beatnik while hanging out down at a coffeebar.  She tries to drag Laverne along and turns the apartment into a shrine to beat poets.  Really cool show because it puts L and S in the period.  Very early sixites. Shirley's dance is very funny. 
No. 7---All in the Family-"Edith's 50th Birthday", part 1
This is the episode where Edith gets raped.  A ground breaking episode, a topic that had never been talked about before.  This is one of those edgy All in the Family episodes.  The show had been getting into a rut for a few years with problems behind the scenes and uninspired episodes, but this season the eight in 1977 was a comeback.  The build up of Edith trying to reject the rapist is disorienting and the finale of her throwing the burnt roast at the man and escaping was a triumphant release.  The freeze frame a la Doctor Who at the end was a tense moment captured in time.
No. 8---All in the Family-"Archie is Branded"
"You run us out of our home, with your lousy rotten kitchen timer!"
This is the episode where someone draws a swastika on the door, thinking the Bunker's are Jewish, which they are not, and the Jewish Defense League guy comes over  to investigate.  Trying to figure out who did this the Bunkers think they are marked for death and a box of cigars from Archie's cousin is thought to be a bomb because they mistake the sound of a kitchen timer as coming from the box.  The cigars are thrown in the sink and washed out, hence the classic line above. Eventually,the JDL man gets blown up in his car.  A haunting poignant sitcom moment.


No. 9---All in the Family-"Archie's Bitter Pill, pt. 1"
"I never wanted to hurt nobody, Edith..."
Another classic from the eighth season of AITF, in a shocking move, Archie tries uppers to stay up late nights at the bar.  He soon becomes addicted and acts eratically like clearing the front stoop instead of climbing it.  In Archie and addict style he denies his addiction but finally breaks down in the end and confesses, his desperation on repeating the line above gives the episode great finality.  A towering performance by O'Connor.
No. 10---Three's Company-"Upstairs, Downstairs"
Legend has it, this is the first episode that was filmed in one take, an astounding performance by John Ritter as Jack has to juggle three dates on three different floors. Amazing!!!
No. 11---Mary Tyler Moore-"Happy Birthday, Lou"
"Mary , I've finally thought of a theme for this party...HATRED!"
One of the funniest half-hours in Tv history.  It's Lou's birthday but he doesn't want anyone to know, but everyone does, so they make a fuss anyway, and Lou gets even more embarrased than before.  Then they trick him into a party, and he catches on but it's too late to make a getaway as everyone he knows is outside.  He refuses to let them in and everyone outside gets restless.
No. 12---Mary Tyler Moore-"Ted Baxter's Famous Broadcasters School"
"Who is this guy? What are we doing here?"
The best Ted episode as he tries to open a school for people like him, (probably the first step in Ted's ego domination of the world).  The problem is only one person enrolls in the school. The gang has to still go over and show their faces.


No. 13---Mary Tyler moore-"Mary's bad day"
"I was going to look so much better than this..."
One bad thing lead to another as Mary has a very bad day.  She falls in the newsroom and twists her ankle and then Ted bangs it on the door as he is carrying her out, then she gets sick and has to go to the Teddy's anyway.  Well, she tried to look good!
No. 14---What's Happening-"Doobie or Not Doobie"
The gang get involved in a illegal taping scam at the Doobies Bros concert, and the band finds out when Rerun drops the recorder.  A great fun "seventies" show.
No. 15---What's Happening-"Rerun sees the light"
"Oom, shalla boom, shok, shok!"
This follows the Doobies in the second season, WH's strongest.  Rerun gets involved with a religious cult.  His prancing and carrying on is hilarious.  The best part is when mama acts as a reincarnation of their god and scares the congregation away.


No. 16---Good Times-"Black Jesus".
Out of all the Good Times episodes this probably represents the show best.  Florida's religious convictions, JJ's painting talents, Michael's political beliefs, and James's drive to always get ahead.  The show is all resolved nicely in the end, with every character realizing what they need to do.