Comedic Excellence: 7 Must-Watch Black Sitcoms for Every Comedy Fan

Black man laughing at black sitcoms on TV

Get ready to bust a gut and relive some of the most side-splitting moments in TV history! We have the ultimate countdown of the top 7 black sitcoms that will have you laughing until you cry. From the unforgettable antics of the Huxtable family to the uproarious escapades of the Winslows, get ready to be entertained, enlightened, and, most importantly, ROFLing. So grab some snacks, get comfy on the couch, and jump into the hilarious world of black sitcoms. Are you ready to take a trip down memory lane and revisit the shows that kept us all glued to our screens? Let’s get started!

#1 Black-ish (2014-2022)

Get ready to laugh out loud with Black-ish, the hit sitcom that took the world by storm! This hilarious show, which you can watch on Hulu, follows the ups and downs of a modern American family as they navigate life, love, and all the crazy challenges that come their way. With a star-studded cast (led by Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross) and razor-sharp writing, Black-ish is the perfect blend of wit, humor, and heart. From its clever observations on race and culture to its laugh-out-loud moments that will have you rolling on the floor, Black-ish is a modern sitcom that will go down as one of the greatest.

#2 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996)

In the early 90s, a new sitcom hit the airwaves and changed the game forever. That show was none other than The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air! Created by the legendary Quincy Jones and starring the one and only Will Smith, this show quickly became a cultural phenomenon.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (and the show’s lyrics) first aired on NBC back in 1990 and ran for an impressive six seasons. The show follows the adventures of a street-smart kid from West Philadelphia named Will, who is sent to live with his wealthy relatives in Bel-Air after getting into a fight. With his unique style and quick wit, Will quickly became a fan favorite, and viewers couldn’t get enough of his hilarious antics.

Of course, Will wasn’t the only star of the show. The supporting cast was just as amazing, including characters like Carlton, Hillary, and Uncle Phil. Each character brought their own unique personality to the show, and together they created a dynamic that was truly unforgettable. Perhaps the biggest reason for the show’s success was the chemistry between the cast members. They truly felt like a family, and viewers couldn’t help but fall in love with them. And let’s not forget the iconic theme song, which still gets stuck in our heads to this day!

#3 Family Matters (1992-1997)

Family Matters is a classic sitcom that aired from 1989 to 1998, starring the iconic Steve Urkel, played by Jaleel White. The show follows the Winslow family and their wacky neighbors in Chicago. From Urkel’s nerdy antics to his love for Laura Winslow, Family Matters kept audiences laughing for years. The show’s cast also includes the charming Carl Winslow, played by Reginald VelJohnson, and the sassy Harriette Winslow, played by Jo Marie Payton. With a mix of heartwarming family moments and hilarious comedy, Family Matters is a must-watch for anyone in need of a good laugh.

#4 Living Single (1993-1998)

So many great pieces of cinematic art came out in the 1990s, including Living Single. Living Single was a hilarious sitcom that aired from 1993-1998. The show revolved around six friends living in a Brooklyn brownstone and their hilarious hijinks as they navigated their way through life and love. The show’s stars were absolutely fabulous, with Queen Latifah playing the confident and sassy Khadijah James and Kim Coles playing the hilarious and lovable Synclaire James-Jones. Erika Alexander brought a fierce attitude to her role as the tough attorney Maxine Shaw, while T.C. Carson played the charming and smooth Kyle Barker. Living Single was a true gem of ’90s television and is still beloved by fans today.  

#5  A Different World (1987-1993)

A Different World is another of the great black sitcoms. It aired from 1987 to 1993. The show was created by Bill Cosby and produced by Susan Fales-Hill. It was a spin-off of The Cosby Show and focused on the experiences of students at a fictional historically black college, Hillman College. The show starred Jasmine Guy as Whitley Gilbert, Kadeem Hardison as Dwayne Wayne, and Cree Summer as Freddie Brooks. Other notable stars included Lisa Bonet and Jada Pinkett Smith. Audiences still love the show today for its humor, representation of black culture, and tackling of important social issues such as racism, HIV/AIDS, and sexual harassment.

#6 Girlfriends (2000-2008)

Girlfriends was a hilarious sitcom that aired on UPN and later The CW, running from 2000 to 2008. The show starred Tracee Ellis Ross, Golden Brooks, Persia White, and Jill Marie Jones, who played a group of four close friends navigating their personal and professional lives in Los Angeles. The chemistry between the leading ladies was undeniable, and their witty banter and hilarious antics kept audiences laughing throughout the show’s eight-season run. Whether they were dealing with relationships, work, or just life in general, these girlfriends always had each other’s backs, making for a heartwarming and extremely funny series.

#7 The Cosby Show (1984-1992)

No list of black sitcoms would be complete without what was perhaps one of the greatest shows of all time. The Cosby Show is a classic sitcom that aired from 1984 to 1992, starring the legendary Bill Cosby as Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable. The show revolved around the Huxtable family, consisting of Cliff, his wife Claire (played by Phylicia Rashad), and their five children. Cosby’s comedic timing and natural charm made him the perfect leading man, while Rashad’s portrayal of Claire added a strong and relatable female perspective. The show’s humor was family-friendly and often focused on the everyday struggles of parenting and family life. Its legacy includes breaking down barriers for black actors and reshaping the sitcom genre into a more inclusive and diverse space. Unfortunately, the show’s reputation has been dimmed by the exposure of the leading man, Bill Cosby. Nonetheless, The Cosby Show continues to provide hours of laughs and wholesome entertainment for fans around the world.

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