Classic Sitcoms From The 1980s That Still Make Us Laugh
By Sophia Maddox | February 2, 2024
The 1980s provided homes all around the globe with some of the most memorable TV sitcoms in history. These timeless shows not only brought laughter into living rooms but also left an indelible mark on pop culture. If you doubt the impact that many '80s sitcoms continue to have on the world around you, consider how many times you hear a retro theme song used in a modern commercial, how many reboots and spinoffs you see today, and how often you hear people quoting signature catchphrases.
Family dynamics and workplace escapades took center stage in '80s sitcoms. Meanwhile, the characters became our extended family, and their catchphrases echoed in our daily conversations. Let's take a trip down memory lane as we revisit some of the standout '80s sitcoms that have left an enduring legacy, proving that laughter truly knows no expiration date.
Sometimes, you want to go where everybody knows your name, and creators James Burrows and Glen Charles made that possible when they brought the colorful ensemble of bartenders and patrons from "Cheers" into our living rooms. The show’s star, Ted Danson, played Sam Malone, a charming ex-baseball player turned bartender, whose charisma ultimately set the tone for the series.
However, a show about a baseball player-turned-bartender wouldn’t be enough to form a lasting impact on its own. That’s where the cast of "Cheers" comes into play. The show is still a legendary example of '80s sitcom history thanks in large part to the interactions between the customers who frequented the bar and the staff that worked there. Whether it’s the intellectual musings of Cliff Clavin or the marital complaints of Norm Peterson, the relatable characters found on “Cheers” cemented this show’s position in pop culture history.
The Golden Girls
Premiering in 1985, it is another example of a show that has stood the test of time. The refreshing blend of humor, heart, and lasting friendship continues to offer a source of joy for people all around the world. The show revolved around a stellar cast that included Bea Arthur (Dorothy), Betty White (Rose), Estelle Getty (Sophia), and Rue McClanahan (Blanche), who played four older ladies who, through a variety of reasons, found themselves single and sharing a roof.
In addition to being comedy gold, “The Golden Girls” also tackled some major societal issues that continue to be prevalent in our modern world, nearly 40 years after its debut. Whether it was Rose’s AIDS scare, Blanche grappling with her own unrecognized homophobia, or the underlying theme of ageism, “The Golden Girls” makes you want to look at someone you love and thank them for being a friend.