Remember These Old Sitcoms

Watching old sitcoms can generate waves of nostalgia. Maybe you first enjoyed these programs gathered around the TV with your family and a big bowl of popcorn. Perhaps you remember turning them on when you came home from school.

The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Dick Van Dyke Show, which ran from 1961 to 1966, featured an interesting premise: The show gave people an inside view of how a TV show is made. Dick Van Dyke played Rob Petrie, a comedy writer for a TV variety show. Mary Tyler Moor played his wife, Laura.

The show relied a lot on Van Dyke's physical comedy. He was forever tripping over things, such as his ottoman, and performing sight gags. Occasionally the end of program featured "integrated" commercials where the stars of the show appeared in spots for the sponsors.

Mary Tyler Moore
If you haven't watched Mary Tyler Moore videos or reruns, you're missing one of the landmark TV shows of all time. This breakthrough sitcom ran from 1970 to 1977. It was the first TV show to have a single career woman as its main character. Watching Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) interact with her boss Lou (Edward Asner) at the fictional WJM-TV never fails to make people laugh. The self-centered Ted Baxter (Ted Knight) and clueless Sue Ann Nivens (Betty White) added to the fun, as did Mary's sarcastic friend Rhoda (Valerie Harper), who got a TV series of her own.

The ABC sitcom Bewitched featured Elizabeth Montgomery as a witch who marries a hapless mortal man, played by Dick York (and later by Dick Sargent), who whisks her off to a life in suburbia. Unfortunately, she has to hide her magical powers from everyone but her husband. This leads to many hilarious situations when the magical spells go awry. The special effects were state of the art for their time. While many of them don't quite hold up today, the situations in the show are still funny.

The Andy Griffith Show
In The Andy Griffith Show, Andy Griffith plays the title character in this charming portrayal of life in small town Mayberry. With Don Knotts as Barney Fife and Ron Howard as Opie, viewers watched the comings and goings of the characters for eight years. The shows appeal was in its gentleness, and the simple joy of living in a town where pies cool on the windows and everything is solved with a smile and a handshake within a half hour.

Hogans Heroes
You wouldn't think a program set in a WWII German prison camp would be funny, but Hogan's Heroes was. The program aired on CBS from 1965 to 1971 and featured a crew of allied prisoners lead by Col. Robert E. Hogan, played by Bob Crane. Each episode found Hogan's men attempting to escape from Stalag 13 or causing problems for their Nazi captors.

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