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The 10 Longest-Running Sitcoms of All Time




Sitcoms, short for situational comedies, have been a staple of television programming for decades, offering audiences a dose of laughter and a break from the everyday hustle. They are like a breath of fresh air after a hectic and stressful day at work.

Over the years, we have been blessed with some of the worthiest sitcoms that are not only fun but heartwarming, and some of them have stood the test of time. If you are one of those people who like binge-watching shows and have been looking for some to have fun with, you have arrived at the right place.

In this article, we will explore everything that you potentially need to know about the 10 longest-running sitcoms in the United States and the United Kingdom, delving into their success, cultural impact, and what has allowed them to endure through the changing landscape of entertainment.

1. The Simpsons (1989 – present)

The Simpsons

Topping the list as the longest-running sitcom in the United States is “The Simpsons.” The show premiered in 1989, and this animated sitcom created by Matt Groening has become a cultural phenomenon. It is known for its relatability factor and for also being a “psychic” for estimating some of the world events even before they took place.

The show follows the Simpson family, led by the lovable but bumbling Homer, as they navigate the ups and downs of life in the fictional town of Springfield.

Despite 39 seasons and running, one thing about this show that has somehow managed to hold the audience’s attention is that they have kept the core elements static throughout. The show’s clever writing and some of the memorable characters make this a worthy watch.

2. F.R.I.E.N.D.S (1994-2004)


Following a decade-long run, F.R.I.E.N.D.S remains a show that people can watch re-runs of without getting bored. It has become a comfort show for millions of fans across the globe. The first season was released in 1994, this show created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman became a cultural phenomenon during its ten-season run.

Set in New York City, “Friends” follows the lives, relationships, and comedic misadventures of six friends – Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe. The chemistry among the cast, coupled with sharp writing and relatable storylines, contributed to the show’s massive success.

With Matthew Perry’s sudden death, several fans have expressed how hard watching the show would become for them in the future. However, this doesn’t take away from the fact that some of these characters have left behind a legacy that people will talk about in the decades to come.

3. Cheers (1982-1993)

Cheers (1982-1993)

With an 11-year run, Cheers is another long-running sitcom in the U.S. that deserves a shoutout. It was released in 1982; this sitcom created by James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles is set in a Boston bar and revolves around the lives of its staff and patrons.

If you are someone who’s a huge fan of witty dialogues and smart comebacks, this is a show you will love binge-watching. The success of “Cheers” can be attributed to its strong ensemble cast, led by Ted Danson as Sam Malone and Shelley Long as Diane Chambers.

Also, the show captivated the audience by exploring themes of friendship, love, and the pursuit of happiness, creating a relatable and enduring narrative. Ever since its ending, the fans have not failed to discuss more about the show and also hype it up as a benchmark.

4. M*A*S*H (1972-1983)

M*A*S*H (1972-1983)

Just because M*A*S*H was released in the ’70s and ’80s doesn’t mean it didn’t stand out with its versatility and intriguing storyline. There’s a reason why the show ran for 11 years and the amazing cast has played a huge role in that.

The show is set during the Korean War and it picks up on the characters of Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) as they navigate the challenges of war with humor and humanity. Despite its wartime setting “M*A*S*H” skillfully balanced comedy and drama, tackling serious issues with a touch of humor.

The blend of comedy and social commentary was new during that era, so it made sense that the audience loved watching the show and connected with the characters. Because it was released so many years back, getting your hands on the show can be a bit of a challenge now. But, if you do manage to find it, we’d recommend you watch it.

5. Frasier (1993-2004)

Frasier (1993-2004)

If you loved watching Cheers, you will 100% love watching the spin-off series inspired by it. The show follows the character Frasier Crane as he moves to Seattle to start a new life as a radio psychiatrist and it premiered in 1993. Kelsey Grammer’s portrayal of Frasier Crane earned him critical acclaim and several Emmy Awards.

Despite being a spin-off series, the show managed to catch the audience’s attention and retain it for the next decade. The show’s success lies in its ability to appeal to a broad audience while maintaining a level of sophistication that sets it apart from other sitcoms of its time.

If you are looking to watch something a bit different yet engaging and fun, this is one of those longest-running sitcoms that you have to pay close attention to.

6. Seinfield (1989-1998)

Seinfield (1989-1998)

Often dubbed as the “show about nothing,” “Seinfeld” is a sitcom that revolutionized television comedy. It was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the show premiered in 1989 and explores the life of Jerry Seinfeld and his friends.

It is not your traditional sitcom with unrealistic and hypothetical characters. Getting to witness the real-time expression and the engaging humor and show structure somehow managed to catch the attention of the viewers.

“Seinfeld” became a cultural touchstone, influencing the way comedies were written and produced. The show’s catchphrases, memorable characters, and exploration of everyday minutiae contributed to its enduring popularity. Even today, the show is celebrated, rewatched, and loved by the newer generations.

7. One Foot in the Grave (1990-2000)

One Foot in the Grave (1990-2000)

When we think of sitcoms, we often regard the U.S. television shows, as pushing aside the good ones that the U.K has to offer. “One Foot in the Grave” stands out as a classic and it premiered in 1990 and was directed by David Renwick.

The show followed the life of Victor Meldrew, a retiree who finds himself entangled in a series of absurd and comedic situations. Richard Wilson’s portrayal of Victor Meldrew earned him acclaim for his comedic timing and delivery.

If you are used to lighthearted comedy, you might find this sitcom offensive due to its dark humor and satirical comedic lines. The show’s success is due to its ability to capture the essence of the human experience through the lens of humor. To this day, the character of Victor Meldrew remains iconic.

8. Last of the Summer Wine (1973-2010)

Last of the Summer Wine (1973-2010)

When it comes to one of the longest-running sitcoms, this one stands out with its 31 seasons. The show was ideated by Roy Clarke, the show premiered in 1973 and continued for an impressive 31 seasons until 2010. Set in the fictional town of Holmfirth, the sitcom revolves around a group of elderly friends and their comedic adventures.

The reason behind the long run was that the show was able to adapt to changing times while maintaining the core elements that endeared it to audiences.

Watching this show feels like you are growing up with the characters, which is quite an elusive feeling to watch. It’s engaging, and the relatable characters with their light-hearted comedy somehow make the show worth it.

9. Dad’s Army (1968-1977)

Dad’s Army (1968-1977)

“Dad’s Army” is a British sitcom that stands as a testament to the enduring power of laughter in the face of adversity. Jimmy Perry and David Croft were behind the creation of the show and it premiered in 1968 and ran for nine seasons until 1977.

Despite the war elements in the show, it does have a fun element to it in the background, which characterizes it as a sitcom. The clever blend of humor and patriotism is what makes the show stand out.

Although the show ended in the 70s, you can’t deny the fact that it remains a public favorite and an iconic show to this day.

10. Only Fools and Horses (1981-2003)

Only Fools and Horses (1981-2003)

Last on the list of the popular longest-running sitcoms that deserve a shoutout is the one created by John Sullivan. Set in Peckham, London, the series follows the lives of the Trotter family, particularly brothers Del Boy and Rodney, as they navigate the ups and downs of working-class life.

The relatability factor of this show was what managed to make it stand out and leave a mark on the audience. The blend of heart and humor is another factor that managed to contribute to the show’s longevity.

When it comes to British comedy, you can be assured that Del Boy’s character, which is portrayed by David Jason, remains a classic.


Finding some of the longest-running sitcoms isn’t as complicated as you think. There are quite a few different ones to choose from and the majority of them have run for a decade or more. If you are planning a long binge-watching session, these are some of the shows that we will recommend you add to your “Watch Later” list.

James is the SEO Manager here at Patty360. He has worked as a content writer for various local and national news sites covering entertainment and tech.

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