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Best Comedy Sitcoms of The 1950s

Updated on April 27, 2017

Black and White TV Classics

Dennis the Menace was an instant hit in the 1950s television boom. Cartoons, comic strips, movies and toys soon followed.
Dennis the Menace was an instant hit in the 1950s television boom. Cartoons, comic strips, movies and toys soon followed. | Source
The Honeymooners starred Jackie Gleason and America tuned in to:    "To the moon, Alice"
The Honeymooners starred Jackie Gleason and America tuned in to: "To the moon, Alice" | Source
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet debuted in 1952 before a live audience.
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet debuted in 1952 before a live audience. | Source
The Abbott and Costello show first aired in 1952 and it aired a total of 52 episodes with, several guest appearances.
The Abbott and Costello show first aired in 1952 and it aired a total of 52 episodes with, several guest appearances. | Source
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis first aired in 1959 showing a total of 147 episodes during the shows run.
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis first aired in 1959 showing a total of 147 episodes during the shows run. | Source

10 Classic Sitcoms from The 50s

1. Dennis the Menace (1959) This show aired from 1959 until 1963 and was based on the Comic Strip of the same name. Dennis Mitchell is a talkative, energetic boy who often gets in trouble with his neighbor, Mr. Wilson. Dennis lives with his mom and dad and his female enemy is Margaret. The sitcom was set in a fictional town in California and it aired (146) one hundred forty six episodes. This show has also had comic strips, cartoons and several movies made about Dennis the Menace. My grandparents used to always save the newspaper for me. The one particular comic that they would save for me was Dennis the Menace.

2. Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952) This sitcom aired from 1952 until 1966 and it starred the Nelson family. The show originally aired on radio before reinventing itself for television. The majority of the show was at their house and besides Ozzie and Harriet the sitcom also featured issues with their two sons. Even though the sitcom was not a realistic portrayal of family life it was still very funny nonetheless. I was not alive in 1952 when this show came out so, I have to rely on the eye witness account of my grandfather or father. I took their word for it. I went to YouTube and found some clips of the show and watched them and really laughed a lot.

3. The Honeymooners (1955) This show only aired for (1) one complete season and had (39) thirty nine episodes shown. Jackie Gleason (Ralph Kramden) lives with wife Alice and his neighbors Ed and Trixie Norton are always involved in the hi jinx. Gleason had another show entitled The Jackie Gleason Show and he made new sketches of The Honeymooners occasionally. This sitcom has been used as a parody for over fifteen years. It is a classic "To The Moon, Alice!"

4. The Abbott and Costello Show (1952) Bud Abbott and Lou Costello starred in this sitcom for two seasons and airing fifty two episodes in the process. The show had a premise even though it was hollow. They were unemployed actors living in an apartment. A Chimp was actually part of the show until it bit Costello on set and they had to let it go. These two guys were like peas in a pod. They made a great comedy team.

5. Amos and Andy (1951) Although this comedy series only aired from 1951 until 1953 it was a classic. The show started out on radio before, taking on the television market. The show centers on two guys living on a farm in Atlanta, Georgia who want to make it rich. Each episode usually features the duo trying to get rich quick only to fall down broke in the funniest of ways. For it's time this was a groundbreaking sitcom and everybody knew who Amos and Andy.

6. The Phil Silvers Show (1955) This sitcom ran for (4) four seasons and showed (143) one hundred forty three episodes during that time. Phil Silvers played as Sergeant Bilko from the U.S. Army. The show is set in a fictional town in Kansas on an Army base. This show, like Amos and Andy focuses on get rich quick schemes and plots. A movie named Sergeant Bilko, was released starring, Steve Martin and it was based on Phil Silvers' character.

7. The People's Choice (1955) This television series made (104) one hundred four episodes during it's three season run. The show is set in a fake city in California and stars Jackie Cooper as Sock Miller. Part of the show documents Socks wisecracking Basset hound. This dog makes fun of his owner constantly. Jackie Cooper made this show. The premise is very dumb but, Cooper manages to pull his weight.

8. The Bob Cummings Show (1955) This sitcom produced (173) one hundred seventy three shows in five seasons and focuses on the life of Bob Collins (Cummings). The show is very risque for it's time with Cummings playing as a womanizing photographer who usually gets his way. The show was full of laughter mixed with romance. Television was just different in the 50s vs. the television of the 21st century.

9. The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959) This situation comedy aired for (4) four seasons showing (147) one hundred forty seven classics on television. The show starred Dwayne Hickman as Dobie and Bob Denver as his best friend. The show was corny no doubt but, it was funny nonetheless. Reruns of this show still air and it's even been adapted to DVD and also a television movie. You could never get young people today to watch shows from the 50s. There is too much of a generation gap. A lot of things have changed since those times.

10. Mister Peepers (1952) This sitcom had (127) one hundred twenty seven episodes but, only (102) one hundred two are surviving. It was on the air three seasons and starred Wally Cox as Mr. Peepers. Peepers was a jr. high school science teacher who had a problem with all his numb skull students. This is another television show that I have to look up on YouTube because, I wasn't born in 1952. Times were much simpler back then.

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© 2013 Buster Johnson

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    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 4 years ago

      My parents refused to buy us a TV set because they thought we would neglect our homework, or else they were too cheap. I'm not sure which. I used to go to my girlfriend's house and watch Dobie Gillis with her. Sure brings back memories. Good research; good hub. Voted up.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      Awesome list, as usually. I am a fan of Dennis The Menace - it 's silly, but never gets old :-)