The sitcom is practically as old as the television medium itself — a comedy that provides laughs and inspires sentimental feelings before wrapping up in a quick 30 minutes (with commercial breaks). Hulu shines brightest with its sitcom selection, ranging from full seasons of the greatest sitcoms of all time to current episodes of sitcoms that may have aired as recently as the night before. There’s no better streaming service to get your sitcom fix than Hulu. But what are the best options? Here are the best sitcoms available on Hulu right now.
The Simpsons has the longevity and Family Guy has the controversy, but Bob’s Burgers is the Fox animated sitcom that has captured hearts. The Belcher family is always getting into hijinks, but instead of being grounded in surrealism or inappropriate humor, they are grounded in the heartfelt love of a family just trying to hang on through each day. Each character comes with their quirks and flaws, and all have redeemable qualities, including those outside the core family, from the clingy Teddy to the shy yet sometimes tenacious Regular-Sized Rudy. The show is popular enough to have a full-length film in development, and Fox has a staple for their animation block for years to come.
Created by: Loren Bouchard
Cast: H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman
Number of seasons: 11
What’s the deal with Seinfeld? If you’re asking that question, you’re likely sick of not being in on the joke as your friends have been quoting the sitcom ad nauseam for weeks on end. The eponymous show from the mind of Jerry Seinfeld is often considered one of the best sitcoms and one of the best television shows of all time, full stop. Don’t expect big subjects to be tackled, however, as the writers often focus on the little rites and slights of daily life. The finale of the show is polarizing (to say the least) and some of the main stars of the show could never surpass what they did on Seinfeld, but by the end of this binge, you’ll understand why you always say “yada, yada, yada” to skip over the lame parts of stories you tell your friends. Just note, Seinfeld will be moving over to Netflix at some point in 2021.
Created by: Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld
Cast: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander
Number of seasons: 9
A more modern take on the sitcom, Modern Family ran for over a decade on ABC prior to its conclusion in 2020. The show helped popularize the mockumentary style of sitcom, with characters often talking to the camera to reveal inner thoughts. The early seasons of the show demonstrated a sharp wit and a propensity for visual gags funnier than anything on television at the time. Later seasons further developed and extended the family, sometimes trading laughs for a deepening love of the family, which was somehow both unusual in construction and successful in reaching a form of universality. Sofia Vergara and Ty Burrell are among the many actors set for bigger and better things in the wake of a sitcom that will likely continue to be praised among the best of its decade.
Created by: Christopher Lloyd, Steven Levitan
Cast: Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet
Number of seasons: 11
Andy Samberg’s musical interludes on Saturday Night Live are the stuff of legend, but his greatest contribution to television is playing Jake Peralta in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The cop sitcom takes a beat to get into, but once you’re hooked, it’s “cool cool cool cool cool cool.” Like other strong sitcoms of the era, Brooklyn Nine-Nine finds its jokes in the complex humanity of its characters, from the too-cool Peralta to Andre Braugher’s stern captain, Raymond Holt. There are no characters on the team worth rooting against, not even the laughable Scully and Hitchcock. The show has survived one cancellation, although it’s set to draw to an end once more in 2021. It faces its most challenging test in the final season as police brutality moves to the center of the cultural conversation, but the show has already told profound tales of racial profiling and should be able to navigate these waters.
Created by: Dan Goor, Michael Schur
Cast: Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero
Number of seasons: 7
How I Met Your Mother
This sitcom was, in a word: Legendary. HIMYM follows five 20-something friends in New York as they explore life and love, particularly with one another. The casting of Neil Patrick Harris as playboy Barney Stinson was inspired, with Barney becoming one of the most iconic sitcom characters of the 21st century (so far). The show gave us a couple worth rooting for (Marshall and Lily) and a “will they or won’t they” couple (Ted and Robin) that divided fans throughout the season’s run, right up until the very end. Plus, Bob Saget narrated the whole series! The conceit of the show can feel forced at times, and fans who enjoy the first 207 episodes may find themselves very frustrated by episode No. 208. But the show is good for laughs, as well as the capturing of New York City at an invigorating point in time.
Created by: Carter Bays, Craig Thomas
Cast: Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan
Number of seasons: 9
Everybody Hates Chris
There’s a long line of autobiographical sitcoms telling the story of how a famous person grew up; NBC is airing one now in Young Rock, about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. One of the best of all time, however, involves a different Rock: Chris Rock. Everybody Hates Chris tells the story of Chris Rock’s upbringing, with the comedian narrating the story himself. Tyler James Williams plays Chris in a way that feels earnest and sincere, completely unaware of the celebrity Chris Rock would ultimately become. Many of the show’s scenes are completely stolen, however, by Chris’ parents, played by Tichina Arnold and Terry Crews. Everybody Hates Chris was kicked around a couple of networks while it aired, likely contributing to a brisk four-season run. Because it is the year 2021, a reboot (animated) is reportedly in the works.
Created by: Chris Rock, Ali LeRoi
Cast: Tyler James Williams, Tichina Arnold, Terry Crews
Number of seasons: 4
Hospitals are infamously unfunny, and many shows have tried to capture their comical side to mixed results. Scrubs succeeded where other shows failed because it was never afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve. People die in the show. Patients can’t be treated or saved. Characters suffer real loss. Yet the show can jump from devastation in one moment to a fantasy sequence in the imagination of J.D. (Zach Braff) in the next without losing viewers along the way. Scrubs has the best “bromance” in sitcom history, between J.D. and Turk (Donald Faison), as well as one of sitcom’s most underrated gags, Ted the hapless lawyer (played by the late Sam Lloyd) crooning around the hospital in an a capella group. The last two seasons, which aired on ABC after moving over from NBC, didn’t strike the same chord as the first seven seasons but are still worth watching to see where the original characters end up.
Created by: Bill Lawrence
Cast: Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke, John C. McGinley
Number of seasons: 9
The Golden Girls
If the immortal Betty White doesn’t outlive us all, The Golden Girls will. It seems silly in retrospect, but it was a risk at the time to center a sitcom around a group of older women figuring out the next steps of their lives. The women cast in the show, like White, Bea Arthur, and Rue McClanahan, however, helped the show surpass the wildest of expectations. The show was filled with the warmth of friendship between the ladies, but they were never afraid to tell each other how they really felt about the others’ attitudes and actions. It’s a shame there aren’t more shows that follow the blueprint left by The Golden Girls, but by the end of this binge, you’ll be thanking the series for being a friend.
Created by: Susan Harris
Cast: Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty
Number of seasons: 7
The ubiquitous popularity of Jaleel White’s Steve Urkel obscured what was otherwise a very pure show. The relationships on Family Matters felt wholesome and developed organically, and the love and chemistry between the cast members came through each episode. The series typified the sitcom genre at the time, with several “very special episodes,” including ones that tackled gun control and racial stereotyping by the police. The cherry on top of the series, of course, was Steve Urkel, the zany nerd whose catchphrase “Did I do that?” remains ever-present to this day. Things did get a little too zany at times, such as when Urkel cloned himself into the suave Stefan Urquelle, who himself becomes a recurring character on the show. Even through those crazy times, the heart of the show was always at the forefront.
Created by: William Bickley, Michael Warren
Cast: Reginald VelJohnson, Jo Marie Payton, Darius McCrary, Jaleel White
Number of seasons: 9
Superstore didn’t find its footing immediately when it debuted in 2015, mostly banking on the star power of America Ferrera to carry the day. As the sitcom about employees at a big-box store went on, however, it began to find its voice, particularly in regards to its diverse representation. There are BIPOC characters, LGBTQ+ characters, and disabled characters, all of whom are able to develop without their differences diving into the stereotyping so often seen in the media. The cast isn’t full of a lot of big names, but their talents and the way they play off one another is obvious. Additionally, the show took on a renewed sense of importance this season, as national respect for essential workers grew from the coronavirus pandemic. Superstore recently aired its series finale, but it is the type of show that seems set to grow in stature well into the future.
Created by: Justin Spitzer
Cast: America Ferrera, Mark McKinney, Ben Feldman, Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn
Number of seasons: 6
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