5. 'Roseanne' (1988-1997)
When the producers of The Cosby Show decided to build a series around a working class white family, Roseanne Barr was the ideal choice for the show's focal point. The result was the best blue-collar sitcom since All in the Family, taking Barr's abrasive "domestic goddess" act and running with it; she seemed like she was born to play the strong-willed, outspoken head of a Midwestern family struggling to make ends meet. Like the producer-star herself, Roseanne was unafraid to tackle typically sitcom-averse issues — domestic violence, mental illness, gay family members — and the show's portrayal of two working parents eking out a paycheck-to-paycheck existence struck as much of a chord with viewers as Barr's sarcastic humor did. It paved the way for other similar, and similarly successful, shows like Grace Under Fire, which featured stand-up comic Brett Butler as a working class single mom. But nobody did it better than Barr.