12 Best Sitcoms Starring Stand-Ups

From 'Seinfeld' to 'Louie,' these are the shows that proved comics could make it on the small screen

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7. 'The Bob Newhart Show' (1972-1978)

Newhart was already a legend by the time he bagged his own sitcom in 1972 — his debut album, The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart, had knocked Elvis Presley off the top of the charts 12 years earlier. And oddly enough, the comedian's low-key, stammering, "solo straight man" style was a surprisingly perfect fit for Seventies TV. While so many other sitcoms of the day attempted to push the envelope with edgy humor and outrageous protagonists, the show's Robert Hartley was a stoic Midwestern psychologist who served as a bemused foil to a cast of characters that were all significantly groovier, louder and/or crazier than he was. You can imagine how a white middle class befuddled by the massive changes happening in Watergate-era America might certainly relate.

The Bob Newhart Show ran for six seasons on CBS, and the comic went on to essay a similarly buttoned-down shtick in Newhart, which ran on the same network from October 1982 to May 1990. Though both were undeniably great, the surprise appearance of Suzanne Pleshette (his wife on the original series) in the later program's finale served as a subtle acknowledgement that the original was still the best.

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