The best books about television comedy

Why am I passionate about this?

A theatre, film, and television historian, I've spent the last fifteen years researching and writing about all three areas of entertainment. I'm also a travel and tourism writer for a variety of e-commerce platforms. Television history is an area that I have researched extensively over the last twenty years, resulting in my booksThe Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs and Sitcommentary: Television ComediesThat Change America.


I wrote...

Sitcommentary: Television Comedies That Changed America

By Mark A. Robinson,

Book cover of Sitcommentary: Television Comedies That Changed America

What is my book about?

As a society, we underestimate how television has influenced how we greet the world. The genre of situation comedy is given particularly short-shrift in this arena, people dismissing the shows we laugh at as lighthearted diversions. However, the TV programs that have had the greatest impact on shaping how we think as a society are the sitcoms tackling difficult issues through humor and making them more palatable and relatable.

Sitcommentary: Television Comedies That Changed America looks at 42 situation comedies, among them All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Good Times, Maude, The Golden Girls, Will & Grace, and Black-Ish, and explores how they evolved our views on controversial topics such as race, gender, sexuality, politics, war, and aging.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Sitcoms: The 101 Greatest TV Comedies of All Time

Mark A. Robinson Why did I love this book?

For those who love television comedy and/or are curious about major players in this genre of entertainment, Sitcoms: The 101 Greatest TV Comedies of All Time will delight. Paging through this colorful book (complete with plenty of accompanying photos), one gets a taste of such shows as I Love Lucy, Gilligan’s Island, The Facts of Life, Cheers, Designing Women, Roseanne, Seinfeld, and The Nanny among them.

By Ken Bloom, Frank Vlastnik,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sitcoms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The most beloved, most groundbreaking, and most entertaining TV comedies of all time are celebrated in words and pictures-many of them rare-by the award-winning authors of Broadway Musicals. In 101 lively chapters and lots of special features, the authors of Broadway Musicals explore our favorite form of popular entertainment-the TV situation comedy. Of the many hundreds of shows that have debuted over TV's 60-year history, the authors have carefully selected the most influential, popular, and enduring ones, from Gilligan's Island to Seinfeld, I Love Lucy to Will and Grace, creating a history of the medium that goes beyond stats and…


Book cover of Golden Girls Forever: An Unauthorized Look Behind the Lanai

Mark A. Robinson Why did I love this book?

The Golden Girls is one of television’s most enduring situation comedies. The story of four women in their golden years sharing a home in Miami, Florida continues to find a new audience with each generation. Jim Colucci’s book Golden Girls Forever: An Unauthorized Look Behind the Lanai is an intimate and in-depth look at the making of the show and the legacy it has enjoyed.

By Jim Colucci,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Golden Girls Forever as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times bestseller

The complete, first-ever Golden Girls retrospective, packed with hundreds of exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes and never-before-revealed stories, more than two hundred color and black-and-white photos, commentary, and more.

They were four women of a certain age, living together under one roof in Miami—smart and strong Dorothy, airhead Rose, man-hungry belle Blanche, and smart-mouthed matriarch Sophia. They were the Golden Girls, and for seven seasons, this hilarious quartet enchanted millions of viewers with their witty banter, verve, sass, and love, and reaffirmed the power of friendship and family.

Over thirty years after it first aired, The Golden Girls…


Book cover of The Sitcoms of Norman Lear

Mark A. Robinson Why did I love this book?

Anyone who knows anything about television comedy will tell you that producer/developer Norman Lear was the force behind some of the greatest sitcoms of all time including All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, Good Times, Sanford and Son, and One Day at a Time. The Sitcoms of Norman Lear by Sean Campbell takes a closer look at this titan of television and the game-changing sitcoms he produced.

By Sean Campbell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sitcoms of Norman Lear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Archie Bunker, George Jefferson, Maude - the television sitcom world of the 1970s was peopled by the creations of Norman Lear. Beginning in 1971, with the premier of ""All in the Family"", Lear's work gave sitcoms a new face and a new style. No longer were families perfect and lives in order. Mostly blue-collar workers and their families, Lear's characters argued, struggled, uttered sometimes shocking opinions and had no problem contributing to - or at least, acknowledging - the turmoil so shunned by 1960s television. Significantly, not only did Lear address difficult issues, but he did so through successful programming.…


Book cover of I Love Lucy: Discovering America’s Best-Loved Sitcom

Mark A. Robinson Why did I love this book?

For many, I Love Lucy, starring comic genius Lucille Ball, epitomizes what the great American classic television comedy is. Ben Nussbaum’s I Love Lucy: Discovering America’s Best-Loved Sitcom takes a closer look at this side-splitting comedy and gives us a glimpse into why 70-years later, people still love the antics of the title character.

By Ben Nussbaum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Love Lucy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Running from 1951 to 1957 and in syndication for more than fifty years, I Love Lucy has a permanent place in the hearts of American television-watchers and has reached multiple generations of viewers. Based on the humorous antics of a New York City housewife, her Cuban bandleader husband, and their landlord best friends, I Love Lucy was not only wildly popular but also groundbreaking for its filming techniques, for its use of a live audience, and for being the first television show to air reruns. INSIDE I LOVE LUCY: *The beginnings of the show as well as what made it…


Book cover of Single Season Sitcoms of the 1980s: A Complete Guide

Mark A. Robinson Why did I love this book?

Not all television shows are hit and somehow the decade of the 1980s had the greatest number of sitcom flops. It’s Your Move, The Best of the West, Square Pegs, The Duck Factory, and Life with Lucy are just a handful of the sitcoms that didn’t run for longer than a season. Single Season Sitcoms of the 1980s by Bob Leszczak is a delicious smorgasbord of information about these one-season wonders (and many others) that we barely remember, but refuse to forget.

By Bob Leszczak,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Single Season Sitcoms of the 1980s as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Single Season Sitcoms of the 1980s is the logical sequel to an earlier work also by Bob Leszczak titled Single Season Sitcoms 1948-1979, A Complete Guide. The decade of the 80s is presently being viewed with much reverence, and television programs, especially the situation comedies from that era, are enjoying renewed interest. Because of the increase in the number of available channels as a result of the exploding cable television industry at that time in history, the number of failed programs was also on the rise.

For every successful sitcom from this period, such as The Golden Girls, Family Ties…


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By Mari Sangiovanni,

Book cover of Liddy-Jean Marketing Queen and the Matchmaking Scheme

Mari Sangiovanni

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What is my book about?

Introducing the irrepressible Liddy-Jean Carpenter, a young woman who has learning disabilities but also has a genius plan.

While Liddy-Jean spends her days doing minor office tasks with nobody paying attention, she sees how badly the wand-waving big boss treats the Marketing Department worker bees. So, she takes lots of notes for a business book to teach bosses to be better. Liddy-Jean likes office-mate Rose and Rose’s new friend Jenny, but she doesn’t like Rose’s creepy boyfriend. So how can she save Rose?

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Liddy-Jean Marketing Queen and the Matchmaking Scheme

By Mari Sangiovanni,

What is this book about?

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Liddy-Jean Carpenter has learning disabilities. But she also has a surprisingly genius plan.

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Interested in sitcoms, I Love Lucy, and television?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about sitcoms, I Love Lucy, and television.

Sitcoms Explore 14 books about sitcoms
I Love Lucy Explore 7 books about I Love Lucy
Television Explore 55 books about television