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The sitcom is a shortened version of the term "situation comedy" and found its origins in radio. Though the first television sitcom aired in 1946, Merriam-Webster dates the first known use of the word to 1956. Sitcoms revolve around a fixed set of characters, with situations carrying over or continuing from week to week, and usually foreground their comedic elements.
Stacker looked at various entertainment news sources including The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and IMDb to gather information about the history of sitcoms from the year you were born. The years range from the sitcom's beginnings in 1945 until the present day, and include debuts, series finales, and important and interesting facts about one of the most relevant genres in the history of television.
Do you remember your favorite sitcom? Maybe you watched it with your parents or a college roommate. Perhaps there is one episode that you'll never forget, or maybe it's a famous line or a catchy theme song, or maybe the death of a beloved character.
Whether you were born when the first same-sex marriage on television took place, the most-watched season finale aired, or the first time that the wage gap between the sexes was addressed—no matter what decade or season, we've got you covered.
Join Stacker as we take a stroll down memory lane, back to the year of your birth, to explore the most fascinating, profound, hysterical, and unforgettable moments in sitcom history.
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