Flackback to the Friday Night Funnies: the Top 5 Shows on TGIF

You all remember it, don’t you? You waited all week for it. You pined for it. It was all that mattered come 8:00 p.m. on Friday night. It was ABC’s TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Funny) lineup. It may have changed over the years, but somehow TGIF always managed to put out classic shows that might not always stand the test of time, but in that moment you knew they were the greatest things you’d ever seen. These are the top five shows in TGIF history.

5 Step By Step (1991-1998)

Step By Step was one of those shows that you started watching and thought, “Yeah, this is okay,” then somehow seven years passed. It was never the funniest, or the most endearing, but you kind of just kept tuning in. Basically just a modern day rip off of the Brady Bunch, it mostly kept viewers coming back to see if Suzanne Somers was still hot (Spoiler Alert: she was). There were some funny moments for sure, but it was mostly just recycled sitcom plots that had already been done to death. Still, we’ll always have a special place in our hearts for weird cousin Cody and his creepy van.

4 Perfect Strangers (1986-1993)

It was essentially the Odd Couple meets Mork and Mindy, but damn if that Balki wasn’t impossibly lovable. And he drove poor cousin Larry Appleton so crazy, didn’t he? Oh, Balki… you tickle us so. The uptight American paired with the not so subtly racist rendition of a random foreigner (where was Mypos, anyway?), was a very 80s play on a classic TV paradigm, and as usual, it worked. If you can honestly claim that you weren’t a fan of Perfect Strangers we have only one thing to say to you… “Don’t be ridiculous!”

3 Family Matters (1989-1998)

Whenever you ask anyone what he or she remembers most about Family Matters, they’ll inevitably say Steve Urkel. Then Carl Winslow will do that classic pissed off head bobbing thing he always did. The show was really about the Winslow family, but once they introduced their nerdy neighbor halfway through the first season, it quickly turned into the Urkel Show. Still, it was fun and funny for a solid few seasons, but things kind of went off the rails when they had Steve building transformation chambers and had Jaleel White playing his own suave alter ego and even Steve’s female cousin Myrtle Urkel. In any case, there was still enough good in Family Matters to place it at number three.

2 Full House (1987-1995)

Say what you will about how corny it could be, but Full House is what really put TGIF on the map. The daily lives of the Tanner family often came with a sappy life lesson that was poured on its viewers with about as much subtlety as a tsunami, but still, it was a great show. A Full House meant two dudes move in with another dude to help him raise his three girls, and what you get a truly classic family comedy. And for any issues you have with the show feeling outdated now, just remember, at least it gave us John Stamos and Bob Saget (Sure it also gave us the Olsen twins and Dave Coulier, but we’re trying to stay positive).

1 Boy Meets World (1993-2000)

Argue if you like, but Boy Meets World had one thing that helped it beat out all of the other TGIF shows; it was actually hilarious. Not that the others weren’t, but the writers on BMW managed to work a lot of really clever humor in and avoided a lot of the sappiness of their counterparts. Case in point, in one episode Shawn shows Corey the ‘New York Times: Trailer Park Edition,’ which he says is “exactly the same as the other New York Times, except you can eat it.” The adventures of Corey, Shawn, Topanga, Eric and Mr. Feeny lasted seven seasons, but the syndicated episodes are on somewhere as we speak, and you can bet a bunch of twenty-something year olds are freaking loving it.

There they are, the best of the best from the TV lineup that defined much of Gen Y’s childhood. You’re welcome. And before you complain, of course we wanted to include Dinosaurs, but besides Baby Sinclair screaming “Not the mama!” we couldn’t really remember anything about it, and be honest, neither can you. And if you’re in disbelief that Sabrina the Teenage Witch didn’t make the cut, well you’re an idiot, but you can always make a list of your own.

TK Kelly is a comic and writer who has performed at clubs across the country like the Comedy Store, the Improv, Gotham, and Standup NY. He has also written for Tosh.0, Comedy Central Studios, Funny or Die, Recycled Babies Sketch Comedy, and Second City. His standup comedy has been described as “a thing that happens sometimes,” and according to one of his grandmothers, he is a generally delightful young man. If he were forced at gunpoint to describe himself in one word, that would be a really weird hostage situation.

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