Get an Eyeful of the Longest Running TV Shows of All Time!

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Imagine a frantic Hollywood producer: his child is halfway through fencing academy, and he has to pay a mortgage on his third pool, filled with caviar and Latvian prostitutes. To make ends meet, he delivers the following pitch: “A certain number of males and females live in an adjacent apartment, with hilarious results.” Now that you hate everything about Hollywood, you can see why not too many TV shows last that long. To quote Smash Mouth, “Only shooting stars break the mold.” And standard sitcoms have gotten pretty moldy. Instead, we show you the paragons, the innovators, the zeniths on our list of top 5 longest running TV series. Trust us, you’re male and female roommates will agree.
And, just so you know, we’re going to skip news, music, sports, soap opera and trivia shows. Is it impressive that CBS Evening News has run for over 60 years? Yes. Is it particularly interesting? No, not really. We’ll also limit it to currently running shows to keep it fresh.

5 South Park (15 years)

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Respect South Park’s authoritahhhh! These four (sometimes) reasonable young men have been tasked with facing an absurd world: modern America. Yes, the show has lampooned everything from alien abductions to iTunes licensing agreements to purse dogs, as well as everything in between. Leaving no stone unturned has resulted in South Park landing in hot water. All this hullabaloo seems to contribute to greater popularity and continuing quality from the show. Since that’s the case, please find some way to be offended by this brilliant series! That way, we can watch South Park grill your ass for being such a moron!

4 Power Rangers (19 years)

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The next time someone asks you what time it is, be sure to let them know that its morphin’ time! Most of the footage from Power Rangers is from Japanese series called Tokusatsu, which provide the fighting scenes. Then, the series is spliced with scenes featuring American actors to give the fight sequences (ahem) context. But every kid wants to be a ninja master who fights Godzilla monsters after health class. Which explains why Power Rangers has lasted through so many incarnations. (We think the most recent one is called Power Rangers: Ditch Digging Battalion.) At least check it out… be a Tommy, not a Rita Repulsa.

3 The Simpsons (23 years)

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D’oh! You didn’t think we’d forget America’s favorite animated family did you? Taking animated programming out of the Stone Age and back to primetime (yes, both nods to the Flintstones), The Simpsons managed to make animation profitable for salivating TV executives. Also, for those of us who grew up on the show, it ensured that we’d never have to grow up. Mmmmmm: Peter Pan syndrome. Forgiving its over merchandising tendencies (or perhaps because of them), the Simpsons might be the shared cultural experience of our generation. Our moon landing, so to say. Contracted through its 26th season, it’ll keep the laughs coming for some time to come. Woohoo!

2 Saturday Night Live (38 years)

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SNL has benefited from a revolving cast featuring some of the funniest comedians of all time to run a brilliant 38 seasons. Of course, some have been better than others. And, no, were not talking about Charles Rocket. (The dad from Hocus Pocus!) Saturday nights have never been the same since the brilliant 70s cast challenged the boundaries of sketch comedy and humor. Over the next couple decades, the show became less collective and more of a launch pad for quotable characters. Of course, this golden path to stardom has the magnitude to attract all the raw comedic power the show could ever handle.

1 Sesame Street (43 years)

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That’s right, the longest running series (excluding news, sports, game shows, and daytime dramas) is everyone’s favorite kid’s show! Big Bird et al. have been marionetteing for the past 43 years with no sign of stopping anytime soon. In fact, Elmo’s recently met Katy Perry and covered LMFAO. (Clearly the hippest of the monsters.) And why should it slow down? Sesame Street fosters the love of numbers, colors, music, and some very important letters… like H. How are you going to find a hospital without H? Since you owe your life to Big Bird, do him a solid and check back in every once in a while.

Conclusion

Sure, if you want to count news, Meet the Press would top out this list at 63. But why would you want to read about a news show? Instead, we decided to give you the best that scripted television has to offer. And the Power Rangers… mostly for lolz. These shows got here for a reason, and we’ve watched each one of them religiously at some point in time or the other. Tell us what you think on our discussion board, and we’ll see how long your comments last.

Zack Hillman sold his soul for rock ’n’ roll, but at least he found a favorable market. Between hoop dreams and guitar orgasms, he managed to graduate from CSU Long Beach with a degree in Creative Writing. And he speaks of the pompitus of love.

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