Popular Situation Comedy Series on Television in the 1950s
I Love Lucy (1951-1961) Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley. A wacky wife, with a knack for getting herself in trouble, makes life difficult for her irritated husband. Lucille Ball made it special.
Father Knows Best (1954-1963) Robert Young, Jane Wyatt, Elinor Donahue, Billy Gray, Lauren Chapin. Wholesome comedy of a truly idealized family, facing the typical situations a growing family might encounter.
Leave It to Beaver (1957-1963) Barbara Billingsley, Hugh Beaumont, Jerry Mathers, Tony Dow. Life through the eyes of young, rambunctious ‘Beaver’ Cleaver and his older brother Wally.
Our Miss Brooks (1952-1956) Eve Arden, Gale Gordon, Richard Crenna, Robert Rockwell. High-school teacher deals with a blustery principal, a nebbish student, an absentminded landlady, and a clueless love interest.
The Adventurers of Ozzie & Harriet (1952-1966) Ozzie, Harriet, David, and Eric ‘Ricky” Nelson. The real life Nelsons play a middle-class family with two growing sons. The show ran for fourteen television seasons.
Burns & Allen (1950-1958) George Burns, Gracie Allen, Bea Benaderet, Fred Clark. Straight George Burns starred with real-life wife, scatterbrained Gracie Allen, who confronted predicaments with an addle-headed attitude.
Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959-1963) Dwayne Hickman, Bob Denver, Sheila James, Tuesday Weld. Dobie, hopelessly attracted to money-hungry Thalia, and beatnik buddy Maynard try to get by with a minimum of effort.
December Bride (1954-1961) Spring Byington, Frances Rafferty, Dean Miller, Verna Felton. A spry, attractive widow copes with a daughter and son-in-law who are seeking a prospective suitor for her.
Jack Benny Show (1950-1965) Jack Benny, Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson, Dennis Day, Don Wilson, Mary Livingston. Jack Benny’s personality and underplayed humor were the hallmarks of this classic series.
My Little Margie (1952-1955) Gale Storm, Charles Farrell, Willie Best. A scheming, madcap daughter, aided by her boyfried and her neighbor, tries to protect her attractive widowed father from unscrupulous women.
Mama (1949-1956) Peggy Wood, Judson Laire, Rosemary Rice, Dick Van Patten, Robin Morgan. Based on the play“I Remember Mama” about a close-knit Norwegian family in San Francisco through the eyes of their daughter.
Mr. Peepers (1952-1955) Wally Cox, Tony Randall, Patricia Benoit, Marion Lorne. Adventures of a timid, mild- mannered, bespectacled teacher in a low-key comedy show broadcast live from New York.
Make Room for Daddy (1953-1961) Danny Thomas, Jean Hagen, Marjorie Lord, Rusty Hammer, Angela Cartwright. A nightclub entertainer confronts problems in his home life with his wife, son, and daughter.
Topper (1953-1955) Leo G. Carroll, Anne Jeffreys, Robert Sterling. Spirits, only he can see, frustrate a banker.
My Favorite Husband (1953-1955) Joan Caulfield, Berry Nelson. Appealing, upper-middle class, domestic sit-com.
Life of Riley (1953-1958) William Bendix, Marjorie Reynolds. A blundering husband in a blue-collar family comedy.
Love That Bob (1955-1959) Bob Cummings, Rosemary DeCamp, Ann B. Davis. A dashing bachelor in Hollywood.
Meet Millie (1953-1956) Elena Verdugo. A pert, attractive, wise-cracking secretary’s adventures in Manhattan.
Private Secretary (1953-1957) Ann Southern. A secretary keeps getting involved in the personal life of her boss.
Real McCoys (1957-1963) Walter Brennan, Richard Crenna. Happy-go-lucky dirt-farmer, Grampa, and his rural kin.
I Married Joan (1952-1955) Joan Davis, Jim Backus. Merry domestic mishaps in this eccentric situation comedy.
My Friend Irma (1952-1954) Marie Wilson. A wacky, sexy, dim-bulb blonde stenographer with no sense of logic.
People’s Choice (1955-1958) Jackie Cooper, Pat Breslin. An engaging city councilman and his basset hound, Cleo.
Hennesey (1959-1962) Jackie Cooper, Abby Dalton. A similarly engaging navy doctor stationed in San Diego.
Plus two series that are often associated with the 1950s but actually were broadcast in the early 1960s:
The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968) Andy Griffith, Ronny Howard, Don Knotts, Frances Bavier.
Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966) Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam.