The 17 Best Black Sitcoms From The ’90s


In the House (1995–1999)

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The deal: Seeing LL Cool J in a sitcom may have been strange for some people (OK, most people), but one of the show’s saving graces was the connection it had with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Uncle Phil and Ashley both made an appearance (although only briefly), which added a cool factor to the show.


Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper (1992–1997)


The deal: Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper followed the daily mishaps of a NBA star-turned-substitute teacher and gym coach, Mark Cooper, who was played by comedian Mark Curry. That fact alone made this sitcom funny and a little different. But a lot of the comedy came from Mark living with two women, who wasted no time in putting him in check when he screwed up.


My Brother and Me (1994–1995)

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The deal: In all honesty, My Brother and Me got cheated with only having one season. But it did make Nickelodeon history by being the first show to air on the channel featuring a predominantly black cast.


Cousin Skeeter (1998–2001)


The deal: Skeeter’s voice (performed by Bill Bellamy) was borderline unbearable, but it still didn’t stop this show from being fun and memorable. Plus, it had one of the catchiest intro songs ever (heyyyy, 702).


Smart Guy (1997-1999)

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The WB

The deal: T.J. was a pretty ridiculous kid, but his family and friends knew it and made fun of him accordingly. Somehow, he was able to pull of being a likable know-it-all, even though he sometimes took it a little too far.


The Jamie Foxx Show (1996-2001)

The WB

The deal: Whenever Jamie and Braxton went head to head, it was usually the highlight of the episode. It was like Braxton wanted to get ridiculed, because he always gave Jamie so much ammo. But when Braxton slowly but surely began fighting back, it really was glorious.


The Steve Harvey Show (1996–2002)

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The WB

The deal: Steve Harvey made this show just by making fun of basically any and everyone in pop culture without giving any fucks whatsoever. Add that to the fact that practically each one of Lovita’s family members are named after products (like Duracell), and you’ve got straight-up comedy.


Moesha (1996–2001)


The deal: Moesha was great not only for its comedy but also for its drama. Also, Brandy in her prime is nothing to be messed with (them braids, though?). You also get to see Ray J act, which, if you’ve seen Love & Hip Hop Hollywood, is comedy in and of itself.


Kenan & Kel (1996–2000)

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The deal: There’s no denying that Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell were the dynamic duo of the ’90s for every kid who grew up in that era. This show proved that they could hold their own comedically after having been on the sketch show All That. If you don’t know who loves orange soda, then your childhood was pretty wack tbh.


Sister, Sister (1994–1999)

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The WB

The deal: Tia and Tamera Mowry naturally had great chemistry (well, duh), but other characters like Roger, Ray, and Lisa really helped make this sitcom both charming and funny.


Family Matters (1989–1998)

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The deal: Yes, this show was a bit cookie-cutter, but its likability was pretty high. Basically every episode taught you a moral lesson and honestly you ended up growing to love Urkel. And when he was able to transform into his alter ego Stefan later in the series, your mind was BLOWN. I mean, let’s all be honest with ourselves: Stefan was way flyer than Urkel.


The Wayans Bros. (1995–1999)

The WB

The deal: It seems like the Wayans family has an endless number of famous people in it. Let’s be real, no one can name all of them. In this show, Marlon and Shawn really showed just how insane and ridiculous they could be without being corny. With Pops (who seemed to go 0-100 real quick like, every episode) and Dee (who seemed to be the only semi-sane one of the bunch), Wayans literally made you LOL.


Living Single (1993–1998)


The deal: Living Single was a show whose characters were super diverse in personality. What made the characters so great was their ambition and their flaws. Really, their lives were scarily accurate to the lives of twentysomethings today. Desperately looking for love, trying to figure out what the fuck to do with their lives. Sound familiar?


The Cosby Show (1984–1992)*

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The deal: The Cosby Show broke racial and socioeconomic stereotypes of what a black family was both on TV and in real life. Before it was created, the only portrayal that really existed was the family on Good Times. Show me someone who doesn’t like the Huxtables and I’ll show you a damn liar. It definitely paved the way for future black family sitcoms, and some of the characters (or really just Claire and Denise) became icons in their own right.

*Because this show is more ’80s than ’90s, it was bumped down.


A Different World (1987–1993)

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The deal: Not only was this show witty and charismatic, but it also touched on several social and racial issues. And although Denise Huxtable was only there for one season, she served up even more fierce-ass fashion, YASSS.


Martin (1992–1997)

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The deal: Sitcoms in which every single character is funny on their own are hard to come by, but Martin achieved just that. Thanks to Martin Lawrence, this show outshined most of the others during the ’90s. All the characters that Martin played (Sheneneh, Jerome, Dragonfly Jones, and Roscoe to name a few) made Martin unique. And we must forever be grateful for the hilariousness that was the delivery of this quote: “Sit your $5 ass down before I make change!” CLASSIC.


The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990–1996)


The deal: Seriously, who DIDN’T like Fresh Prince? It was the definition of cool. There are certain scenes that no one can ever forget, like when the original Aunt Viv gave us life during her dance audition, or that iconic moment when Will broke down in Uncle Phil’s arms after his father deserted him again for the umpteenth time (which, believe it or not, was unscripted).

Each and every character on this show had their own distinct personality, and the chemistry they all had together is what really made this show not only the best black sitcom, but also one of the best sitcoms in the history of TV. Fresssssh.


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