Back in 1960, a new cartoon concept was introduced to television viewers – the animated sitcom. Designed for a prime-time viewing audience, these shows offered an equal number of laughs for parents and kids alike. And when the original experiment proved to be an overwhelming success (see below), it started a trend in television programming that continues to thrive. Today, we offer up some of the most memorable animated families to ever invade our living rooms, and then we want to hear who your all-time favorites are.
We’ll go ahead and start with the first family of cartoon sitcoms, The Flintstones. Debuting in 1960, America was welcomed into the prehistoric world of Fred and Wilma, their neighbors, Betty and Barney, and a whole host of colorful characters and creative gadgets, in this prime-time series that has now run in syndication for nearly five decades.
Next, we offer Hanna-Barbera’s futuristic follow-up to The Flintstones, The Jetsons. Debuting in 1962, the saga of patriarch George, his wife Jane, daughter Judy, son Elroy, and the family mutt, Astro have also entertained us for decades. And it is remarkable to consider that this longevity is the result of a mere 24 episodes. Let’s head to the future and take a look (quick trivia: the voice of Wilma Flintstone and Rosie the Robot from the Jetsons are the same person – Jean Vander Pyl.):
Now, we’ll travel to the 80s, to meet the unforgettable residents of Springfield, USA – The Simpsons. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and an incredible assortment of townsfolk have been entertaining audiences, young and old alike, for an astounding 21 seasons. This makes it the longest-running American prime-time series (and sitcom) of all time, beating the likes of Gunsmoke. Let’s look in on this iconic family.
These are three of our favorite familial representatives, although there are certainly others one could pick. Perhaps you preferred the 1972 Hanna-Barbera series, Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, or maybe you are partial to the more-recent Family Guy series. All are fair game in the cartoon sitcom face-off. Chime in with your personal favorites in our comments section and tell us which animated family has meant the most to you over the years.