Won’t You Be My Neighbor?


Today, our face-off focuses on those quirky neighbors that have delighted us for decades on the television sitcoms of yesteryear. We’ve come up with a handful of memorable characters to get you started as we pose the question – Who is your favorite sitcom neighbor? Let’s take a look at a few of the classics.

First up, it’s the man behind the fence, the wise Wilson (Earl Hindman) from Home Improvement. Ready to impart his philosophy and wisdom on Tim at a moments notice, we may never have seen his face, but we did get a glimpse into his good-natured heart on many occasions. Let’s take a look:

Next up, two childhood friends, loyal to a fault and seemingly incapable of knocking before entering. Lenny and Squiggy may not have provided the wisdom of Wilson, but they provided an endless abundance of comic relief on Laverne and Shirley. Played by Michael McKeon and David Lander, this dim-witted duo will never be forgotten. Here’s a clip of their musical prowess as “Lenny and the Squigtones.”

It’s not everyday that an enduring friendship blossoms between landlords and their tenants, but curmudgeonly couple, Fred and Ethel Mertz, did far more than collect the monthly rent check; they regularly served as partners in crime for Lucy’s crazy antics and became the Ricardo’s best friends on I Love Lucy. Portrayed by William Frawley and Vivian Vance, Fred and Ethel may be the most famous neighbors of all.

Next up, we present compulsive liar and insatiable womanizer, Larry Dallas, from the series, Three’s Company. Portrayed by Richard Kline, this abrasive but lovable used-car dealer was part hipster, part shyster, and always good for a few laughs:

Finally, we tip our hats to the queen of nosy neighbors, the ever-suspicious Gladys Kravitz from Bewitched. Convinced that something strange was going on across the street at the home of Darrin and Samantha Stephens, she remained ever-vigilant, even if her husband Abner never took her seriously. Played by Alice Pearce until her death in 1966, actress Sandra Gould took over the role for the remainder of the series. Here’s a wonderful clip of Alice Pearce in the role:

Now we want you to weigh in with your favorite sitcom neighbors. Obviously there are plenty more to choose from so don’t be shy. Tell us who you would like to live next door to, and whom you think deserves the honor of “Best Sitcom Neighbor” as we pay tribute to these classic characters on Retroland.

5 Responses to “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

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  1. Allie Fox says:

    The Barones of Everybody Loves Raymond are probably my favorite neighbors if only because they remind me of somebody. . . hmmm I wonder who? Oh Hi Mrs. Fox. :D

    No list would be complete without Cosmo Kramer. Seinfled’s hipster doofus is a loathsome, offensive brute, and yet we can’t look away. ;)

  2. tcoria77 says:

    my faves are lenny and squiggy!! they were hilarious, and larry from three’s company also

  3. The Retronaut says:

    The ones above are all great choices, as is Kramer. Hmmm….my favorite would probably have to be Howard Borden (Bill Daily) from the 70s Bob Newhart Show. Any episode that focused on him was gold, and he gets bonus points for being hilarious on the Match Game.

    Honorable mentions:

    Ned Flanders (Harry Shearer), The Simpsons
    Willona Woods (Ja’Net Du Bois), Good Times
    Tom & Helen Willis (Franklin Cover & Roxie Roker), The Jeffersons

  4. Andy says:

    Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World for the win!! FEEEEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNAAAAYYYYYYYY!!!–Eric Matthews

  5. Jennifer harris says:

    The Flanders, The Kravitz,Lenny and Sqiuggy, Wilson. Kramer, The Mertzes,

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