Top 10 Ensemble Live-Action TV Comedy Casts

With so many characters, there’s more than enough comedy to go around. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Ensemble Live-Action TV Comedy Casts. For this list, we’re taking a look at live-action TV series with the best casts and characters. We’re solely focusing on shows with storylines that are distributed evenly between multiple characters. We’ve thus excluded “30 Rock” because, as great as the supporting players are, almost every episode is Liz Lemon-centric. We’ve also left off animated shows because we already have a list for cartoon casts. Special thanks to our users liam_schell, Alex Bustillos and many others for submitting the idea at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Nick Spake

Top 10 Ensemble Live-Action TV Comedy Casts


With so many characters, there’s more than enough comedy to go around. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 ensemble live-action TV comedy casts.

For this list, we’re taking a look at live-action TV series with the best casts and characters. We’re solely focusing on shows with storylines that are distributed evenly between multiple characters. We’ve thus excluded “30 Rock” because, as great as the supporting players are, almost every episode is Liz Lemon-centric. We’ve also left off animated shows because we already have a list for cartoon casts.

#10: “Cheers” (1982-93)


“Cheers” gave us some of the most iconic characters in all sitcoms; from Sam the bartender to hot-tempered waitress Carla to sad sack regular Norm. Even when major characters like Diane and Coach exited the series, the creators introduced welcome new additions like Rebecca and Woody. One of the show’s breakout characters would notably go on to get his own successful ensemble-driven spinoff. However, of all the memorable characters, one of the most notable was Cheers – the bar - itself, which acted as a unifying safe haven for a diverse group of people to escape the outside world.

#9: “M*A*S*H” (1972-83)


TV shows inspired by movies almost never succeed, especially when the original cast is completely replaced. “M*A*S*H” proved to be the exception to this rule, arguably surpassing Robert Altman’s 1970 Best Picture nominee. Much of the show’s success had to do with its exceptional ensemble, with Alan Alda in particular making the role of “Hawkeye” his own. Despite their grim setting, the cast of “M*A*S*H” managed to overcome hard times with humor. They not only made us laugh, but reminded audiences that laughter is essential to getting through life.

#8: “Community” (2009-15)


“Community” is one of those shows where it’s impossible to single out your absolute favorite character. Everybody from the quirky Abed to the eccentric Troy to the overly determined Annie has his or her own individual moments to shine. Much like the Breakfast Club, however, this assorted group of misfits is at their finest when banded together. Even the dean gets in on the laughs and mayhem. New students and teachers would join Greendale over the years, but they all fit in perfectly and instantly became part of the family.

#7: “The Golden Girls” (1985-92)


Before there was “Sex and the City” or “Girls,” there was “The Golden Girls.” This sitcom further proved that women could not only be funny, but that a cast chiefly consisting of women could work. Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty had all given great performances in the past and would go on to do great work in other projects. However, we’ll always remember them best for playing these four ladies. Each of them would take home an Emmy for “The Golden Girls,” demonstrating the true strength of this ensemble.

#6: “Arrested Development” (2003-06; 2013-)


If you think your family has issues, get a load of the Bluths. Comprised of an alcoholic mother, an incarcerated father, a wannabe magician, a spoiled rich woman, a flamboyant analrapist, a hook handed mama’s boy, a young man in love with his cousin, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together, they’re as dysfunctional and hilarious as families get. So when a 4th season was announced 7 years after its cancelation by Fox in 2006, you can bet there were many fans on board for the series revival.

#5: “Parks and Recreation” (2009-15)


Although many initially wrote it off as just another workplace mockumentary, “Parks and Recreation” evolved into something truly special as characters like Leslie Knope, April Ludgate, and Ron Swanson came into their own. This ensemble piece only got better with the expanded roles of supporting players like Andy, Donna, and Jerry/Larry/Terry/Garry. Then when Ben Wyatt entered the picture at the end of season two, this show was finally complete. Audiences grew to love all these people over seven seasons and each got a fitting farewell in a pitch perfect series finale.

#4: “Modern Family” (2009-)


In this day and age, the idea of a traditional American family is becoming less commonplace. Some families consist of two men raising an Asian baby. Other families consist of a breathtaking Colombian woman raising her precocious son with her much older new husband. Even more traditional nuclear families, like the Dunphy clan, are far from old-fashioned. The blended cast of “Modern Family” demonstrates just how far we’ve come as a society. Diversity is becoming the new norm and this wonderful ensemble is a true testament to that.

#3: “Seinfeld” (1989-98)


Although the title of the show was “Seinfeld,” Jerry was probably only the fourth reason why we watched this immortal sitcom. Elaine’s overzealous passion, Kramer’s harebrained schemes, George’s inability to keep his mouth shut, and the way their stories always came together is what made “Seinfeld” ultimately work. Having unforgettable reoccurring characters like Newman, J. Peterman, and Frank Costanza didn’t hurt either. You know that a show is timeless when a one-shot character like the Soup Nazi becomes a TV icon that people still quote to this day.

#2: “The Office” (2005-13)


There’s no denying that the original British version of “The Office” was revolutionary television. Nevertheless, it was the American version that really stretched the possibilities of this franchise on an ensemble level. We could always count on Michael Scott’s inept management and Dwight Schrute’s insane antics to make us laugh. As Jim and Pam fell in love with each other, we fell in love with them. Most impressive of all, “The Office” made stars out of the entire Dunder Mifflin staff. Kevin, Stanley, Kelly, Toby; we’ll never forget them.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “How I Met Your Mother” (2005-14)
- “The Brady Bunch” (1969-74)
- “The Big Bang Theory” (2007-)
- “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (2005-)
- “Roseanne” (1988-97)

#1: “Friends” (1994-2004)


On paper, watching a group of twenty-somethings drink coffee and talk about relationships might not sound compelling. Audiences became wrapped up in the lives of Rachel, Joey, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, and Ross, though, solely based on the strength of their individual personalities and rapport with one another. No matter the situation or conversation, these people always had our attention. It feels like every ensemble sitcom since has been trying to be the next “Friends,” but none has quite topped the comedic chemistry, timing, and bond these six shared.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite TV comedy cast? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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