'Seinfeld' Edges Out 'Honeymooners' in Vanity Fair/60 Minutes Poll

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

December 3rd, 2012

via press release:






New York, N.Y.—“Seinfeld” is chosen just slightly ahead of “The Honeymooners” as the greatest sitcom of all time. Women agree with men that men are the funnier sex, while all agree that sexual assault is a topic that should be most off-limits to comedians. Who is Judd Apatow? Most Americans say they don’t know. That’s what Americans are saying in the latest VF Comedy-issue inspired 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll, the results of which can be found on 60Minutes.com and VF.com.


The survey also gauged Americans’ thoughts on the funniest letter of the alphabet, if being funny is innate or can be developed over time, and which types of employees have the least sense of humor.


Twenty-two percent of Americans say that “Seinfeld” is the greatest sitcom, just beating out “The Honeymooners,” with 20 percent of the vote. Friendsand “Cheers” follow closely behind, with 16 and 14 percent of the vote respectively, while “Arrested Development” receives just seven percent, “Mary Tyler Moore” six percent, and “30 Rock”  five percent.


Sixty percent of Americans—including most women—think men are the funnier sex, while just 22 percent think women are funnier and 15 percent say there is no difference.


When asked which topics should be off-limits to comedians—September 11th, sexual assault, religious figures, or sick and disabled people—men (38 percent) and women (32 percent) agree that sexual assault is not fodder for jokes. Women (28 percent) are twice as likely as men (14 percent) to think that all of these topics should be off-limits.

Only 14 percent of Americans know who Judd Apatow is, correctly identifying him as a director, writer, and producer. (He’s also guest editor of the January comedy issue of Vanity Fair.)  Of the vast majority who don’t know who he is, 15 percent guessed that he was a former Clinton speechwriter, five percent said that he was a creator of  “South Park, three percent thought Apatow was a 70s country-music star, and the rest couldn’t give an answer.


Elsewhere in the poll, 22 percent of those questioned say Q is the funniest letter of the alphabet, most Americans (56 percent) say being funny is something you can develop over time, and D.M.V. employees are selected as the least likely to crack a smile (over airport workers, toll collectors, and nightclub bouncers).


The 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll is a monthly measure of the American conversation on a range of topics rather than one specific subject. Geared to offer a wide-angle view of the country every 30 days, the poll explores attitudes on culture, lifestyle, current events, and politics to create a national survey. 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair work together to formulate topics and questions; the poll is conducted by the CBS News Election and Survey Unit, a high-profile source of American opinion since 1969.


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  • Walt

    Arrested should be #1

  • silvit

    Well. Women on tv either are bimbos or they are bitches or housewives types. We didn’t need a survey for that.

    The representation of women on tv sucks, big time. By what it’s shown on screen, I’d rather be a man.

  • DryedMangoez

    No I Love Lucy? This list is therefore irrelevant.

  • grant

    Yea really. No I love Lucy….no poll

  • RJ

    30 Rock is included but not I Love Lucy? What a joke.

  • Heather

    I hated Seinfeld, only watched once and never again. Honeymooners was not a favorite either.

  • Donof

    2 of the best sitcoms of all time. Seinfeld and The Honeymooners would be my top 2 also. My list would include All in The Family, Married With Children, Arrested Development, Perfect Strangers, The Middle, and How I Met Your Mother.

  • lll

    30 Rock may be loved by Hollywood but as the polls show it’s dead last to the public. It got what it deserved.

  • Breathofsomething

    Maybe I was too young for Lucy but I never really enjoyed that show. Seinfeld, Friends, Home Improvement, Cheers and Frasier are among my all time favorites.

  • CP

    The Honeymooners only had one season. If it was so great, why weren’t there more? And regardless of the reason, no show that only lasts one season should be considered the greatest of anything.

  • Michael

    F.U. Kramer

  • Donof

    @CP………true but if you include the skits from the Jackie Gleason show……which were made into “lost episodes”, there are probably 100 episodes (based on 22 minutes by today’s sitcom standards).

  • Lance

    A poll for best sitcom without such popular, critically acclaimed and long running hit shows as “I Love Lucy”, “All In The Family”, “Roseanne”, “The Golden Girls”, “M*A*S*H*”, “Barney Miller”, “Soap”, “Maude”, “Taxi”, “The Bob Newhart Show”, “Newhart”??? … They are not really serious, are they? This isn’t a poll, it’s a farce!

    “Seinfeld” was undoubtedly good but quality-wise “Mary Tyler Moore”, “The Honeymooners”, “Cheers”, and “Arrested Development” were far superior in both the acting and writing departments.

  • Mike

    Seinfeld is best but all in the family, the cosby show, everybody loves raymond, and i love lucy should have been included in the list

  • RJ

    I believe Jackie Gleason did not want to damage the show with more episodes. He felt the quality would dip.

  • craigward

    for the “off limits” question, they don’t have a choice for “nothing is off limits”

    that makes me VERY angry. setting limits for comedy should be off-limits

  • Nick

    The best classic comedies of all time:

    10. Happy Days
    9. Mary Tyler Moore
    8. The Golden Girls
    7. Friends
    6. The Brady Bunch
    5. The Cosby Show
    4. Everybody Loves Raymond
    3. I Love Lucy
    2. M*A*S*H*
    1. The Honeymooners

    I like Seinfeld, but it doesn’t even make the top 10.

  • Nick

    Sadly, comedies haven’t been strong quality-wise lately. The only shows on the air right now that could grace the above list I made would be Modern Family (between The Honeymooners & MASH) and The Middle (between MASH & I Love Lucy), although Rasing Hope could scooch in ahead of Happy Days.

    Oddly, I feel completely different considering dramas. Dramas are at a creative high with dramas like Castle, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, and Person of Interest evolving into completely different, but better shows over the summer. Although, the only real gem of the fall season was Last Resort…

  • ragincajun

    Seinfeld sucks ass and is the most overated TV show in history.

  • SVU: Fringe Division

    Seinfeld is awesome but if my local CW affiliate had a random 30 Rock marathon all day I’d totally watch it (probably wouldn’t watch a Seinfeld marathon). Also I saw an episode of The Lucy Show on MeTV that was funnier than the latter seasons of I Love Lucy put together, my favorite season of I Love Lucy are 1-3 after that it got to be too much.

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