If you are a devout television show aficionado, you would be amiss if you did not know about the success of comedic television and performances which it fostered. Even if you were not alive when The Carol Burnett Show was popular, you have at least been privy to the many times and Burnett and friends broke character during their liver performances and created classic television, This notwithstanding, no one could forget the longest comedic applause during a live television show when Sammie Davis Jr. kissed Archie Bunker on the popular television show All In The Family.
Television shoes such has The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tylor Moore Show were just a few shows that stick out in the minds of Baby Boomers as being shows which have paved the way for today's Office, Community and 30 Rock to dominate its respective timeslots.
In a totally unbiased account, and in no particular order, the following are the top two funniest moments in television that I have experienced in my few decades of being glued to this medium.
Seinfeld's Description of the Female Anatomy
On the sitcom Seinfeld, a show which follows the lives of four average New Yorkers, affectionately deemed to be a show about nothing. In this episode, Jerry, the show's main character, has been dating a girl for a while, but has seemed to have forgotten her name. In regaling this fact to his three friends, George, Elaine and Kramer, he recalls that her name rhymes with the name of a female body part. At this point, the audience is drawn into attempting to guess the name of Jerry's girlfriend. After a series of attempts, the episode culminates with the woman realizing that he does not know her name and storming out of Jerry's apartment only for Jerry to recall that her name is Deloris.
Whitney and Rosie's appearance on SNL
In 1996, Rosie O'Donnell was at the top of her career. She was hosting one of the most popular day time talk show and she was the love of ever one. On the same note, Whitney Houston was still riding high with the success of her breakthrough acting debut in the film The Bodyguard. So for the weekly comedy show Saturday Night Live, who has a knack for pairing the "it" people in Hollywood. It was a no brainer to have Whitney and Rosie appear on the show together. The two appear together in a sketch with SNL cast member Molly Shannon playing one of her most loved character's Mary-Katherine Gallagher.
In the skit, O'Donnell plays a nun who is the choir director of an all girls school choir, where Shannon and Houston are members. Shannon's character Mary-Katherine is historically know for clumsy displays when she is over shadowed and this is no exemption when Houston's begins to lay her magical vocal pipes for the world to enjoy. Though the sketch would have been hilarious if it were played out the way it was rehearsed, what set is over the top was O'Donnell's and Houston's inability to keep from holding back laughter and breaking character in the shadow of Shannon's shenanigans.
Though there are definitely a myriad of comedic television moments that would warrant being on this list, but these are the two that stand out as some of the funniest moments in comedic television in the past few decades.