In the Mid-80s to the early 90s I feel there was an increase in the use of dogs on sitcoms. Now I have no proof that this was exclusive to this 10 year (or so) time period, but I don’t recall another time where dogs were so prominent on TV sitcoms. So with that I say grab some kibble and maybe your favorite squeeze toy and enjoy a few of my favorites. Oh, and please don’t pee on the rug.
Dreyfuss (Empty Nest)
I don’t remember much about Empty Nest. My parents would watch it on Saturday nights and I would tune in and out between playing with my action figures. What I do recall is there was a big dog named Dreyfuss who was often used for good comic gags…I guess. Again, I don’t really remember much about this show, but I definitely remember the dog Dreyfuss. Also, I think the Golden Girls showed up in an episode once, so that was probably pretty funny.
Comet (Full House)
From the time Michelle picked him from a litter of puppies, Comet provided us with some real laughs. Remember when even Comet couldn’t stand Stephanie’s new glasses? Or when Comet blew out his birthday candles? Or when he could play basketball better than Uncle Jesse? No? Well you should probably refresh yourself with this clip package. The basketball clip is here.
Santa’s Little Helper (The Simpsons)
Sometimes going by his alias: Santos L. Halper (when using his credit card), Santa’s Little Helper may be animated but is still one of my favorite sitcom dogs. The Simpson’s welcomed their dog companion into their lives after he was basically abandoned at a race track for his poor racing record. Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons) has stated that had he known that Santa’s Little Helper would become a staple on the show, they would have given the dog a better name.
What I like the most about Santa’s Little Helper is that he is more like a “real” dog then most of these other dogs. When faced with a challenge he usually runs away or sleeps. So whether he is replacing Duffman as the Duff mascot or just biting Homer in the ass when he has his head caught in a banister, Santa’s Little Helper is one of the best…but he has got to quit smoking.
Probably the best used Dog on a sitcom, Eddie wasn’t just a loveable family dog, he was arguably a recurring member of the cast. His gags were always very clever (I mean what else would you expect from the smartest show on television, mmmmyessss) and Eddie was quite often the engine that drove the credit sequences at the end of the show. In fact a lot of people would tune in week after week just to see Eddie. So to that I say cheers to Eddie (get it? Frasier was on Cheers as well) Enjoy the clips. Sherry Niles?
And then there was McGruff The Crime Dog…but he was no laughing matter.