Moesha, Girlfriends, Sister, Sister, More Classic Black Comedies are Headed to Netflix
Netflix is ready to transport its audience to an era that was COVID-19 free and laughs were much easier to find.
When Netflix announced this week that a treasure trove of beloved Black comedies was being added to the streaming service — including Moesha, The Game, Sister Sister, Girlfriends, The Parkers, Half & Half, and One on One — fans were quick to suggest even more Black-led shows Netflix could add in the future.
But, hold up, you don't have to wait.
Living Single (streaming on Hulu)
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Starring: Queen Latifah as magazine editor Khadijah James, Kim Fields as Khadija's childhood friend Regina "Regine" Hunter, Erika Alexander as attorney Maxine "Max" Felice Shaw, and Kim Coles as aspiring actress Synclaire James-Jones.
Living Single ran on FOX from 1993-1998. On The Late Late Show With James Corden, Latifah said Living Single inspired an NBC executive to start the hit sitcom Friends. "If you're going to rock it, that's the way to do it," she said.
Family Matters (streaming on Hulu)
Starring: Jaleel White as notorious nerdy neighbor Steve Urkel, Reginald VelJohnson as father of the house Carl Winslow, Darius McCrary as son Eddie Winslow, Kellie Shanygne Williams Jackson as daughter Laura Winslow, and Joe Marie Payton as mother Harriette.
Family Matters ran for nine seasons from 1989-1998 (ABC for the first eight, then CBS for the final). The show quickly gained steam behind breakout character Urkel, who became known for the coyish "Did I do that?" and his suave alter-ego Stefan. (See EW's 2017 reunion with the cast.)
The Bernie Mac Show (streaming on Hulu)
Starring: The late great Bernie Mac as dad Bernie McCullough, Kellita Smith as wife Wanda, Niecy Nash as Bernie's sister (season 3-5), Anthony Anderson as father of Bernie's niece Bryanna, Bryan (season 5).
The Bernie Mac Show premiered in 2001 with a unique take on the nuclear family sitcom: Bernie's character takes in his sister's children after she is taken into rehab. The Bernie Mac Show was created by comedian Larry Willmore, best known for being a longtime correspondent on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and later co-creator of HBO's Insecure.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (streaming on HBO Max)
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Starring: Will Smith as a West Philadelphia teen named Will who moves to California to live with wealthy relatives, James Avery as Uncle Phil Banks, Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks, Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks, Tatyana Ali as Ashley Banks, Joseph Marcell as beloved butler Geoffrey, and first Janet Hubert and later Daphne Maxwell Reid as Aunt Viv.
Fresh Prince ran from six seasons (1990-96) on NBC, making us fall in love with Will Smith the actor and Carlton the dancer.
The Boondocks (streaming on HBO Max)
The Boondocks has become an animated cult classic for portraying a Black family navigating life in a predominately white neighborhood. The show originally ran on Adult Swim from 2005 to 2014.
Everybody Hates Chris (streaming on Peacock)
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Starring: Terry Crews as dad Julius, Tyler James Williams as son Chris, Tichina Arnold as mom Rochelle, Tequan Richmond as Drew, Imani Hakim as Tonya, and Vincent Martella as Chris's friend Greg.
Comedian Chris Rock created Everybody Hates Chris as a comedic take on his own childhood. The show ran from 2005-2009, earning a Golden Globe nomination in 2006 for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.
The Jamie Foxx Show (streaming on Amazon Prime Video)
Starring: Jamie Foxx as aspiring Hollywood actor Jamie King, original SNL cast member Garrett Morris as Junior King, and Garcelle Beauvais as love interest Fancy Monroe
The Jamie Foxx Show debuted on the WB in 1996, showcasing to audiences the triple threat of Foxx on his own after first breaking out a few years earlier as a cast member on In Living Color. Foxx's stardom catapulted during this time, with big-screen star turns in Booty Call, Any Given Sunday, and Ali alongside Will Smith.
A Different World (steaming on Amazon Prime Video)
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Starring: Lisa Bonet as Denise Huxtable (season 1), Jasmine Guy as Whitley Marion Gilbert, Kadeem Hardison as Dwayne Cleofis Wayne, Marisa Tomei as Maggie Lauten (season 1), Sinbad as Coach Walter Oakes (seasons 2-4), and Jada Pinkett Smith as Lena James (seasons 5-6).
A Different World began as a Cosby Show spin-off following daughter Denise to Hillman, a fictional historically Black college, but when Bonet became pregnant in real life (with daughter Zoe Kravitz) Bill Cosby felt audiences wouldn't accept her character as an unwed mother and Bonet was kicked off the show before the second season.