A few weeks back, we pointed you in the direction of some great movies streaming free on YouTube, for those of you who like watching movies online but don’t like ponying up those Netflix dollars. Now, if you wanna watch free TV online without a Netflix or Hulu Plus membership, the proposition gets a little trickier — those copyrights are guarded a bit more zealously (public domain isn’t nearly as rampant with television properties), and the viewing experience can be, to put it charitably, spotty. That’s why sitcoms are so good for YouTube viewing; as long as you have a passing familiarity with the characters, it’s easy to sample an episode here or there on a lunch break and not have to worry about serialized arcs and continuity issues. We sought out some of the best sitcoms in television history and found those that had at least a handful of episodes on YouTube — and that were either there officially (via the show itself, a distribution service, or public domain) or that have been up long enough to indicated that everyone’s cool with it. Have a look (and a laugh) after the jump.
Carl Reiner’s sophisticated mixture of workplace and family sitcom remains one of the finest examples of the form — fast, smart, and beautifully executed, smoothly mixing old-school yuk-yuk one-liners (most of them via Morey Amsterdam’s uproarious Buddy Sorrell) with heartfelt, naturalistic situational humor. And best of all, Reiner knew when to stop; he called it quits after five seasons, going out on top and while the show was still fresh and funny. (You can watch the entire first season and highlights from later years here.)