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Delaware Today magazine 302 First: Delebrity TV with Keith Powell, former Delawarean who plays Toofer on NBC’s 30 Rock


photograph by Corey HayesDelebrity TV

Keith Powell, former Delawarean who plays Toofer on NBC’s “30 Rock”


I can’t mention one without the other. “Cheers” and “Frasier” are the gold standard of comedy writing for TV. The simplicity of those unique characters interacting with each other—without need of a gimmick or theme or marketing angle—makes both shows timeless, and unfortunately a rarity among modern sitcoms. They were made up of true ensembles, each character as interesting as the other, and you watched both shows because you wanted to see how all of them would play off each other.

Married… With Children

In its early days, this show was a revolutionary half-hour of television. Debuting at the height of the family sitcom craze, the show dared to present the family unit as something less than perfect. The Bundys were the neighbors you had but wish you didn’t, and their antics were completely identifiable as behavior you’ve seen other people do. “Married…” displayed a brilliant mix of silly and smart that revolutionized the way people viewed the modern family.

The Cosby Show

This was the biggest hit of its generation because entire episodes were built around Cliff making a sandwich … and you loved every second of it. The show wasn’t just revolutionary because it wisely showed how diverse the black experience in America can be, but also because it presented us with human beings living their lives simply and elegantly. We all aspired to be a part of the Huxtable clan because we recognized our better selves in their mundane activities.

All In the Family

A show that was able to mix issues of politics, race, gender, and religion all while simply telling the story of an ill-tempered man who would not leave his chair and the doting wife who looked after him. How in the world was Norman Lear (the show’s creator) ever able to make you care for a man who was, a racist, sexist and bigot? Because he gave Archie such heart, warmth and basic goodness that it had you rooting for him—to wise up, or win out—every week.

I’ll Fly Away

A show that was canceled well before its time, “I’ll Fly Away” was a testament to the small sacrifices made during the Civil Rights movement. It showed two families—one black, one white—with intersecting lives that informed each other. Sam Waterston was never better, and Regina Taylor played one of the greatest heroines television has ever seen.