Comedy fans on the internet are debating the relative merits of Seinfeld and Friends, two of the defining American sitcoms of the 1990s.
Larry David, the co-creator of Seinfeld and the show’s defining creative force, had this to say in 1998:
Without Seinfeld, would there be a Friends?
Would that show have ever been done without Seinfeld?
That format, what they’re doing? No.
There is a sense that Friends is Seinfeld with the hugging and learning reinserted (both were vetoed by David) as well as a more attractive cast.
Great Britain remains one of the few countries where Friends was the more ubiquitous show, yet more evidence of the population’s tendency to get things very wrong when it comes to the big decisions.
Seinfeld is arguably the crowning artistic achievement of the 1990s and, for many, the greatest sitcom ever made. It’s easy to mock Friends (fun too) but it was a solid show of the era that has aged a lot worse.
The debate might have been well-intentioned but it was a little like asking whether Muhammad Ali or Frank Bruno was the better boxer; some people would probably give the wrong answer but that doesn’t mean their answer isn't valid.
Here’s what the good people of Twitter had to say. For once, they were largely in agreement.
Friends did have its supporters.
And some simply couldn't choose.