Brooklyn itself has been the star — or at least played a supporting role — in many of television’s most memorable sitcoms.
In the process, images such as the front stoop of Brooklyn Heights brownstones and the elevated trains running over Bensonhurst have become iconic. Here are a few of our favorites from over the years:
The Honeymooners (1951–55)
The real 328 Chauncey Street — home to the fictional Kramdens and Nortons, but also the childhood address of actor and series creator Jackie Gleason — is in Bedford-Stuyvesant. On this show, however, it was located in Bensonhurst.
The Patty Duke Show (1963–1966)
This series was originally supposed to be set in San Francisco, but was reportedly moved to New York City to avoid California’s stringent child labor laws. This unfortunate piece of trivia at least allowed the Queens-born Duke to stay in her home town, and put Brooklyn Heights in the spotlight.
Welcome Back, Kotter (1975–1979)
While Tony Manero was burning up Bay Ridge in “Saturday Night Fever,” Vinny Barbarino was spitting out catchphrases in Bensonhurst, where much of this show’s opening sequence was filmed. The fictional James Buchanan High School was actually New Utrecht High School — where Brooklyn-born actor Gabe “Kotter” Kaplan attended high school in real life.
The Cosby Show (1984–1992)
A Brooklyn Heights brownstone was home to the Huxtables (along with several thousand garish sweaters) — though the iconic exterior shot of the house was actually a building in Greenwich Village.
Hannah Horvath and her gaggle of direction-less twenty-something friends have become the faces of a gentrified North Brooklyn — though several of her pals actually live in Manhattan. Lena Dunham’s character lives in Greenpoint, also the location of Cafe Grumpy — both a real-world coffee shop and a revolving door for characters in need of temporary employment.