Top Comedy Shows Filmed in Los Angeles

Warner Bros. Studios - Friends Set | Set Photo courtesy of Julien Duduoglu, Flickr

Los Angeles is the television capital of the country, and for decades many of TV’s most successful comedy series have been filmed at famed L.A. landmarks like Universal Studios Hollywood, the Studios at Paramount and Warner Bros. And not just the sitcoms with storylines set in Los Angeles. Even many shows strongly associated with another city—Seinfeld and New York, for example—were mostly shot in Los Angeles on a soundstage. The upside of all this Hollywood magic is that visitors to L.A. have the opportunity to see many of these historic sets and studios firsthand.

Cheers

Tom Bergin's Tavern | Photo courtesy of Tom Bergin's Tavern Facebook

Though the famous exterior shot of the beloved Cheers bar “where everybody knows your name” was, in fact, shot at the Bull & Finch Pub in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, the series itself called Paramount Studios its actual home. As a side note, the show was so successful and brought so much attention to the iconic Beantown watering hole that its own name was later changed to Cheers Beacon Hill. Another bit of trivia: the bar that reportedly inspired the series is Tom Bergin's Tavern, home of one of L.A.'s legendary cocktails, the Irish Coffee.

5555. W Melrose Ave., Hollywood, 323.956.1777

Frasier

Photo courtesy of Julien Duduoglu, Flickr

A spinoff of Cheers that followed the cross-country adventures of its title character, Frasier Crane, and his family, Frasier was set in Seattle. But don’t be fooled by the Space Needle-shaped skyline views from Dr. Crane’s stylish living room. That’s the illusion of Paramount’s Studio 25. Frasier fanatics will recall, however, that the landmark 1000th episode was shot on location in Seattle.

5555. W Melrose Ave., Hollywood, 323.956.1777

Seinfeld

Universal Studios Hollywood backlot | Photo courtesy of Jeffrey S., Flickr

“The show about nothing” that lasted for nine years, Seinfeld is remembered, among many things, for being quintessentially New York. The funny thing is, it was shot predominantly in Los Angeles. While some sitcoms called one soundstage home for their entire runs, Seinfeld bounced between the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot, CBS Studio Center and the now-defunct Ren-Mar Studios. The exterior of Jerry’s apartment was also shot in L.A., and is located at 757 S. New Hampshire Avenue in Koreatown.

100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, 800.864.8377
4024 Radford Ave., Studio City, 818.655.5000 (not open to the public)

Friends

Like Seinfeld, Friends was another long-running New York comedy about a group of mismatched besties that was shot in Los Angeles. After the show wrapped in 2004, the famous Central Perk coffeehouse set, where the group spent much of its time, was relocated next to the studio’s Prop House. Guests of the Warner Bros. VIP Tour will notice fun nuances like Phoebe’s guitar perched on a chair near the stage area and the playful chalkboard art. Plus, the couch makes for a great photo-op.

3400 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank, 818.972.8687

Happy Days

Happy Days was a nostalgic sitcom that presented a Rockwell-esque version of Midwestern family life in the mid-‘50s to mid-60s—even though it debuted in 1974. It turns out the make-believe didn’t end there. Even the exterior of the Cunningham’s Milwaukee home was shot in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, at 565 N. Cahuenga Boulevard, not far from Paramount Studios, where most of the filming took place. Milwaukee does have one real-life claim to fame from its association with the show: there’s now an Arthur Fonzarelli statue known as the "Bronze Fonz" along its RiverWalk in downtown.

5555. W Melrose Ave., Hollywood, 323.956.1777

Mork & Mindy

Spun off from Happy Days and landing in 1970s-era Boulder, Colorado by way of another planet called Ork, Mork & Mindy starred a then-unknown comedian named Robin Williams. Though the home exterior used on the quirky sitcom is located in Boulder, the series was shot on the Paramount lot—just like Happy Days’ other spin-off, Laverne & Shirley, which was originally set in Milwaukee but later “moved” to Los Angeles.

5555. W Melrose Ave., Hollywood, 323.956.1777

Full House

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey S., Flickr

Full House, the little sitcom that launched the careers of the Olsen Sisters, ran for eight seasons. Although the establishing shots are all of iconic San Francisco landmarks, from the Golden Gate Bridge to Lombard Street, the show was actually shot at Warner Bros. in Burbank.

3400 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank, 818.972.8687