If you want the audience to continue to SIT you have to provide some COM
Like Gollum, like Darth Vader, even Bonni the Bayside Nazi of BareNakedIslam has her uses sometimes. She recently posted (approvingly) a link to this article from the Daily Mail about the new BBC sitcom Citizen Khan. I'd noticed its appearance, but reviews before it aired suggested it wasn't really very funny, so I didn't bother. Well, now I watched some of the first episode, and you know what? It wasn't very funny. Not offensive so much as bo-ring. And I say that as one who watched hundreds of episodes of Mr Ed in my childhood.
I'm clearly not alone in that assessment. Here's Arifa Akbar in the Independent. Here's the reviewer in Metro Blogs.
Like Akbar, I loved Four Lions and Goodness Gracious Me. Not because they were any more politically correct than Citizen Khan (Four Lions is about a bunch of incompetent terrorist wannabes!) but because they were funny. The reason people didn't object to Father Ted (or maybe they did: in the era before Twitter and Facebook it took a lot more people to get an outrage going) is that they found it funny (never liked it myself but I can see why some people did).
No, I think I'll just stick with those crappy old 1960s sitcoms. I mean, this one may have been voted second worst series of all time (after the Jerry Springer Show) but I found I could still remember all of the theme song 47 years later, which sort of makes up for its paper-thin humour.
Of course, if we're talking about sitcoms which attracted sackloads of complaints, how about Heil Honey I'm Home! which was pulled after only its pilot was aired?
UPDATE: There's no pleasing some folk. One of Bonni's commenters bemoans the fact that the BBC (famed, as we all know, for its pro-Muslim bias....NOT) is trying with this series to make out that Muslims are just normal people like anyone else. Terrible! However, in view of the (British but not BBC) sitcom pilot I link above, I thought this comment was funny (HHIH aired in 1990, though):
Too bad back in the 1930s the “Beeb” hadn’t come up with a radio comedy about a German Nazi family living in London in which the kids rush to put on their swastika armbands and pick up “Mein Kampf” when Father comes goose-stepping through the door. Hilarious! And shows how there’s nothing to fear from these folks and that loudmouth leader of theirs with the toothbrush mustasche. They’re just like us!