What TV Shows From the 1960s Taught Me and Why It's Important To Watch Them Today

I was born in 1962. One of my earliest memories of watching TV is watching "Batman" (1966-1968) starring Adam West, Burt Ward, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin, Caesar Romero, and the rest. It was just so much fun singing along with the Batman theme song (pretty easy for a four year old), and trying to say the silly "Holy Hairdo" and "Holy Alter Ego Batman!" sayings by Robin. What a great, silly show!

And then I remember sitting in Daddy's lap and watching "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-1968), "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961-1966), "Petticoat Junction" (1963-1970), "Hogan's Heroes" (1965-1971), "Gunsmoke" (1955-1975) (Mama liked "Bonanza"), "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" (1954-1991), and "Gomer Pyle USMC" (1964-1969). I barely remember watching "The Outer Limits" (1963-1965) and "The Twilight Zone" (1959-1964), and cowering under an end table. We also loved watching "The Ed Sullivan Show" (1948-1971), and yes my sisters screamed and squealed with the rest of teenage America when the Beatles appeared.

Man, that was entertainment. And the whole family could sit around the TV and watch it without any fear of being embarrassed.

Today my family uses Netflix or DVDs we buy in the store to watch many of these shows and laugh ourselves silly (pretty hard to do since we're pretty silly much of the time anyway), or scare ourselves to death (watching "The Twilight Zone"). Or maybe we just want some good drama so we have watched David Janssen in "The Fugitive" (1963-1967).

So, what did I learn from watching these shows?

1. Humor can be clean.

You can make people laugh hysterically until their sides ache, without being dirty, without cutting people down, without using seventh-grade bathroom humor. My family LOVES watching "Hogan's Heroes" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show" over and over again. Who can forget the song to "Green Acres" and its almost neurotic humor?

Just watch the old "Andy Griffith Show" with Don Knotts in the episodes (I think the show went downhill after "Barney Fife" left the show). As a child I barely remember watching a few of these episodes, but later as an older kid I saw them on re-runs. "The Andy Griffith Show" is the gold standard for humor.

There was never anything dirty in the humor. No one was constantly cutting other people down in order to get laughs. Whether it is the episode where Aunt Bea makes her atrocious un-edible pickles, or where Gomer attempts his "citizens arrest," or where Ernest T. Bass does his maniacal antics, or it's just the lovable character of Otis, you and your family will be treated to real, honest-to-goodness classic humor. It's classic because you can watch it over and over again ... you know the next line that is coming ... and you never get tired of it.

Click "Load More" to see some of these classic scenes of old-fashioned humor.