I grew up with classic TV variety shows, a genre which has been dead for a long time. I was hopeful that Rosie O'Donnell's show would be worthwhile (it wasn't IMHO, and many others felt that way as well).
Ed Sullivan introduced mainstream America to Rock, and several others had worthwhile programs (notably Carol Burnett).
Of course, we had well-written, intelligent sit-coms back then, too. Hard to believe 'All In The Family' was considered 'on the edge' of respectable television, but it was well written, well acted, and eventually well received. Most television comedy today is dribble - no thinking required (even the news).
I still have a thing for Ann Marie ('That Girl' - Marlo Thomas), Laura Petrie / Mary Richards ('The Dick van Dyke Show' and 'The 'Mary Tyler Moore Show') and Rhoda Morganstern (Valerie Harper - also from 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'). I kind of grew to like Edith Bunker, too (Jean Stapleton - 'All in the Family').
Early 'Saturday Night Live' programs were well done comedy, too. And yes, I still have a thing for Jane Curtin, too.