A comedian makes it big with a stand-up act or a Sketch Show, so naturally the executives make him or her the star of a standard Sitcom, a rather different style of comedy. Sometimes it works; sometimes it fails badly.
A lot of it depends on the effort put into recreating what made the comedian famous in the first place. Many comics have quite a bit of vulgarity and bite in their routine, and when translated to prime-time TV a lot of that can be lost. Other times, the sitcom plot was decided upon long before the comic arrived and it has little resemblance to the routine.
And sometimes the sit com character will be more well liked than the comedian. This can lead to disappointment if a fan of the show watches the standup routine.
Very often, the comedian's character will share his first name. Expect a Danza or two. Sometimes the show will be named after the comedian's last name despite it not matching the main character's.
Almost all Dawn of Television Era sitcoms evolved from similar programs on the radio (many including much if not all of the original cast) who got their employ on radio from successful careers on Vaudeville. The others were borderline sketch shows in which the bits became progressively longer, usually produced by having Vaudevillians do their acts in front of a camera. It seems to be pretty well split between American sitcoms and a British Series.
A title the likes of The Eponymous Show is probable, but by no means the rule.
- The Abbott and Costello show was produced by having the film and Vaudeville stars give their performances in camera-equipped area.
- Absolutely Fabulous, starring Jennifer Saunders — expanded from the French and Saunders sketch "Modern Mother and Daughter".
- All-American Girl, starred Margaret Cho.
- Paul Rodriguez's short-lived AKA Pablo.
- The Bill Engvall Show, starred Bill Engvall. Another short-lived example. You'd think they would've learned from The Jeff Foxworthy Show, considering both are in the same comedy troupe.
- Both Bill Bailey and Dylan Moran moved into Black Books from successful comedy careers.
- Blue Heaven was an early sitcom vehicle for Frank Skinner, who started out as stand-up and is now best known as a TV host/presenter/affable bloke.
- Bob Newhart: The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart, Bob, George & Leo
- Greg Giraldo's short-lived ABC show Common Law (NOT the 2012 USA Network show of the same name.)
- The Cosby Show, The Bill Cosby Show and Cosby, all starring Bill Cosby.
- Steve Coogan's stand up character Alan Partridge was spun off into Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge and I'm Alan Partridge.
- Crashing, starring Pete Holmes, very loosely based on his life getting into comedy
- The Critic, an animated prime time series starring Jon Lovitz
- Curb Your Enthusiasm, as Larry David was a standup comic before he became known as a TV writer.
- Don Rickles: C.P.O. Sharkey
- The Detectives, starred Jasper Carrott. Expanded sketch from his Stand-up and Sketch Shows.
- The Drew Carey Show
- Ellen DeGeneres had two sitcoms on different networks, These Friends of Mine / Ellen and the short-lived The Ellen Show.
- Everybody Loves Raymond, starring Ray Romano.
- Everybody Hates Chris, featuring Chris Rock. Unusually, the show is a fictionalized account of Rock's teenage years, and so Rock is played by a younger actor: Rock himself only provides narration.
- Sean Lock's 15 Storeys High.
- Full House did so well that it singlehandedly destroyed Bob Saget's reputation for working blue; afterwards, it was kind of jarring watching Danny Tanner make a cameo in Half Baked talking about how he sucked dick for coke.*
- George Carlin had a sitcom called The George Carlin Show. It was a surprisingly mainstream affair compared to Carlin's subversive comedy, which probably caused its early cancellation.
- George Lopez's eponymous series.
- Grace Under Fire, based on Brett Butler's stand-up routine.
- Home Improvement evolved out of Tim Allen's stand-up routine. It wouldn't be surprising if fans of the family-friendly sitcom who weren't familiar with his stand up were shocked at how dirty his routine actually is.
- The Honeymooners, starred Jackie Gleason. An expanded sketch from his Variety Show.
- The Hughleys, starred DL Hughley.
- The Jeff Foxworthy Show is a shorter-lived American example.
- The Jim Gaffigan Show, starring stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan As Himself.
- Kenan & Kel, with Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell, previously of sketch show All That.
- The King of Queens stars stand-up comic Kevin James.
- Lead Balloon converted Jack Dee's miserable stand-up persona into a sitcom.
- Louis C.K. briefly starred in Lucky Louie. More recently, he starred in Louie where he plays himself.
- Martin, starring Martin Lawrence.
- Master of None: Aziz Ansari plays a fictionalized version of himself who is an actor and TV show host rather than a comedian.
- Mulaney has John Mulaney as a fictionalized version of himself performing standup as part of the show.
- Joel Hodgson had a fairly successful career as a prop comic and magician before creating Mystery Science Theater 3000.
- Not Going Out starring Lee Mack. Also starring Tim Vine, who continues the bad puns from his stand-up act.
- Hugh Dennis went on to feature in Outnumbered.
- Please Like Me, starring (and written by) Josh Thomas.
- Porridge and Open All Hours, both starred Ronnie Barker from The Two Ronnies.
- Chris Barrie, Norman Lovett and Robert Llewellyn of Red Dwarf. Though Barrie had done a bit of TV before this show, including sketch/puppet show Spitting Image.
- Rodney, starring Southern comedian/singer (and The Bob & Tom Show fixture) Rodney Carrington.
- Roseanne, one of the biggest examples (no fat joke intended). Come on!
- Sanford and Son was the first of several of these for Redd Foxx, including The Redd Foxx Show and The Royal Family.
- The Sarah Silverman Program is basically Sarah's stand-up persona converted in to a sitcom.
- Sean's Show was a No Fourth Wall sitcom vehicle for Sean Hughes.
- Seinfeld is one of the first shows to keep the main character's profession as a comedian. The original premise for the show was to examine how a comedian gets his material. The early seasons included clips of Jerry doing his stand-up as segues between scenes as if his character had written a bit based on his experience during the episode.
- Sorry!, starred Ronnie Corbett from The Two Ronnies.
- The Steve Harvey Show was Steve Harvey's second, and better-known sitcom. His first, Me And The Boys aired on ABC and was cancelled after a few episodes. It also featured another Sit Comic, Cedric the Entertainer.
- Terry And Julian takes camp comic Julian Clary and puts him in an apartment with a straight bloke. Hilarity Ensues.
- Titus, based on Christopher Titus' one-man show, Norman Rockwell is Bleeding (his first comedy special, which touched on living with a highly Dysfunctional Family and his life as a screwed-up person living in a world of "normal" people). Is considered one of the more successful examples of this trope as far as translating a one-man show into an ensemble comedy (even though it was canceled due to Executive Meddling).
- The Vicar of Dibley, starring Dawn French of French and Saunders.
- Welcome Back, Kotter, featuring the kids Gabe Kaplin talked about in his stand up routine.
- Whitney, starring Whitney Cummings.
- The Young Ones partially evolved from writer/performer Rik Mayall's stand-up character and the acts of the other performers. Although it's so busting with skit-based digressions and defiant of continuity, the non-sitcom backgrounds of the writers is very much embraced.
- Paul Reubens is an odd example, having turned his unexpectedly successful adult stage parody of children's television shows into an actual Saturday morning kid's show.