Truthfully, i was too young to remember this show when it originally aired back in the late 70's. I do remember a lot of controversy about it, and that some stations chose to air it late rather than during primetime, because they thought it too racy.
A few years ago, I managed to catch this show on Comedy Central, and I have to admit that it is quite possibly the finest sitcom ever created. The characters were not the bland, shallow, unimaginitive figures you see on tv today. There was Jodie, the homosexual that was always unsure of his own sexuality; Chuck, the shy ventriloquist that always carried around his dummy Bob, whom Chuck thought was real, and there was NOTHING he wouldn't say; Burt, the delusional construction worker who had frequent encounters with the paranormal; Danny, the dimwit son of Burt that was mixed up in the mafia and later became a deputy sheriff; Chester, the wall street financier who slept with every woman in town except his own wife; and on and on. The cast (which includes billy crystal) was perfect...everyone played their roles so believably that you truly feel like you are watching a real dysfunctional family.
The writing and jokes were also timeless...This show was designed to take a direct pot shot at the absurdity of modern soap operas, and it hit it's mark perfectly. Most of the plotlines were like something out of a supermarket tabloid which always added to the hilarity of the show. Burt being abducted by aliens, burt thinking he can make himself invisible by snapping his fingers, jessica being captured by central american freedom fighters, jodie's baby being possessed by satan, etc...
Even 20+ years later, this show will not disappoint. While it may be tame by today's standards, it was clearly a pioneer that paved the way for a lot of today's programming.