Three’s Company- co-ed living, sexuality, and independence

“Come and knock on our door…

We’ve been waiting for you…

Where the kisses are hers and hers and his,

Three’s company too.”

(Three’s Company Lyrics – Theme Song Lyrics, n.d.) 

Three’s Company, a comedy that was based on the British sitcom Man About the House, aired in March of 1977. (Three’s Company, n.d.)  This show starred Jack Tripper played by actor John Ritter, Janet Wood played by actress Joyce DeWitt, and Chrissy Snow played by actress Suzanne Somers. Something not seen in the past was woman and men living together. These three shared apartment 201 in Malibu, California. (Three’s Company- Wikipedia, n.d.) Jack was a chef and found himself unable to afford an apartment by himself. He ran into Janet (a florist) and Chrissy (a secretary) looking for a new roommate. In society, it was seen as a bad thing to have co-ed living situations if you were not related or married.


The landlord of the apartment complex, Stanley Roper, was like many people. He didn’t believe in co-ed living. With his strict policy, Jack told him he was gay. “When it first aired, the notion of a man sharing an apartment with two women who weren’t relatives was novel; having the man also pretend to be openly gay made it racy and groundbreaking. This was titillating stuff for 1977.” (Three’s Company, n.d.) Having such a controversial living situation and the openness of sexuality was a change in television. This was a path for change and moving towards a more liberal society. (Three’s Company, n.d.) Along with showcasing independent, workingwomen, this show brings to light more liberal issues involving Jack.

My perspective: Growing up in a liberal household with options and freedom, as a woman has been a blessing. I reflect back on the past and the struggles women had to go through to get where they are today. Every show during the 1970s that reflected change and took risks helped the efforts of the Liberation Movement. Women wanted to be independent, work, and have a voice. Three’s Company not only showcased those independent women, but it brought up topics of gays and living co-ed without a marriage certificate. I think those are powerful topics to showcase to America. Liberation means change and it means opportunities to be who you want to be. I think this show helped bring those issues to the forefront.

About the main characters: John Ritter was an actor, comedian, and a voice-over artist. He was born in 1948 and was best known for his role as Jack Tripper in Three’s Company, which he won an Emmy and Golden Globe for. He died suddenly in 2003 while starring in the ABC hit 8 Simples Rules. (John Ritter- Wikipedia, n.d.) 






Joyce Anne Dewitt was born in 1949 in Wheeling, West Virginia. As an actress, she was best known for her role as Janet Wood in Three’s Company. (Joyce DeWitt –Wikipedia, n.d.)






Suzanne Somers was born on October 16, 1946. She is an actress, author, singer, and businesswoman. She has written self-help books and is known for her roles as Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company and as Carol Lambert on Step-by-Step. (Suzanne Somers- Wikipedia, n.d.)







John Ritter. (n.d.). Wikipedia- The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from

Joyce DeWitt. (n.d.). Wikipedia- The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from

Suzanne Somers (n.d.). Wikipedia- The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from

Three’s Company. (n.d.). TVland. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from

Three’s Company -Wikipedia. (n.d.). Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 1, 2012, from’s_Company

Three’s Company Lyrics – Theme Song Lyrics. (n.d.). Lyrics On Demand. Retrieved November 3, 2012, from