The storylines gave viewers an "inside look" at how the TV show was run and written. Storylines deal with Rob Petrie and his two coworkers, Buddy and Sally, who write material for the TV show. Mel Cooley, a balding straight man (and recipient of numerous insulting one-liners from Buddy), is the show's producer and the brother-in-law of Alan Brady, the show's seldom-seen star. As Rob, Buddy, and Sally write for a comedy show, the premise provides a built-in forum for them to "be funny."
Other stories focus on the home life of Rob and Laura, who live at 148 Bonnie Meadow Road in suburban New Rochelle, New York. Frequently seen is their young son, Ritchie, as well as their neighbors, Jerry and Millie Helper.