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Greatest Sketch Comedy (What's Your Top 10?)

What are your favorite sketch comedy shows of all time? (Pick 5)

  • 1. Upright Citizens Brigade

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • 2. Mr. Show

    Votes: 2 7.7%
  • 3. Key and Peele

    Votes: 7 26.9%
  • 4. A Bit of Fry and Laurie

    Votes: 5 19.2%
  • 5. The Kids in the Hall

    Votes: 6 23.1%
  • 6. Chappelle's Show

    Votes: 5 19.2%
  • 7. Portlandia

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • 8. That Mitchell & Webb Look

    Votes: 5 19.2%
  • 9. Saturday Night Live

    Votes: 10 38.5%
  • 10. Monty Python's Flying Circus

    Votes: 22 84.6%
  • 11. Your Show of Shows

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • 12. SCTV

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • 13. In Living Color

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • 14. The Muppet Show

    Votes: 12 46.2%
  • 15. Human Giant

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 16. MadTV

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • 17. The Day Today

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • 18. Inside Amy Schumer

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 19. Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 20. You Can't Do That on Television

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • 21. The Ben Stiller Show

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 22. The State

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 23. The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • 24. Rowan and Martin's Laugh In

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • 25. Not the Nine O'Clock News

    Votes: 5 19.2%
  • 26. The Two Ronnies

    Votes: 5 19.2%
  • 27. Little Britain

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • 28. French and Saunders

    Votes: 2 7.7%
  • 29. The Catherine Tate Show

    Votes: 2 7.7%
  • 30. Snuff Box

    Votes: 1 3.8%

  • Total voters
    26
  • Poll closed .

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
After posting my Berlantiverse post ....

I was thinking that in these trying times, we need something a little lighter! How about ... TOP 10 SKETCH COMEDY SHOWS OF ALL TIME????

Now, there's been a lot of good sketch comedy done in history, so much that it is probably outnumbered only by the bad sketch comedy. But what is the BEST OF ALL TIME? For me, the following are the Top 10, combining a peculiar mixture of funny, personal preference, influence, and longevity into a special judging admixture ...

10. Upright Citizens Brigade

9. Mr. Show

8. Key and Peele

7. A Bit of Fry and Laurie

6. The Kids in the Hall

5. Chappelle's Show

4. Portlandia

3. That Mitchell & Webb Look

2. SNL

1. Monty Python's Flying Circus

(apologies to Your Show of Shows, Carol Burnett, MadTV, SCTV, In Living Color, Laugh-In, Muppet Show, and Smothers Brothers, among so many)

So, what are your Top 10? Or any recommendations for a show that I can watch during the Forever Time?
 

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Ah, Sid Caesar's Show of Shows, classic. I'd probably rate In Living Color and SCTV higher than the honorable mentions, but other than that, I can't disagree too much with your rankings.

One thing I'd add is the Almost Live show. That's a favorite from back in the 90s. And filmed in Seattle, it is so very 90s.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
One thing I'd add is the Almost Live show. That's a favorite from back in the 90s. And filmed in Seattle, it is so very 90s.

Despite my affection for all things Joel McHale, I never got around to seeing that! I'll have to see if it streams anywhere.

I always viewed the late 80s into the 90s as the "golden age" of weird tv that aired late at night on the UHF stations* ... including a show called, um, WeirdTV.


*Try explaining that to a kid today. It's like explaining "race as class."
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
While Python has several of my favourite sketches of all time, they weren’t consistently great.

Fry & Laurie were more consistent but didn’t reach the same heights. Same with Mitchell & Webb.

Then there are older classics like The Two Ronnies (the Fork Handles sketch is an all-time great). Not the Nine O’clock News, Little Britain, French & Saunders, the list goes on. Too many to mention.

Most of that list I’ve never heard of (American, I assume?)
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
While Python has several of my favourite sketches of all time, they weren’t consistently great.

Fry & Laurie were more consistent but didn’t reach the same heights. Same with Mitchell & Webb.

Then there are older classics like The Two Ronnies (the Fork Handles sketch is an all-time great). Not the Nine O’clock News, Little Britain, French & Saunders, the list goes on. Too many to mention.

Most of that list I’ve never heard of (American, I assume?)

I tried to include a fair smattering of ones from the UK I was familiar with in the poll; if I had gone to 30, Little Britain and French & Saunders would have made it.

....not The Two Ronnies, though. Can't say I've ever heard of that one?

But yes, there is an American/Canadian bias.

The British Ones on the list (for everyone but Morrus) are:

A Bit of Fry and Laurie
That Mitchell & Webb Look
Monty Python (that makes 3/10 for my personal top 10 and 2/5 for my top 5!)
The Day Today
Not the Nine O'Clock News
 




Public Access shows have been supplanted by YouTube and whatnot, but pound for pound weirdness, they had the edge. Stumbling across some of that Top-Level Weirdness late at night was an experience all of its own.

I always viewed the late 80s into the 90s as the "golden age" of weird tv that aired late at night on the UHF stations* ... including a show called, um, WeirdTV.

SNL and Monty Python both. While they both had their share of misfires and weaker material, at their best they became cultural landmarks.

While Python has several of my favourite sketches of all time, they weren’t consistently great.

Fry & Laurie were more consistent but didn’t reach the same heights. Same with Mitchell & Webb.
 



Monty Python is a classic, but it was never consistently good. It had only a few sketches that people remember, but most of it wasn't good at all. A bit of Fry and Laurie and French and Saunders were a lot more consistant in their quality. Madtv and SNL had a lot of fantastic sketches, but which were again easily outnumbered by their bad sketches.
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Monty Python is a classic, but it was never consistently good. It had only a few sketches that people remember, but most of it wasn't good at all. A bit of Fry and Laurie and French and Saunders were a lot more consistant in their quality. Madtv and SNL had a lot of fantastic sketches, but which were again easily outnumbered by their bad sketches.

Well, I wrote "For me, the following are the Top 10, combining a peculiar mixture of funny, personal preference, influence, and longevity into a special judging admixture ..."

In the end, it's all arbitrary, and mostly to spur conversation. I think that Monty Python would have to be in anyone's top ten (and certainly my number one) for the combination of funny and influence; of course, it's also hard to separate out the TV show from the later movies and individual work of the people involved.

Other shows (such as Portlandia) I put up there because they are amazingly funny, but they can also be hyper-specific; they don't have the madcap energy or randomness that a Monty Python or Mr. Show has, and I wonder if it will have the same "feel" in 30 years.

Most lists will necessarily be biased toward more current shows and/or "best of" shows depending on the age, given that humor can be very time-specific as well. Some classic shows (I'm thinking of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In) just don't seem very funny any more. IMO. On the other hand, other shows (like SNL) almost have to be there given the sheer longevity and influence.


.... I have to admit, I am somewhat surprised that the Muppet Show has 6 votes, but Mr. Show has zero. I love the Muppet Show, but no love for Mr. Show?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
.... I have to admit, I am somewhat surprised that the Muppet Show has 6 votes, but Mr. Show has zero. I love the Muppet Show, but no love for Mr. Show?
Well speaking for myself I’ve heard of the Muppet Show. No idea what that other one is!
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Well speaking for myself I’ve heard of the Muppet Show. No idea what that other one is!

It was a great, absolutely great sketch show with Bob Odenkirk ("Better Call Saul") and David Cross ("Tobias Funke") that aired on HBO for four seasons in the late 90s.

Netflix recently did a "reboot" (called W/ Bob and David) that had some really funny moments, but lacked the all-star comedic shops and writing of the original. You can never re-capture lightning in a bottle.
 

On the other hand, other shows (like SNL) almost have to be there given the sheer longevity and influence.

This is exactly why I voted for SNL. Part of me really wanted to vote for SCTV instead, as I think that it's funnier on a per-show basis. But if you sum up all of the best sketches of SNL over time, SCTV can't hold a candle to it.

As someone who voted for Key and Peele over Chappelle's Show, I am legitimately surprised to see K&P with more votes than CS.
 


Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
I am a little sad you omitted The Whitest Kids you Know from the list. Not consistently great but man, some of those episodes and skits were amazing.
 

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