Friday, March 9, 2012

Top 5 Sketch Comedy TV Shows

Chappelle brought the funny, but did he make the list?
Sketch comedy shows are fairly hit or miss, but these are the ones to add to your Netflix queue:

5: Mr. Show with Bob and David (HBO, 1995-98) - A hilarious and clever show that gave a platform to some big names in comedy, including David Cross, Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, and Patton Oswalt.  Mr. Show flew under the radar for its whole run, and even now is under-appreciated.  (But now, you're in the know.  Cool, right?  Being on the inside?  Yeah.  Yeah.)

4: The Whitest Kids U' Know (IFC, 2007-11) - They had some misses, but their hits were so on.  The clip here is my favorite, but there's another I recall of a group of guys in a board meeting--one is talking when another reaches into his pants and pulls out a turd so naturally it's as though this is just what people do.

3: Saturday Night Live (NBC, 1975-present) - Of 37 seasons, there have been probably 10 worth watching.  But consider that--ten good seasons of funny sketch comedy!  SNL has seeded the acting world with comedians since before I was born.  At least half of the really funny movies in the last 30 years feature SNL alums.  I picked this clip for one line: "Ya know fox, I have paid for women worse than you."

2: That Mitchell and Webb Look (BBC Two, 2006-10) - The most clever show on the list, and hilarious to boot, this British import is just making its way to the States, where Family Guy and Futurama were dragged out of the dustbin of television and given a new life.  Perhaps some clever network will convince David and Robert to bring Mitchell & Webb to the U.S. (but probably not since we Americans don't "get" this kind of comedy).  This clip is clever, but have a look at their top 5 sketches.

1: Chappelle's Show (Comedy Central, 2003-06) - The show was Dave Chappelle's baby, but the clip shows why it worked so well--Chappelle didn't need to be the spotlight in every sketch; he allowed other funny people to be funny.  Every episode of Chappelle's Show was hilarious on multiple levels, and no other show has matched its seamless transition between ridiculous and intelligent humor.  Plus, he's rich, biatch!

Before anyone says it in the comments, no I don't think Monty Python belongs.  They made some hilarious movies, and have a few memorable and funny sketches, but they have hours worth of unfunny material that gets passed off as "British humor" (which is BS because Mitchell and Webb and Fry and Laurie are British shows, and pretty damn funny).  

It is amazing how hard it was to narrow this list to 5, so I am sure one of your favorites won't be up here.  Let us know what it is in the comments below, and "like" us to get updates every time we add a new top 5 list!


  1. I think I'd put Mitchell and Webb at #1.

  2. I disagree with your Python assessment as there are tons of great sketches on Flying Circus. Two other underappreciated shows are The State and The Ben Stiller Show. It's been years since I've seen either so not sure how they hold up.

  3. I agree The Ben Stiller Show was good, but I think these are better.  I don't remember The State, but could obviously be missing a diamond in the rough.  Anyone else have a thought on The State?  As for Python, the group is legendary, but the ministry of silly walks and similar sketches fall totally flat.  I have no idea if they were popular during their day, but they aren't funny now.  At least to me. :)

  4. Ever seen "The Kids in the Hall?" They did some great, bizarre stuff.

    I resent "The State," since I went to school with a lot of them, and yet am somehow not as successful yet.

  5. Yeah, The Kids in the Hall was considered for the list, as was UCB, but I don't think either was really as funny as the shows on the list--I never thought they were particularly funny even in their heyday (though they did have some moments).