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Five of the Most Fabulous Sketch Comedy Shows Ever

Updated on July 14, 2014

Sometimes I do.......

MAD TV (1995-2009)

MAD TV was a late night sketch comedy show based on the humor of MAD magazine. MAD Magazine was an American humor magazine created in 1952 by Harvey Kurtzman and William Gaines. The hugely popular parody inspired a fanatical generation of fans. Are you familiar with the gap toothed smile, freckled faced and tousled red hair of the crafty MAD mascot Alfred E. Neuman? Many young people are unaware that the MAD TV show had it's origins in brilliant satirical cartoons.

Spring forward thirty years and the television show presented hilarious contemporary comedy material based on impersonations, crazy character portrayals, mock commercials, fake movie trailers, and even Spy vs. Spy ( the famous fighting cartoon duo from the original magazine) segments. In order to compete with such variety shows as Saturday Night Live, MAD TV was aimed at a younger adult audience and included such comedians as Bobby Lee, Aries Spears, Michael McDonald and Debra Wilson. The show won five Primetime Emmy Awards and sixty-three award nominations overall.

Notable characters: Ms. Swan, Dot, Coach Hines, and the simple minded yet stubborn child, Stuart Larkin. "Look what I can do!"

Michael McDonald and Bobby Lee


Robot Chicken

The Carol Burnett Show

Chapelle's Show

In Living Color

Key & Peele

Mr. Show

Mad TV

The State

Upright Citizens Brigade


Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live (1975-

Most of us have grown up with Saturday Night Live and cannot even remember when it didn't exist. The show has launched the careers of more famous actors, writers and comedians than any other sketch show in comedy history. SNL was the brainchild of genius writer, actor, director Lorne Michaels. Michaels was born in 1944 in Toronto, Canada which may explain why the cast included so many multi-talented Canucks such as Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers and Norm MacDonald. Lorne Michaels still maintains his status as captain of the SNL ship standing proudly at the helm each and every Saturday night before a live audience.

The incredible casts, inspired performing and fast paced creative comedy writing bestowed SNL with the honor of winning thirteen Emmy Awards.

1975 This is the late John Belushi with Chevy Chase and you're not....

Weekend Update 2013

Classic Farley, Spade and Sandler

Notable SNL Cast Members

Chevy Chase

John Belushi

Dan Aykroyd

Gilda Radner

Bill Murray

Eddie Murphy

Billy Crystal

Christopher Guest

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Martin Short

Damon Wayans

Robert Downey Jr.

Randy Quaid

John Lovitz

Phil Hartman

Adam Sandler

Dennis Miller

Ben Stiller

Dana Carvey

Chris Rock

Chris Farley

David Spade

Colin Quinn

Will Ferrell

Jimmy Fallon

Amy Poehler

Tina Fey

" I've got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell" Memorable SNL Quotes

Stuart Smalley: ...because I'm good enough, smart enough, and - doggone it - people like me!

Colin Quinn(Weekend Update): That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Mango : "You can't-a have-a de Mango!"

I am Hans...Und I am Franz...Und ve just vant to pump...YOU UP!

" and I live in a van down by the river!"-Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker

"Well isn't that special?"-Church Lady

"Yeeaaa, that's the ticket!"-Tommy Flanagan, the Pathological Liar

"Talk amongst yourselves"- Linda Richmond -Coffee Talk

"Yeah! It's a match!"- The Target Lady

"Move" and "You're welcome." Nick Burns, Your Company Computer Guy

"Yes! Yes! Yes!"- Stefon

KIDS IN THE HALL (1988-1994)

Kids in the Hall are an eclectic Canadian comedy troupe best known for it's hilariously innovative cross- dressing collaborations. Kids, Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson proved that in sketch comedy there are no limits when you have such a creative cast of clever characters. Kids in the Hall used their musical talents, improve skills and artistic vision to not only entertain but tempted their audiences to truly think deeply about universal emotions.

Notable characters: Simon and Hecubus, Bobby Cole, Cathy and Kathy, the Head Crusher and Chicken Lady

Oh, Canada our home and native land....

Canada is the home of these notable sketch comedy

The Frantics

The Riot

Kids in the Hall

Second City Television

The Sketchersons

Royal Canadian Air Farce


Wayne and Shuster

You Can't Do That On Television

History Bites

Comedy Inc.

You Choose

What is Your Favorite Sketch Comedy Show?

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SCTV (1976-1981)

Second City Television was a masterpiece comedy sketch show revolving around the set of the fictitious TV station SCTV. The programs broadcast by SCTV were brilliant parodies of films and other relevant television sitcoms. Some of the memorable shows included "Farm Film Report", Woody Allen's "Play It Again, Bob!", "Monster Horror Chiller Theatre" with "scary" vampire host Count Floyd, and of course the now notorious "Great White North." hosted by the Molson beer guzzling Canadian hose head brothers Bob and Doug McKenzie. The station was run by shrewd and wily president Guy Caballero who sometimes used sitting in a wheelchair to gain sympathy even though he was perfectly healthy, the milquetoast journalist Earl Camembert, childish long forgotten actor Johnny LaRue, and feisty station owner Edith Prickley.

The most notable writers and performers produced by SCTV were amazing talents who went on to enjoy even more successful careers after the conclusion of SCTV: Rick Moranis, current Hollywood producer, writer director and actor Harold Ramis, Katherine O'Hara , Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Joe Flaherty, Dave Thomas, Martin Short and of course the late great John Candy.


Monty Python's Flying Circus was the United Kingdom's John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle and the lone American cartoonist/artist Terry Gilliam. Collectively, they are often praised as the Grand Masters of surreal sketch comedy and the epitome of uncompromising genius by writers and performers. Often satirizing the British professional or typical "every day, Englishman" both Terry Jones and Michael Palin were Oxford University graduates. John Cleese, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman attended Cambridge University. This may explain why so much of their comedic references are philosophical and literary in nature.

Most memorable sketches:

Dead Parrott

The Spanish Inquisition

The Ministry of Silly Walks

Nudge Nudge

The Lumberjack Song

Notable quotes:


" An argument is not the same as a contradiction ."

"'I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay. I cut down trees. I eat my lunch. I go the lavatory.

"Spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam!"

"..and now for something completely different."

"Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. Say no more."

Made in the UK Sketch Comedy.."smashing ...ol'chap"

The Benny Hill Show

Mr. Bean

Who Dares Wins

Monty Python

The Frost Report

Dead Ringers

The Hollow Men

The League of Gentlemen

Not the Nine O'clock News

The Sketch Show


The Goodies

Do Not Adjust Your Set

Monty Python contained both Oxford and Cambridge University graduates plus a Yank.

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And now for something completely different.....

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