Key & Peele (Comedy Central)

(Photo by Comedy Central)

40 Best Sketch Comedy Series of All Time

The world’s best comedy doesn’t always come in sitcom form, but instead is served up as nuggets of funny in short sketches. Now in its 44th season and having introduced some of the world’s top comedy stars to the spotlight, Saturday Night Live is the reigning champ of sketch comedy for sheer endurance, while other top titles popped up on the scene only briefly with searing social or political commentary delivered as jokes.

We’ve had a look at the “200 Best Comedy Series of All Time,” but decided to make a separate list just for the unique brand of humor that is sketch comedy. Read on to find out which top sketch comedy shows made our shortlist based on Tomatometer where available, popularity on the lists of other reputable media outlets, and Rotten Tomatoes editors’ careful consideration.

Also find out which shows readers like you chose as their favorite comedies and which series top comedy stars picked.

Is your favorite sketch comedy series MIA from this list? Tell us in the comments.

#40
Synopsis: A family-friendly sketch-comedy series that blends skits and animated shorts with live performances from top music acts. A recurring presence... [More]

Synopsis: The comedian's Emmy-winning 1970s variety series. What you see is what you get, and what you get in Wilson is... [More]

Synopsis: A long-running and classic variety series. Skelton, whose sign-off was `Good night and God bless,' was a comic from... [More]
Starring: Red Skelton

Synopsis: A surreal English village provides the setting for thissitcom, featuring the comedy trio in more than 60 roles.... [More]

Fridays (1980)

#36
Synopsis: ABC's hit-and-miss late-night stab at a`Saturday Night Live'-like success similarly mixes sketches, music acts and guest hosts. Larry David was... [More]

Synopsis: Topical satire, linked to current headlines.... [More]

The Fast Show (1994)

#34
Synopsis: A popular British sketch-comedy series, renamed `Brilliant!' when it aired in the U.S.... [More]
Directed By: Sid Roberson

Inside Amy Schumer (2013)
86%

#33
Synopsis: A series of sketches, interviews and stand-up routines featuring comedian Amy Schumer.... [More]
Directed By: Neal Brennan

#32
Synopsis: A British series featuring a variety of characters in skits.... [More]

#31
Synopsis: The `Saturday Night Live' alum got his own show and quickly saw it canceled due mostly to way-over-the-top skewerings of... [More]

Synopsis: The brilliant comedian's battles with NBC censors doomed this variety series just as it got started, and only five shows... [More]

Synopsis: Wildly inventive, often absurdist sketches and blackouts, written by and starring a TV pioneer. Kovacs had many shows (seven in... [More]
Starring: Ernie Kovacs

#28
Synopsis: The delightfully outrageous British comedian headlines a slapstick sketch series, an unapologetic throwback to burlesque traditions that routinely features sexy... [More]

Human Giant (0)
100%

#27
Synopsis: A sketch-comedy showcase.... [More]

Funny Or Die Presents (2010)
100%

#26
Synopsis: The sketch-comedy Web site "Funny or Die" makes the transition to TV series, with a list of comic actors that... [More]

Synopsis: Considered a `Laugh-In' for kids, this popular sketch show helped put Nickelodeon on the map with its spoofs, and it... [More]

#24
Synopsis: Before Zoolander, Night at the Museum, Dodgeball and Meet the Parents there was The Ben Stiller Show! Get a glimpse... [More]

Synopsis: Tracey Ullman headlined one of Fox's first prime-time series, which featured sketches, song-and-dance routines and an eclectic lineup of guests,... [More]

Synopsis: A collection of short films, parodies, animations, pranks and musical numbers.... [More]

Synopsis: The radio stars take their show to television in this series.... [More]
Directed By: David Kerr

Synopsis: Producer Max Liebman's live, 90-minute Saturday-night showcase was an emblem of TV's golden age if ever there was one. `Show'... [More]

Robot Chicken (2005)

#19
Synopsis: Stop-motion sketch show taking satirical aim at celebrities and politics.... [More]

Portlandia (2011)
94%

#18
Synopsis: Comic vignettes chronicle the lives of various offbeat fictional characters in Portland, Ore.... [More]
Directed By: Steve Buscemi, Bill Benz

All That (1995)

#17
Synopsis: An improvisational sketch-comedy series performed by an all-kid cast (ages 12-18), including appearances by singers and other celebrities who also... [More]
Directed By: Malcolm-Jamal Warner

The Muppet Show (0)
100%

#16
Synopsis: Jim Henson's fanciful creations, headed by host Kermit the Frog, cavort on-stage and backstage with celebs in this classic family... [More]

Synopsis: The title refers to four bizarre anarchists who act as a link for quirky comedy sketches.... [More]

MADtv (1995)

#14
Synopsis: Based on MAD magazine, this hilarious comedy sketch series with an ensemble cast features film and television parodies, political satire,... [More]

Synopsis: A series featuring the performance of parodies and skits.... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Bishop

Synopsis: An Emmy-winning rapid-fire potpourri of sight gags, blackouts and one-liners that, and you could look it up in your Funk... [More]

SCTV (0)

#11
Synopsis: Hilarious and often surreal TV parodies that helped launch numerous comedy careers, including those of John Candy, Eugene Levy, Joe... [More]

#10
Synopsis: A sketch-comedy series that offers a surreal tour of life in the British Isles.... [More]

The State (0)
83%

#9
Synopsis: Sketch comedy performed by an 11-member troupe made up of students from New York University.... [More]

Key & Peele (2012)
97%

#8
Synopsis: A comedy series featuring filmed sketches and live stage performances.... [More]
Directed By: Peter Atencio

Synopsis: Great skits (especially the movie parodies), music and celebrity guests add up to a classic series with the gifted, versatile... [More]

Synopsis: Often inspired sketch lunacy with an absurdist, stream-of-consciousness style, this series found a cult following similar to that of `Monty... [More]

#5
Synopsis: An Emmy-winning sketch-comedy series that featured hilarious parodies and dynamic dance segments, and presented such memorable recurring skits as `Homeboy... [More]
Directed By: Paul Miller, Jesse Vaughan

Synopsis: One of Canada's funniest exports has a number of wonderfully odd characters who take sharp, satiric jabs at social conventions... [More]

Synopsis: A variety show packed with some Emmy-winning satire for laughs.... [More]

Chappelle's Show (2003)
96%

#2
Synopsis: A first-rate variety series that blends sketches, pop-culture parodies and music guests.... [More]

Synopsis: A sketch-comedy series that offers offbeat sketches, surreal animation and bizarre characters.... [More]


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