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: Amanda Bynes and teen cast members perform comedy skits.... [More]

Synopsis: Flip Wilson hosts this variety show, a mix of skits, musical acts and famous guests. Famous characters include Geraldine Jones... [More]
Starring: Flip Wilson

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#38

#37
Synopsis: A small town is inhabited by a number of offbeat characters.... [More]

Fridays (1980)

#36
Synopsis: ... [More]
Starring:

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#35

The Fast Show (1994)

#34
Synopsis: Fast-moving comedy sketches.... [More]
Directed By: Geoffrey Perkins

Inside Amy Schumer (2013)
86%

#33
Synopsis: Assuming the title didn't give it away, comic Amy Schumer is the creator and star of this series, which features... [More]
Starring: Amy Schumer

#32
Synopsis: Comediennes Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders mix sketches, songs and movie magic.... [More]
Directed By: Jon Plowman

#31
Synopsis: Comics offer their takes on controversial subjects; hosted by Dana Carvey.... [More]

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#30

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#29

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#28

Human Giant (2007)
100%

#27
Synopsis: The sketch comedy team of Aziz Ansari, Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer performs edgy and often downright twisted sketches. The... [More]
Directed By: Jason Woliner

Funny or Die Presents (2010)
100%

#26
Synopsis: Based on Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's popular website, this half-hour sketch comedy series provides an anything-goes forum for young... [More]
Starring: Steve Tom

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#25

#24
Synopsis: Ben Stiller hosts, produces, directs and co-writes for this collection of offbeat comedy films that parody or poke fun at... [More]

Synopsis: Tracey Ullman hosts a variety show containing sketches, song-and-dance routines and shorts featuring "The Simpsons."... [More]

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#22

Synopsis: With David Mitchell and Robert Webb.... [More]
Directed By: David Kerr, Kenton Allen

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#20

Robot Chicken (2005)

#19
Synopsis: Actor Seth Green ("Family Guy") and Matthew Senreich created the off-the-wall comedy hit, which is a series of pop-culture parodies... [More]

Portlandia (2011)
94%

#18
Synopsis: Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Fred Armisen and rock 'n' roll guitarist Carrie Brownstein first cracked up audiences as... [More]

All That (1994)

#17
Synopsis: "Saturday Night Live" for a Nickelodeon audience. That's the basic premise of "All That," a Saturday night staple on Nick's... [More]

The Muppet Show (1974)
100%

#16
Synopsis: A fantastic medley of sweet and mischievous, Jim Henson's Muppets, including Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, produce a weekly... [More]

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#15

MADtv (1995)

#14
Synopsis: A sketch comedy series, based on the long-running MAD Magazine, that spoofs TV shows, movies, music videos and other pop-culture... [More]

Synopsis: Sketch show with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.... [More]

Synopsis: Comedy duo Dan Rowan and Dick Martin host this fast-moving comedy series. Characters include Lily Tomlin's Ernestine the Operator, Arte... [More]

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#11

#10
Synopsis: Comic actors David Walliams and Matt Lucas take viewers on a cockeyed tour of Great Britain via a gallery of... [More]

The State (1993)
83%

#9
Synopsis: Produced by MTV, "The State" is a sketch comedy show, a la "Saturday Night Live" with more elaborate productions. The... [More]

Key & Peele (2012)
97%

#8
Synopsis: Fresh faces Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele star in this 30-minute sketch comedy series, leaving no stone unturned -- whether... [More]

Synopsis: Comedian and stage actress Carol Burnett, who first gained popularity during her stint on "The Gary Moore Show," hosted this... [More]

Synopsis: This series is composed of surreal sketch comedy pieces dealing with everything from politics and religion to popular culture. The... [More]

#5
Synopsis: This series provides a platform for the many members of the comedic Wayans family. Popular recurring sketches include Homey D.... [More]

#4
Synopsis: This series is a hilarious sketch comedy featuring five male actors who portray almost every character themselves, playing both male... [More]

Synopsis: Live from New York for more than four decades, celebrity hosts join an award-winning ensemble cast to perform comedic sketches,... [More]
Directed By: Lorne Michaels

Chappelle's Show (2003)
96%

#2
Synopsis: The sketch-comedy show, starring comic Dave Chappelle, follows the tried-and-true formula of similar shows that preceded it. Chappelle performs a... [More]
Starring: Dave Chappelle

Synopsis: And now for something completely different -- and how. The brainy members of the Python troupe present sketches from the... [More]


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