April 10, 2008


The 50 Greatest Comedy Sketches of All Time (Nerve.com)

There's no more sure-fire way to kill something's intrinsic comedic value than to try to examine what makes it funny. The minute you start thinking, you stop laughing. So why, then, have Nerve and IFC.com devoted an enormous amount of time, manpower, monetary resources, server space and posh catered lunches to the pursuit of ranking the boob tube's finest sketch comedy offerings?

In part, we're here because magical new technology (*coughYouTubecough*) allows us to do more than just pontificate for paragraphs on end — now we can pontificate for paragraphs on end and provide audiovisual evidence to back up those pontifications. We provide the context, share our thoughts and feelings, and let you commence with the guffawing and, naturally, the disagreeing. After all, the comedy sketch — short, sweet, completely silly or shot through with social commentary — worms its way into the public mind like nothing else, and has easily made the leap to the web when other forms have faltered.

Any list is bound by the limitations set on it — consciously and unconsciously — by its creators: we kept our 50 selections to stuff that's appeared on television by choice, and to what's appeared in English out of necessity. One must also bear in mind the availability of material; who knows what comedic treasures are lost to us because they simply don't exist anymore?

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 10, 2008 6:28 AM

Personally, I would have found room for the Johnny Carson/Jack Webb "Copper Clapper Caper" sketch and something by Benny Hill.

Posted by: Rick T. at April 10, 2008 8:07 AM

Where's the Penguin Sketch?

Posted by: Mike Morley at April 10, 2008 12:08 PM