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Sketch comedy
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Sketch comedy

Sketch comedy consists of a series of short comedy scenes, or 'sketches', commonly between one and ten minutes long. Such sketches are performed by a small group of comedic actors, either on stage or through a video medium such as television.

Notable contemporary stage sketch comedy groups include The Second City, the Upright Citizens Brigade, and The Groundlings.

Notable television sketch comedy shows include Saturday Night Live, SCTV, the Upright Citizens Brigade, and Mr. Show.

Sketch comedy has its origins in vaudeville and music hall, where a large number of brief but humorous acts were strung together to form a larger program. In England it moved to radio with such shows as ITMA and then television with such shows as Monty Python and Not the Nine O'clock News.

Historically the sketches tended to be unrelated, but more recent groups have introduced overarching themes that connect the sketches within a particular show, and running characters that return from week to week or appear throughout an episode. Examples of running characters include "Ted & Ralph" from The Fast Show; the "Head Crusher" from The Kids in the Hall; Martin Short's "Ed Grimley", a running character from both SCTV and Saturday Night Live; and "Kevin & Perry" from Harry Enfield and Chums.

In America, contemporary sketch comedy is largely an outgrowth of the improvisational comedy scene that flourished during the 1970s. British ensembles, in contrast, have always been built on writing talent - often working in pairs.

Table of contents
1 List of sketch comedy groups
2 External Links

List of sketch comedy groups

Australia

Canada

UK

USA

External Links