100 Funniest Sketches Of All Time (100 – 91)

Creating a definitive list of the greatest sketches of all time is incredibly difficult (and incredibly fun) given the remarkable wealth of great sketches to choose from. As a longtime comedy fan, and as someone who writes and performs sketch comedy, this was a true labour of love. 

In terms of curation, I have tried to cast a wide net and feature sketches & skits from different countries, different voices, different eras and different points of view. In the end this list is ultimately a collection of the sketches that have made me laugh the loudest over the years. It is in no way exhaustive. It isn’t even necessarily in order. But they are all incredibly funny.

Simply put, these are 100 great sketches that you should watch and they will hopefully make you laugh loudly. With a bit of luck you may even discover some that you’ve never encountered before. And if you have suggestions for other great sketches not included on the list, please let me know in the comments. 

Alrighty, without further ado, here are 100 of the funniest sketches of all time, starting with a batch of 10 sketches, and 10 more to follow each day. Enjoy!

100. Are We The Baddies? – Mitchell & Webb

David Mitchell and Robert Webb starred in Peep Show, one of my favourite sitcoms ever, but they also made some of my favourite comedy sketches. Their series “That Mitchell & Webb Look” was consistently one of the funniest shows on tv. This sketch about an angsty existential German soldier is one that never gets old. Rightly so, it’s close to perfect. And if ever there was a modern indicator of the impact of a sketch, it can be found in the memes and GIFs it has spawned

99. Popcorn - The Muppets

The Muppet Show sits in the pantheon of all time greatest shows for me, and their ability to write funny sketches was really second to none. The Swedish Chef was a character that I personally had a love-hate relationship with due to my Swedish identity, but I have grown to love him, and this sketch is classic Muppets in the way it builds and builds, while always retaining its playful childlike heart. Hurdy gurdy laughs without wordys. 

98. Charlie Murphy & Rick James - Chappelle's Show

Chappelle’s Show is arguably one of the most influential sketch comedy shows of all time. Chappelle cooked up multiple brilliant concepts and a long list memorable characters, none more so than his portrayal of Rick James. The brilliantly funny true story by Charlie Murphy is told in such a charming and authentic way. Chappelle then manages to take that source material and elevate it even further with one of my favourite wild over the top performances. Comedy gold bitch!

97. The Hats - Tommy Cooper

Tommy Cooper was introduced to me by my father and I loved him from day one (I loved Tommy Cooper too, but not the same way). To me there was always something wonderful about the contradictions and contrasts in his stage persona. That loud, big presence with a sweet, soft core. A bumbling, clumsy magician who would suddenly turn around and perform a perfect trick. On the face of it, he was a man who delivered simple old school jokes, but his ‘Hats’ routine was the moment where I embraced his genius as a performer. Not only is the performance funny (and increasingly funnier the more frantic it gets), but I also love the authentic way Cooper laughs at himself as he starts to twist himself up in knots in his increasingly manic delivery. It is such a brilliantly rehearsed piece of lunacy that masquerades as a traditional story, and that is always what Tommy Cooper did best. 

96. Invisible Drum Kit - Rowan Atkinson

Rowan Atkinson is a comedy icon to so many in my generation. I’m a huge fan of Blackadder and Mr Bean, and I even enjoy watching the Johnny English films with my kids. This standalone gem of as sketch is a perfect example of Rowan Atkinson’s incredible physical comedy skills, as well as being a genuinely original comedy concept. He makes a potentially pedestrian idea at least 50% funnier with his gurning and physicality. Drum roll please!

95. Matt Foley - Saturday Night Live

the thing I loved the most about Chris Farley was that he always gave his all in every sketch. He left nothing behind and his iconic Matt Foley character from Saturday Night Live is the embodiment of that. It has that broad, mad caricature of a sketch character, with Farley’s trademark physical comedy, and there is just a hint of something slightly melancholy to it too. This sketch is worth watching for David Spade’s reactions, who is unable to hold back the giggles as Farley amps it up throughout the sketch. 

94. America - A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Hugh Laurie has rightly gone on to become a highly respected actor, but for me he will always be the genius who wrote and performed sketches with Stephen Fry in “A Bit of Fry & Laurie”. Most of the comedy on the show was very clever and really respected the intelligence of their audience. But every now and again they would throw in simple basic gags like this one and I loved them for it. I guess it also helped that Hugh Laurie was a gifted musican too, which only lent itself more to the silliness of the song. 

93. The Room Next Door - Michael Spicer

During lockdown I stumbled across a few very funny comedians online. The very best of the bunch was Michael Spicer with his hilarious series “The Room Next Door” where he plays an increasingly frustrated adviser who communicates live via an earpiece with a public figure speaking to camera. Simple but utterly brilliant. Watch them all, there isn’t a bad one in the bunch.

92. Bomb Disposal - The Fast Show

No list of the greatest sketches would be complete without Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson’s series The Fast Show. I know it is often dismissed as a simple catchphrase based show, which was true to a point, but it also managed to condense storytelling and jokes into very sharp, short, punchy sketches. One of my favourite recurring characters was the “Anyone fancy a pint?” guy, which felt intrinsically English, and always delivered a funny moment of surprise in a sketch that felt unclear where it was headed (in a show that relied on familiarity with the setup). I have seen this sketch countless times and I still always laugh at the end. 

91. How To Speak Dublin - Foil, Arms & Hog

Foil, Arms & Hog are a brilliant Irish sketch troupe who post fresh sketches regularly on their YouTube channel (I also love their quarantine maths class sketch). I was lucky enough to see them up close when they performed at one of my Brownbread Mixtape shows and their chemistry was terrific even then. There is a lovely simplicity to the concept of this sketch (a language school where you learn to speak like a Dubliner) and it is delivered with such sharpness. It’s also great to see Irish comedy stalwart Paul Tylak make an appearance too. His sketches on Nighthawks on Network 2 back in the day were a massive influence on me.

The sketch countdown continues…
 100 Funniest Sketches of All Time: #90 – # 81


Plan “Be” – 5 tips about being creative

A few years ago I was lucky enough to become friendly with the brilliant Shane Langan and Nial Conlan, curators & hosts of a wonderful gig in Dublin called the Weekly General Meeting. As an offshoot of the show, they also had a podcast that showcased some of Irelands best established & emerging artists. I was featured as a performer in the very first episode alongside Hozier and Arthur Mathews (Father Ted), and they invited me back to talk about my philosophy of creativity, and ultimately to share my top 5 tips about being successful in your creative endeavors. This is the interview (starts around the 25 minute mark) and if you don’t have the time to listen, here are my original notes for the interview that capture the essence of the conversation, as well as adding some additional thoughts to it :

1. BE A LUNATIC Be a lunatic and shoot for the moon. Commit to it, then figure out how to do it. As JFK said about the actual moonshot. “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills”. In essence I am saying, simply grab a hold of an idea, own it, and do it yourself. Figure out how to do it along the way. The Brownbread Mixtape show that I hosted for a decade, as well as the LINGO spoken word festival I co-founded, were both anchored deeply in that idea. Dream big, shoot for the moon, and use your passion as fuel to make it happen.

It’s important to be a doer instead of a talker. Forget about “some day”, make it today. And surround yourself with people who say YES. Immerse yourself in a community of folks who say “Why not?”. Wild flights of fancy are worth the effort. Especially if you have others around you who want to realise the same ideas. And even if you fail, you will have built strong bonds with other creatives, and will likely learn something from the overall experience.

2. BE INCLUSIVE – A rising tide lifts all boats. I believe that. Especially when it comes to the creative community. When sizing up all angles of a creative undertaking, I believe it is important to always think about how to bring as many people along on the journey as possible. For example, when curating a line-up, I place real importance on the variety of voices represented onstage. And when it comes to the audience, my style of performance and MCing is about breaking down the line between me and the audience. I want to make everyone feel like they are fully part of the experience. The great Irish writer Dermot Bolger paid me the highest compliment by describing my live performances as follows: “… there is the feeling you felt at punk gigs in 1977 of no separation between performer and audience.” For all of my poetry performances, and especially as MC at The Brownbread Mixtape gigs, I was really focused on drawing the audience in, making them feel welcome and valued, hearing their stories, and ultimately making the experience theirs as much as mine. This takes some time and it takes commitment to build that trust. But I always go in trusting the audience. Trusting their intelligence. Trusting their willingness to connect. And the end result is a room full of people feeling connected on another level. And part of that is down to me and the people in the room, and the other part is down to the power of great art. Art is the great connector in the universe.

3. BE COOL Be cool and be kind. To artists. To audience. To everyone. To your work. If you are good to others, they will pay it back, or, even better, they will pay it forward. I didnt have an agenda other than to have a great night filled with great art, and in return we would all feel a bit more happy & connected afterwards. Sounds like common sense, but it isn’t common practice always. Most people are just looking for a nice gig with a welcoming audience. And I know that I can always provide that. Whatever comes after that is a biproduct of the energy you transmit. In a nutshell, my artistic philosophy has always been this – Be good and good things come back to you.

4. BE SPECIFIC  The more specific you are, the more universal it becomes. When it come to creative work and outputs, my greatest successes have usually come when I applied this principle. James Joyce even said much the same thing – “In the particular is contained the universal.” This has held true for both of the award-nominated Fringe plays I wrote (Three Men Talking About Things They Kinda Know About and The Definitive View with Sneachta Ni Mhurchu). For both shows I chose topics and details that were ultra specific to me personally, or to the country I live in, and through that lens I was able to reflect greater truths and moments of catharsis in every place they were performed in (from London to Paris). Because those moments are really microcosms of grander human themes and experiences. If you get real & vulnerable with people and take them to a specific place, they will likely go with you and immerse themselves willingly, because you want to share something. Because at the core of your creation is often a fundamental human truth that resonates deeply and emotionally. And that is the best you can hope for with your art.

5. BE OK WITH WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW In life. In your art. There are so many things competing for your attention and for your time, and, as hard as it is, you must simply accept your circumstances. When I have forced myself to create something, it is rarely as good as the times where I have a fire lit inside me. And this is not an excuse to be lazy or to procrastinate, but rather a grander idea about accepting the demands of your life at any given moment and being fine with how much you can create at that point in time. Be it your family, your job, your commitments – these things may slow you down, but look at them as opportunities to live your life and fill your cup with experiences that can later be translated into your work. Forgive yourself for the days where nothing creative happens, but don’t forget to celebrate the days when you do create something new. And be prepared to fail. Be prepared not to please everyone. Be prepared to go long stretches without creating. But remain a believer in your ability to create. That is being. That is creating.