100 Funniest Sketches of All Time (30 – 21)

30. Germans Who Say Nice Things – Dana Carvey Show

The short-lived Dana Carvey Show was so short-lived that I completely missed it when it was first shown. What I’ve seen of it is pretty hit and miss but there’s a few gems, including this bit of foolishness with future star of The US Office, Steve Carell. It trades on cliches but it is still so silly that it clicks with me.

29. Singin' In The Rain - Morecambe & Wise

Morecambe & Wise hark back to my days watching tv on my grandmother’s little black and white tv. She was a fan of Morecambe & Wise, so I was too naturally. Eric Morecambe had a sweet childlike spirit to him and it was never bettered than this parody of the classic musical sequence from Singin’ In the Rain. 

28. F.U.N.E.X - The Two Ronnies

The writer and the linguist in me loves this sketch. It is so cool to see a whole scene from The Two Ronnies played out using only letters to communicate. The sheer quality of their writing is where they always X.L. for me.  

27. Amsterdam Police - Harry Enfield & Chums

Harry Enfield and Chums was the first place I encountered the fantastic Paul Whitehouse, and I this sketch was one that stood out immediately when I saw it. Whitehouse’s accent and performance are perfectly on the money, and the premise is great and doesnt outstay its welcome. 

26. Sinn Fein Interview - The Day Today

The Day Today is such razor sharp satire and this sketch was a terrific piss take of the broadcasting laws at the time which prevented members of Sinn Fein from being allowed speak on camera due to their paramilitary links, so they were dubbed by an actor (this sounds made up but it is actually true). Steve Coogan’s character takes that baseline reality and kicks it up a level in absurdity with a very light helium-based approach. 

25. One Leg Too Few - Peter Cook & Dudley Moore

Peter Cook and Dudley Moore were firm favourites of my dad. This was always my favourite sketch that we listened to. Simple, smart and super funny. 

24. Ted and Ralph - The Fast Show

Ted & Ralph were the greatest running gag on The Fast Show. As well as being hilariously funny, there was real drama and melancholy to the unrequited love story of Ted the aristocrat and his Irish tradesman. Brilliant writing and top drawer acting. 

23. Too Long Johnny - A Bit of Fry and Laurie

Hugh Laurie is a fantastic musician and has woven a brilliant gag out of a classic bluesy number. It shouldn’t work but it does thanks to Hugh Laurie’s gifted performance.

22. Booking a Flight - Absolutely

Years ago I remember getting a free cassette with some English magazine I bought, and the tape featured a compilation of great sketches that worked well in audio format. This one stopped me in my tracks. I adored the blind stupidity of the Calum character, and the spelling sequence at the end is a thing of utter genius. Genius with a G, as in G for Gnome. 

21. Zoolander Sketch - Ben Stiller

The original sketch that launched the highly underrated comedy movie about vapid models. The film itself was a true high tide mark for Stiller comedies and the sketch has real flashes of that brilliance. Ben Stiller has always impressed me as an actor, director and writer, and in these early days he was also more than willing to drop Blue Steel on us.

The sketch countdown continues tomorrow…


100 Funniest Sketches Of All Time (40 – 31)

The funniest sketches of all time continues. Today’s selection is a mix of mad music, surreal monologues and unexpected twists. Here are sketches 40 through 31

In case you missed it: 

40. Business Time – Flight of the Conchords

The Flight of the Conchords are just so good. They never fail to make me laugh. I remember watching the show on HBO and loving their sense of humour. It was also one of those rare times where I was impressed by the musical comedy numbers. So often they can fall flat or be a bit one note (forgive the musical pun) but with them where was musical craft and real thought in the comic writing of the lyrics. This song is probably their most well known (the live version is even better I reckon) and for good reason, it is a fantastic mix of madness, melody and comic timing. The chorus will now be stuck in your head for days. You’re welcome. 

39. Mr. Robot - Eugene Mirman

Years ago at a comedy gig in New York this bedraggled comedian called Eugene Mirman got up onstage and took off on the most odd flights of fancy in his routine. Half the audience was bemused. I was laughing my head off. His offbeat sense of humour really connected with me. To say it was surreal would do it a disservice. It was just quirky and unlike other stand up I had ever seen. He made choices that were fresh and unusual to my ears. I immediately picked up his album and I never looked back. It’s fair to say I am a huge fan. This kooky sketch is a great example of his unique brand of comedy. It is pure fire. But it begs the question “Is fire an emotion?”

38. Language - A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Many moons ago, a friend of mine loaned me a VHS tape (yes, I’m that old) of several episodes of “A Bit of Fry & Laurie” and it was like discovering a comedy goldmine. The sketches were smart and clever, with a very particular sensibility that spoke to me. This was a type of sketch comedy I hadn’t really seen before. They trusted their audience’s intelligence and they were happy to tackle highbrow topics. And just as readily they could throw in simple silly one liners. It was my kind of show and I still love it. I had to return the VHS tape long ago but I have since found many of my favourite sketches online, including this one. 

37. Taxi Driver Confessions - Chris Rock Show

One of the most fun experiences I had while living in New York was attending a taping of The Chris Rock Show. It was on HBO and usually featured an interview, some sketches and a musical act. On the night I was there he interviewed Cedric The Entertainer and the musical act was Nas (who was so high he had to start his song again). Grandmaster Flash was perched up in a booth above the audience and was spinning amazing tunes in the downtime between recording set-ups. The sketches that night were a bit hit and miss, but the piece that stood out was his funny take on a popular HBO undercover camera show at the time called Taxicab Confessions. Chris Rock went out in a New York yellow cab and actually picked up real passengers, and they recorded the conversations and broadcast them on his show. Nothing is funnier than real interactions with New Yorkers. And hats off to Chris Rock for his on-the-spot thinking and conversational skills. Watch and try not to laugh. 

36. The Sopranos - Mad TV

Mad TV wasn’t ever really on my radar but I had heard it mentioned so many times on podcasts  in the intervening years, I knew I had to find some of the best sketches and watch them. This one, which must have come out at the height of The Sopranos fervour, just made me roar with laughter. The idea of putting a show like that on the heavily censored, sterile world of American network television was a comedy gift waiting to happen. There’s lots to love about the near-perfect performances in this sketch, but the real star of the sketch is the video editor. He deserves a big pile of gabagool.

35. People Buying a House - Mitchell & Webb

If you’ve ever watched daytime TV in Britain you will definitely have seen this show parodied so expertly by Mitchell & Webb. Much like the previous sketch, the jumpcuts are the unsung hero here. A simple sketch but like so many of theirs, they absolutely nail it. Just like Jeff’s shelves.

34. Four Candles - The Two Ronnies

The Two Ronnies are masters of playing with words and this sketch might just be their finest example of that. Lets light a candle for their contribution to comedy history. In fact, lets light four candles. 

33. Boyfriend - Snuff Box

Matt Berry is almost always the same in everything he does, but that’s absolutely fine with me, because Matt Berry being Matt Berry is always hilarious. Before seeing this set of sketches I knew him from The IT Crowd and Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, and have since loved him in Toast and What We Do In The Shadows. There is something magnetic about him. When I first discovered this recurring sketch from Snuff Box I dont think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life. The premise is so simple (ridiculous and predictable even) but it is 100% hysterical thanks to Matt Berry’s delivery. I don’t know how many times I have seen these, and despite knowing the punchline a mile away, it always gets me. If you dont like it, then F*#k You!

32. Fish Slapping Dance - Monty Python

This little underrated gem from Monty Python is as good as anything they made. Short and sweet. Unlike the fish.  

31. Del Boy - Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle

Stewart Lee is an absolute hero of mine. I was a huge fan of Fist of Fun back in the day, and even more so his series Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle. This sketch is that series crowning achievement. After a lengthy rant about the British public’s choice of their favourite funny moment (Del Boy from Only Fools & Horses falling through the bar), the show cuts to this ludicrous sketch about Del Day, which manages to elevate the whole thing to a level of high comedy art. I love his commitment to the madness of the central idea of celebrating the day people first witnessed Del falling through the bar, and I imagine he spent the bulk of his series budget on just this sketch alone. Money well spent. It is a thing of genius. 

The sketch countdown continues…



100 Funniest Sketches Of All Time (50 – 41)

Past the halfway point in the list of 100 funniest sketches of all time. Today’s batch of ten sketches are all pure gold. Here we go then from 50 – 41

In case you missed it: 

50. Brilliant – The Fast Show

The Fast Show was BRILLIANT. Paul Whitehouse might be one of my favourite comic actors and this silly recurring sketch is a brilliant showcase of his abilities. I always loved the way they pieced these particular sketches together with multiple takes and then stitched them into something almost arty. In a strange way, the rapid fire style of The Fast Show was a real precursor to the shortform content we see everywhere on TikTok and Reels now.

49. Mastermind - The Two Ronnies

The Two Ronnies at their clever, crackling best. This sketch is a great example of what I loved the most about them. It starts with really sharp writing. They have crafted it and shaped it on the page, and I love to imagine them seated together going over every line, perfecting it, tightening up the jokes, sharpening the segues. And then when it comes time to perform it, (which they do really well) it all flows so effortlessly because they put the time in to write it so thoughtfully. For me, this sketch is a hall of fame contender for writing.

48. Jazz Club - The Fast Show

Jazz Club on The Fast Show was the same joke every time, but what a joke. It was GREAT. For me personally it resonated even further. My dad was a big fan of jazz and it was consistently the sound that bounced out of the speakers in our house. It is part of my creative influences almost by osmosis. So, this sketch, while making fun of the pretentiousness of jazz fans and certain musicians, I still see deep affection for jazz in there. 

47. Argument - Monty Python's Flying Circus

I’d like to have an argument please! Probably my favourite Monty Python sketch. So simple and so well done. Michael Palin at his mild mannered best and Cleese & Chapman are snarkingly perfect. For the longest time Cleese was my favourite Python probably because of his physicality and my deep love for Fawlty Towers, but as I get older I relate more and more to the amiable Palin who has a kind of innocence and confusion about him that feels very real. In lesser hands this sketch could easily gone nowhere, but Palin keeps it anchored in something human and that is why I love it so much. 

46. Cake - BrassEye

There are precious few people who deserve the title of genius to be bandied about with their name. But for me, Chris Morris is most certainly in the conversation. BrassEye was Chris Morris at his scathing, sharp best. Building on his cleverly crafted The Day Today, he really pushed his satire of the bombastic television news industry to a new level with this show. I will never forget the first time I saw the Cake segment on the show. It was the first time I can remember seeing a show blur the lines between reality and fiction, and I was amazed at his ability to dupe unsuspecting celebrities and politicians into talking on camera about “a made up drug” and then to cut it together into this preposterous news report – which makes it equal parts jawdropping and hilarious. Sacha Baron Cohen went on to make this type of stuff his trademark, but Chris Morris is one of the master craftsmen who built those foundations with BrassEye. A show that has never been equalled and it had a huge impact on me.

45. Social Class - The Frost Report

This was one that I came across when I was down a deep nerdy sketch comedy rabbit hole on YouTube one night. This is like seeing a supergroup of comedy – John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett – in a sketch written by Marty Feldman (my favourite person in the brilliant Young Frankenstein movie). Visual and verbal comedy at its finest -Sight gags mixed with social satire. I look up to this kind of thing.

44. Soupy Norman - Barry Murphy & Mark Doherty

Soupy Norman by Barry Murphy and Mark Doherty was a thing of genius. They took a Polish soap opera called “First Love” and re-dubbed it with Irish comedians into a coming of age story of a Cork girl moving to Dublin. The choice to make the dialogue a ‘Bad Lip Reading’ style delivery, rather than make any true sense only adds to the silliness and fun of it. Probably the funniest thing to have ever been produced by Irish TV and you can thankfully find all 8 of the episodes on YouTube. It’s definitely one of the things I share the most with others when they ask me about the funniest thing I have seen. True brilliance at work.

43. Borat - Sacha Baron Cohen

Before his global renown, Sacha Baron Cohen had a golden period as the most interesting and edgy comedian around. It was amazing to watch him go out into the world and take real chances with his comedy characters in very real (and sometimes dangerous) situations. His Kazakhstani journalist Borat has worn out his welcome a bit by now, but there was a time when this magnificently awkward, idiotic character was as fresh as anything I had seen. This song is probably my favourite Borat moment. It is him at his best, using comedy to prod society and expose their ignorance, while holding an uncomfortable mirror up to their blinkered beliefs, and still be really really funny.

42. I Said Bitch - Key & Peele

Key & Peele are just excellent at what they do. This sketch is an undeniable little masterpiece. Starting with a super simple idea, they build on it slowly and continue to escalate it to such ridiculous extremes. And it feels properly cinematic in its execution. I think about the time and money it must have cost to put this one sketch together, but they had such belief in the idea and knew it would deliver a bigger impact if they went all in. I love that about it. 

41. Heroin Galore - The Fast Show

The Fast Show was consistently hilarious and sometimes their one-off sketches were funnier than their recurring characters simply because they seemed fresh and unusual. For me, they were often at their best when they did these stylish, note-perfect parodies of BBC programming. I learned after seeing it that it was a take on the famous film Whiskey Galore albeit with a very different cargo. The decision to make it in black & white also really stands out and is the kind of attention to detail I love. 

The sketch countdown continues tomorrow…