The best comedy sketches of 2021


I’ll be frank with all of you, it can be difficult to fill out an annual list of the best sketch comedy shows on TV. There isn’t enough on the air at any given time, especially Well those, and a year-end list with only two or three entries just looks weird. This year was no exception. There are four skits (or shows adjacent to the skit) that we can wholeheartedly recommend starting in 2021, and since five kind of seem like the bare minimum for a list like this, we’ve gone ahead and included. a fifth show that has a few issues but at its best is very funny. So yes, here are five shows heavily dependent on the comedy sketches we dug this year. (And no, we didn’t consider shows like Desus & Mero Where The Amber Ruffin Show Where Last week tonight with John Oliver which may contain sketches, but primarily involves a host reading jokes or discussing news or having amazing conversations with their host colleague. Sorry!)


Created by: Michel Che
Network: HBO Max
Season: 1

Michael Che is a controversial guy, a social media bully with a bent on both sides that disavows his responsibility as one of America’s foremost political comedians. He can also be legitimately funny, thoughtful, and insightful, and you see that side of him just enough on his HBO sketch show that it’s worth checking out. That damn Michael Che is random satire that can be frustratingly inconsistent, but when it works it’s one of the best comedies you’ll see this year. It’s no surprise that Che’s sketch show has the same general strengths and weaknesses as his stand-up and public persona, but when given his own half hour on HBO, and not limited to a few. minutes per week on a 70-year-old man-supervised show with questionable tastes and standards, Che is able to present a more comprehensive look at his own state of mind, for better or for worse.Garret martin



Created by: Kyle Mooney, Dave McCary and Ben Jones
Network: Netflix
Season: 1

If you grew up watching cartoons on Saturday mornings on the Big Three, you’ll immediately recognize what Saturday morning star hits goes for. Kyle Mooney plays generic SoCal surfing twins named Skip and Treybor, the hosts of a fictional Saturday Morning Block, as they feature a variety of recurring cartoons. These benchmark shows of short cartoon parodies like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Thunder cat, Care Bears, and Alvin and the Chipmunks, among other things, without ever recreating any too closely. They all seem a little obvious and predictable in the first episode, but as the storylines continue and develop throughout the season, they become eerily specific and absurd. These aren’t just vaguely recognizable cartoon stereotypes doing and saying things they would never do in real cartoons, but defined characters facing both realistic and ridiculous dilemmas.

Which makes Smash transcending initial expectations is how absurd these stories become over time. It’s not just about making old cartoons vulgar and violent. Yes, the show tries to make those toothless, acted shock tactics laugh, but aims for a lot more. Mooney and his co-creators have created a whole little pop culture world that looks a lot like ours without ever pulling anything out in a too direct or blatant way. They bring together fragments of garbage forced on children 30 years ago to create a surreal kaleidoscope that seems like something we know while feeling unsettling. It’s not a comedy with jokes per se, but a comedy that deals with the contrast between familiarity and absurdity, taking something we think we need to know, and then shattering those expectations. He nimbly navigates between nostalgia and parody, less interested in poking fun at the specific shows he conjures up than this whole era of corporate entertainment and youth culture he was reacting to and helping to create.Garret martin



Created by: Robin thede
Network: HBO
Season: 2

A black lady sketch show Over and over again manages to find ways to comment on the nadirs, nuances, and peculiarities of black life in a way that doesn’t make fun of the blackness itself. The revolving door of season 2 guest stars including Gabrielle Union, Omarion, Amber Riley, Yvette Nicole Brown, Wunmi Mosaki, Ryan Michelle Bathe, Miguel, Skai Brown, series executive producer Issa Rae and more, play characters who can be made ridiculous but are never kidding themselves. It’s refreshing, it’s sharp and above all it’s really funny. The show is undeniably awarded with Interesting Points for giving new life to the legacy of truly funny comedy sketch shows run by black creative teams (In Living Color, Key and Peeletc.) but its relevance is not based on its release at a time in popular culture when calls for increased representation are being made. A black lady sketch show stands out as a meritorious and well-designed variety program.

Clever one-liners and distinctively black references are graciously sprinkled throughout Season 2’s six episodes. In a skit starring creator Robin Thede and newcomer Laci Mosley, Thede is an unhappy woman who learns from a psychic that everything went wrong during a childhood game of MASH is the reason she doesn’t have a Lambo with the Suicide Doors and actually doesn’t marry B2K singer Omarion. In another skit, Mosley desperately tries to hide his half-braided hair from a booty call. In yet another, a group of women get together on vacation and enthusiastically greet each other in a ridiculous way – chloroforming each other upon arrival and revealing masks to reveal that they have arrived. The joke is that black women are often so excited to meet up that they scream, sometimes shake and laugh when they see each other. This skit takes that interpersonal social culture and sheds light on what others might recognize as disruptive but what the skit describes as hyperbolically happy.

Season 2 of A black lady sketch show is a success. Thede, her senior colleagues, and the writing team are effectively crafting a second season that further affirms the show’s ethics. All in all, it’s a proud and well-deserved victory lap.—Adesola thomas



Created by: Ziwe
Network: Show time
Season: 1

One of Ziwe’s greatest comedic strengths is understanding how to use humor through various means – music, comedy sketches, interviews, etc. injustice as a whole. On her Instagram series Live Baited with Ziwe, Ziwe has interviewed iconic guests like internet celebrity Caroline Calloway, Alyssa Milano and Slave Play playwright Jeremy O. Harris, among others. Thanks to the series and its growing popularity during the summer of 2020, Ziwe has become known for shamelessly asking her predominantly white guests conflicting questions about race.

The legacy of his live series can be found in his Showtime show. In the official promotional video of Ziwe, the actor asks the famous New Yorker Fran Lebowitz “what bothers you the most, slow walkers or racism?” Because of this brand of humor and his refusal to hand anyone an “ally cookie” for basic interpersonal decency, some might misinterpret Ziwe’s satire as high trolling – bullying masquerading as niche comedy. But if one only looks closely enough, it becomes quite clear that Ziwe is not at all interested in demolishing an individual guest, but rather in calling attention to the unease people feel about the possibility of discomfort itself. His comedy is designed to show how afraid people are of saying the “wrong thing” or of revealing knowledge gaps. Ziwe’s comedy implicitly asks “Why are people more afraid of appearing racist, sexist etc.” than actually being one of those things? “When Ziwe asks” What is a franchise? On a trap, that’s because it’s a fun thing to do. But it also gives listeners time to consider the fact that healthcare in America is so unnecessarily complicated and inaccessible that it took a talented comedian and trap to sit back and intentionally wonder why and why. ask if it should be.Adesola thomas



Created by: Zach Kanin and Tim Robinson
Network: Netflix
Season: 2

The second season of Tim Robinson’s beloved sketch show has the same fascination with embarrassment and inability to read the social clues that motivated the first season. Once again, a typical skit revolves around a character – often played by Robinson, sometimes by a guest star like Tim Heidecker or Patti Harrison or Bob Odenkirk – who does something inappropriate, embarrassing, or just plain weird. in public, then double down, refusing to acknowledge any quirk or wrongdoing, no matter how much pressure or criticism they receive from others. It’s a model that still works, and the show moves away from it just enough to keep it fresh throughout the second season.

Despite what it may seem, I think you should go is not really a “squeaky comedy”. It is too absurd for that, the situations too ostensibly caricatured. Also, instead of OfficeWith Michael Scott realizing he had overstepped, diffusing his discomfort, and ultimately being portrayed as a well-meaning and basically likable person, Robinson’s characters are generally off-balance and with almost no degree of self-awareness. It elevates the comedic stakes beyond simple discomfort and into something much more inspired.

Robinson and his co-writers (including series co-creator Zach Kanin and Mac Gruber co-writer John Solomon) make a very specific and focused comedy, yet one whose basic ideas can be applied to an almost endless array of concepts and situations. i don’t see any reason I think you should go could not continue for several seasons to come, as long as the series is able to avoid the backlash and online criticism that seems to be the fate of anything that achieves minimal success these days. If you are worried I think you should goThe second season of is going to disappoint you, no: it’s still great.—Garret martin


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