Your favourite comedy sketches

Oct 2018
1,511
Sydney
As my current profile picture suggests, Peter Cook is one of my favourite comedians. Most often paired off with Dudley Moore, he also produced some brilliant monologues and collaborations with other comedians. Here is his famous 'Great Train Robbery' sketch from Beyond the Fringe in 1964 (with a young Alan Bennett as his straight man). He was an expert at conveying stupidity in a hilarious way, and he was also among the earliest comedians in Britain to mercilessly satirize authority figures. This sketch conveys both tendencies:

 
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Oct 2018
1,511
Sydney
Of course, there were also Peter Cook's sketches with Dudley Moore. There were the pseudo-intellectual idiots Pete and Dud, the scatalogical Derek and Clive, the famous One-Legged Tarzan sketch, and Dudley's interviews with Cook's character Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling (see profile pic), an aristocrat characterized by his life-wasting ventures (most famously, an awful restaurant that sells frog and peach-related dishes, and a 40-year attempt at teaching ravens to fly underwater). But a special favourite of mine is 'Hello', from the revue Behind the Fridge (1973):

 
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Oct 2018
1,511
Sydney
Monty Python were masters of the craft, and their decision to ignore punchlines where they couldn't make them fit, instead linking sketches to one another in a dream-like way through the animations of Terry Gilliam, made their work particularly unique. Their sketches also embodied absurdism in a way that had not yet been seen in television comedy (but had The Goon Show as an even more absurd radio antecedent, unencumbered by the need to visually depict situations). Here is a classic and a favourite of mine, The Cheese Shop (originally written for the third series of Flying Circus in 1971/2, here is a superior live version from 1974):

 
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Oct 2018
1,511
Sydney
And since I've brought up The Goon Show, here is 'What Time is it, Eccles?', from 1957, written by Spike Milligan, with Milligan as Eccles and Peter Sellers as Bluebottle: