Patchy in places
Developments in post-alternative sketch comedy
in Cult British TV comedy
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Sketch comedy has been written about considerably less than sitcom and therefore the chapter provides an overview of the form – its traditions in Variety and (more recently) Footlights comedy, its mixed reputation as either superficial and uneven compared to sitcom or an anarchic, convention-breaking form (the legacy of Monty Python). Sketch shows locate their style either in the format of individual sketches (the surreal or the repetitive, for example) or in the method by which they link them together (the stream-of-consciousness of Python, the loose narrative integration of the League of Gentlemen). The chapter considers some experiments and variations in the form during the post-alternative era, from the accelerated catchphrase characters of The Fast Showto the naturalistic ‘surrealism’ of Big Trainand the animated darkness of Monkey Dust.

Cult British TV comedy

From Reeves and Mortimer to Psychoville

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