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Types of Sketch Comedy

Comedy Styles

Soon you’re going to try your hand at a little sketch comedy writing. Last class we did a little improv comedy to show how comedy sketches and comedic characters are born. Today we’re going to look at a couple of sketch styles to help you understand the structure of comedy sketches.

I’M WITH STUPID

This is comedy that comes from out of place human behaviour. There’s either a normal character in a world of non-normal characters or one non-normal character up against all normal characters. The humour comes from how these two groups react to one another.

INVERSION

Inversion sketches present a character or situation behaving the opposite to what we might expect. For characters, this will often be an inversion of status: a childish judge, an over-emotional nightclub bouncer, an terrible doctor.

EXAGGERATION

An exaggeration sketch will take a recognizable situation and distort it via exaggeration.

DISPLACEMENT/ANACHRONISM 

A sketch in which we take a character and put them in a completely inappropriate/unexpected environment. In displacement, the displaced person(s) are aware in the clash of environments, in anachronism, the cross is treated as normal.

Anachronism

Displacement

THE ESCALATOR

Escalator sketches start off sensible and then ramp up the absurdity until they end up being completely silly/surreal. See Python’s Four Yorkshiremen boasting who had the worst childhood, or the audition from Mr. Show.

PARODY

We’ve spent some time here already. Basically it’s using a pre-existing property as framework.

THE LIST / REPETITION SKETCH

This is a one joke sketch where the central gag is repeated over and over. They’re often easy to write but hard to make funny.

REFRAMING

A sketch which relocates an activity. General election in Narnia.

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Author: pattersonmalvern

I am a teacher at Malvern Collegiate Institute. This is a blog to help students keep track of their work.

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