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Top 10 British Comedy Sketches

VO: Rcihard Bush
Written by Marc Turner Lights, camera, catchphrase. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 British Comedy Sketches. For this list, we’ve sourced the most memorable moments from British sketch shows, featuring some signature characters and recurring gags. Sitcom routines aren’t included today, and neither are one-off sketches for charity drives such as “Comic Relief”. And, as usual, it’s a max of one entry per show. Special thanks to our user RichardFB for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 British Comedy Sketches


Lights, camera, catchphrase. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 British Comedy Sketches.

For this list, we’ve sourced the most memorable moments from British sketch shows, featuring some signature characters and recurring gags. Sitcom routines aren’t included today, and neither are one-off sketches for charity drives such as “Comic Relief”. And, as usual, it’s a max of one entry per show.

#10: Andy Makes A Big Splash
“Little Britain” (2003-07)


Lou and Andy are probably “Little Britain”s best known characters, appearing in every single episode of the award-winning series. And we all know the score. Andy apparently needs a wheelchair, but usually leaves it to perform a series of surprising actions and activities whenever Lou’s back is turned.In this scene at a swimming pool, Andy gets impatient to take a dip while Lou speaks to a lifeguard, for what’s regularly voted as one of the best sketches of all time.

#9: Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
“That Mitchell and Webb Look” (2006-10)


Introducing the drunken drifter Sir Digby Chicken Caesar, who stumbles through life under the delusion that he is in fact a master detective and gallant adventurer. Alongside his sidekick, Ginger, Digby spends his time committing an endless series of petty crimes, including stealing from hospitals, stately homes, and even children’s birthday parties before fleeing to the ever-inspiring tune of “Devil’s Gallop”. These sketches are dark, wholly absurd, but still at times strangely poignant, and a definite high point for Mitchell and Webb.

#8: Going For An English
“Goodness Gracious Me” (1998-2015)


This popular ’90s sketch show was most renowned for poking fun at Asian and Middle Eastern stereotypes, and for lampooning the behaviour of British people towards other cultures. In arguably its most famous sketch, the cast dines at an English restaurant in Bombay. The role reversal parody sees the unfortunate waiter endure jibes about his name and pale skin, before the friends begin to order their food. As long as it’s bland, it’s definitely on the menu.

#7: The Silence of the Lambs
“French and Saunders” (1987-2017)


Throughout their illustrious partnership, French and Saunders were well known for parodying popular films. In this sketch, trainee agent Jennifer Saunders interviews imprisoned light entertainment legend, Dr Dawn French - for a perfectly pitched serial killer spoof. French channels Hannibal to thoroughly intimidate Saunders who, in case you hadn’t caught on, plays the Jodie Foster role. And while French is more willing to help than Lecter was in the original, she issues some seriously specific demands.

#6: Ken and Kenneth
“The Fast Show” (1994-2014)


Ken and Kenneth, better known as the “Suit You” tailors, are ever-present in “The Fast Show”, embarrassing customers with sexual innuendos and unendingly inappropriate comments. But the series finale featured their most famous client, with American actor Johnny Depp dropping by. Depp’s a fan of the show, and even called this cameo performance one of his proudest achievements. He spends most of the sketch trying not to laugh, but holds it together long enough to stage an unexpected finish.

#5: The Understanding Barman
“A Bit of Fry and Laurie” (1989-95)


Having met each other at Cambridge University, Fry and Laurie often built their best sketches around subtle (or not so subtle) wordplay - and never more so than here. With light innuendo driving conversation, Fry’s bartender offers a sympathetic ear to his customer’s marriage woes. Thanks to Fry’s excellent timing, his interruptions get more risque by the moment, and more elaborate - though Laurie’s character seems none the wiser. The Ribena’s clearly gone to his head.

#4: The Royal Family Council Flat
“Spitting Image” (1984-96)


This topical puppet show often had top politicians in its satirical sights, or - as in this case - it ripped into the Royal Family. In this sketch from 1991, the Queen contemplates the impossible possibility of the Royals falling into poverty. The famous dream sequence sees the family move into a crummy council flat, with Phillip seeming especially unimpressed. Reportedly the Queen was not a fan of the show, taking particular issue with its suggestive portrayal of Prince Andrew - we doubt this will have softened her mood.

#3: The Breakfast Sketch
“The Morecambe and Wise Show” (1968-83)


Morecambe and Wise are easily one of Britain’s best-loved double-acts, and this has to be one of their finest moments. For this 1976 sketch, the duo are in the kitchen when “The Stripper” by David Rose starts up on the radio. With impeccable timing, Eric and Ernie move about the room making breakfast to the tune of the music. And as the soundtrack builds to a climax, the well-choreographed chaos reaches an expert crescendo, too. They really don’t make ‘em like this anymore.

#2: The Dead Parrot
“Monty Python’s Flying Circus” (1969-74)


A sketch inspired by a routine from “How To Irritate People”, in which Michael Palin plays a car salesman who refuses to accept that a blatantly broken car is faulty, the Dead Parrot sketch is a go-to moment for alternative comedy fans. First airing in the first series of “Flying Circus”, it has been chopped, changed, altered and spoofed over the years, with John Cleese always convincing as the thoroughly ticked off Mr. Praline. As for the Norwegian Blue, may that bird rest in peace.

#1: Four Candles
“The Two Ronnies” (1971-87)


Our winner is a world-famous sketch, from a world-renowned comedy duo. Corbett plays the shopkeeper to Barker’s comic customer, whose simple shopping list sparks all kinds of confusion. And Corbett’s character isn’t best pleased with all the running around, while Barker stands by looking increasingly bemused. Still, a script of the sketch was famously unearthed on “The Antiques Roadshow” in 2006, before selling for £48,500 - proving that “Four Candles” really is comedy gold.
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