40 Greatest Sketch-Comedy TV Shows of All Time

From Caesar to Schumer, 65 years of the Land Shark, the Chicken Lady and a bunch of Muppets

22. 'Portlandia' (2011-)

Five seasons into its run, the loving spoof Portlandia continues to take risks, tinkering with its format and letting its ambitions grow, even dedicating whole episodes to just one storyline. But that creative restlessness is appropriate for a show that, from the start, didn't seem like a sure thing — the talented, mercurial Fred Armisen had never been a breakout star on Saturday Night Live, and as for Carrie Brownstein, was Sleater-Kinney ever remembered for being funny? But the longtime friends, alongside co-creator and series director Jonathan Krisel, have fashioned something as handmade and peculiar as the artisanal crafts the show enjoys lampooning. The secret weapon, of course, is how much it skewers its own audience of self-aware hipsters (which includes Armisen and Brownstein). "There is no 'they.' It's all us," Armisen said. "I would never play a character that wasn't true. It's not a moral thing, it's just that it's more convincing if it's a little bit like me."

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