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

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17. 'The Dana Carvey Show' (1996)

"Dana is playing Bill Clinton literally breastfeeding puppies," writer Robert Carlock told GQ, regarding the very first sketch aired on Carvey's comedy show. "That was our introduction to America..... ABC paid...to get a rating graph broken down minute by minute. When the breast came out, six million people changed the channel." Given a primetime slot to capitalize on his post-SNL fame, the comedian immediately alienated a lot of Home Improvement viewers who forgot to change the channel. But for eight episodes (seven of which actually aired), Carvey and a dream team of writers and performers — Steven Colbert, Steve Carell, Robert Smigel, Louis C.K., Charlie Kaufman, Bob Odenkirk, 30 Rock's Carlock, Delocated's Jon Glaser — displayed a subversive brilliance that's absolutely mind-boggling. For every trotted-out Carvey impersonation, there were also sublime creations (like the Stupid Pranksters and Germans Who Say Nice Things) or seemingly dangerous attempts to bite corporate hands (sponsors Mountain Dew were subjected to a two-minute skit centered around the soda's resemblance to urine). 

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