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

35. 'The Idiot Box' (1990-1991)

Hosted by, and frequently starring, Alex Winter (Bill from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure), this MTV sketch show offered brief, absurd, violent, and often meta vignettes similar to Tim and Eric's comic experiments, feeling like the precursor to both YouTube and Adult Swim. The Fifties sitcom spoof Eddie the Flying Gimp from Outer Space and a Battle of the Bands skit pitting Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. against Wilson Phillips were indicative of its immense, balls-out range. "Tom [Stern, the show's co-writer and director] and I had done an enormous amount of psychedelic drugs in our time," Winter recalled to SuicideGirls.com. "A lot of that informs our comedy... We were really influenced by things like Monty Python and Mad magazine — but also R. Crumb, Zap Comics, Robert Williams and all of this extremely psychedelic stuff." There's definitely a warped, dissociative sensibility going on, which makes you wonder where these guys would have gone had the music channel given them another year. Still, we'll always have the Sinéad O'Connor comedy special. 

Back to Top