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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30. 'The Jonathan Winters Show' (1956-1957, 1967-1969, various TV specials)

When the Doors performed on Jonathan Winters' show in 1967, they may have appeared more psychedelic — but no one was more "far out" than the host himself, whose cherubic appearance masked a dark, deranged and delightful point of view. Winters' run-amok running characters gave birth to Robin Williams' frenzy, Pee-Wee Herman's playfulness and much of what is great about the last 50 years of improv. He didn't need an ensemble, sets or even a script; he could marshal the myriad voices in his head for a cast of (male, female and sometimes animal) characters to recreate the battle of Little Bighorn or describe a fishing trip — from both the fisherman's and his prey's point of view. "If Jonathan Winters is ever accused of anything, he's got the perfect alibi," said Sixties talk show host Jack Paar. "He was someone else at the time."

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