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

20. 'You Can't Do That on Television' (1982-1990)

"We took it to an absurd level to make kids feel that their lives weren't really that bad," You Can't Do That on Television co-creator Geoffrey Darby told Splitsider. Artistically, it was trying to show the kids at home watching, 'You think your life's bad? Well, you didn’t have to write six or seven hundred pages out of a dictionary for detention.'" Adolescence is a living nightmare, and no show understood that better. Every recurring sketch on the Canadian-created, kid-acted sketch show was a trip through Dante's Teenage Inferno. Some of the recurring stops: a detention dungeon where kids traded jokes while hanging from chains and Barth's, the local burger joint that served horsemeat and maggots. The best idea YCDToTV — really, all of Nickelodeon — ever had was dumping slime on their heads whenever one of the actors said, "I don't know." They once slimed 10 kids in one episode. "You're pulling these people who are on pedestals down," said Darby. "Green slime was about trying to give a comeuppance to kids on TV so audiences at home wouldn't feel so 'jealous' of them, for lack of a better term. They would see that lives of a kid on this show were not all wonderful."

Back to Top