What is sketch comedy?

In recent times, comedy has evolved drastically. Due to this evolution, we have learned about different forms of comedy. In this post, we are going to talk about a form of comedy that has gained huge recognition in recent times. We witness this form of comedy quite a lot, especially in YouTube videos. Yes, we are talking about sketch comedy. 

Sketch comedy is a visual reenactment of a character or an incident. Therefore, the three major elements of a sketch comedy are humour, crisp writing, and live performance. The piece of writing shall not be very long as it might become a play.

There has to be a tinge of humour in the writing to depict the comical aspect of the sketch. There is no hard and fast rule for the third element, i.e., live performance. A sketch comedy can be recorded as well. However, traditionally it is performed live. 

Now, that we have an idea about sketch comedy, it becomes important to know about its types, Let us take a look at them:

Types of sketch comedy 

Inversion: As one might understand from the name, inversion comedy is the opposite of what we expect. In this form of comedy, the viewers might have a certain expectation from the character. However, the character acts exactly the opposite of what we expect. This might include characters like a childish judge, an unprofessional doctor, etc.

Exaggeration: In this form of comedy, the actor reenacts a character or a particular situation. However, instead of doing a realistic enactment, the actor will exaggerate the situation in a manner that creates humour.

The audience might be able to recognize what is being enacted. However, the sketch would be an exaggerated version of the actual incident.

Displacement: In this form of comedy a particular character is introduced to an entirely different environment. Therefore, this crossover of two different worlds is what enhances the humour in the sketch because the character might not be able to fit into the given situation. Another form of a sketch that is similar to displacement is anachronism. 

Anachronism: Anachronism is quite similar to displacement. In anachronism, a character is introduced to a different world that is highly unexpected. Therefore, the character ends up doing things that might not be appropriate to that setup. However, there is a major difference between a displacement and an anachronism. A character in an anachronism is unaware of the crossover, which is not the case in a displacement.

The escalator: This form of sketch comedy does not initiate with humour. In fact, the sketch starts off with something sensible. As we dive deeper into the set, it becomes more absurd. Ultimately, the sketch becomes completely silly which leads to comedy. 

In this form of a sketch, one can expect a setup where two people are having a discussion about something. The discussion might start on a sensible note. However, with time it derails from the topic and leads to absurdity. 

Parody: Parody, as a form of comedy is a much-debated topic. This is because some people consider parody to be a form of sketch comedy. Whereas others might consider as a different form altogether.

In a parody, the character or characters enact something that has already been done. For instance, a parody could be a comical reenactment of a serious movie, etc. 

Repetition sketch: As the name suggests, the sketch is a repetition. In this form of comedy, the central idea of the sketch is repeated over and over again.For instance, the sketch might be based on a particular incident. The incident will keep repeating itself throughout the sketch in different forms. Due to the repetition of an idea, such sketches are easy to write. However, making the incident look funny every time might be difficult.

These were some of the most commonly recognized forms of sketch comedy. In recent times, we have seen the evolution of sketch comedy. Especially on digital media platforms like YouTube and Instagram. 

If you wish to learn more, we have something for you. We are offering online stand up comedy classes by the legendary Johnny Lever – an actor who is a veteran when it comes to comedy in Bollywood. This unluclass would help you learn about what goes into being a great comedian. Check our website for more information on this online comedy course. 

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