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Series: The Sketch Show
The Sketch Show is a British, well... sketch show which ran between 2001 and 2004. The five-person cast was composed of comedians Lee Mack, Tim Vine, Jim Tavaré, Karen Taylor, Ronni Ancona (for Series 1) and Kitty Flanagan (for series 2). With no overall plot, the show's episodes were composed entirely of short comedy sketches.

It spawned a short-lived American remake, starring Kelsey Grammer.


This show provides examples of:

  • Couldn't Find a Lighter: A sketch depicts a group of cavemen inventing fire. Once the fire is going, one of them immediately uses it to light a cigarette.
  • How Did That Get in There?: Parodied. A college professor is presenting a slideshow about bikinis, with pictures of women wearing them. He then advances to a picture of a building and, well, you know.
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin: Possible Trope Namer. The show had a brief sketch where a woman going through customs is assured that her tub of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" is okay to go through. The customs officer them pulls out a bag labelled "I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin." Beat. "I think that's all in order."
  • I Have This Friend: Parodied and subverted when a man tells his doctor that his friend is a woman trapped in a man's body - and that that woman has a man trapped in her's. The doctor asks if he's talking about himself. He denies it, saying that it's his flatmate. Further subverted when she asks him to bring his friend to see her. He then pulls out a Babushka doll and opens it up.
  • Imaginary Friend: A sketch took this to an over-the-top degree. The sketch concerned a psychiatrist running a group therapy session to persuade people that their imaginary friends weren't real; her patients were a guy who used his imaginary friend as a cover for alcoholism (the joke being that he walked into the meeting by mistake while looking for an AA meeting for his "friend"), a lonely and lovesick woman (whose imaginary friend had the same name as her last boyfriend), and a guy who thought he himself was the imaginary one. At the very end of the sketch, it turns out the psychiatrist was actually addressing an empty room.
  • Mustache Vandalism: In one of the sketches, Ronni introduces her boyfriend Lee to Karen by showing her a picture of him, which has a red mustache, red glasses and red hair doodled over it. Karen asks her why she did that, but it turns out that's what Lee really looks like.
  • Reactive Continuous Scream: Done repeatedly in one sketch with a support group for people with phobias. Lee had a fear of screaming, Jim had a fear of apologies, Karen had a fear of repetition and Ronni a fear of awkward silences.
  • Scrabble Babble: Lee's tactic is to include his made-up words in the conversation before his turn starts. First he does this with "quazoosl", referring to someone being so attractive that they come across as intimidating (the example he gives is Elizabeth Hurley). In a later sketch, he asks Tim if he wants a glass of "saxisquith". Tim replies, "Don't even think about it."
  • Stupid Crooks: A scene has a group of counterfeiters who realize it's costing them more than 12 pounds to produce a usable 10 pound note. After a few suggestions for rectifying this, they decide to just start circulating actual 10 pound notes.
  • Undisclosed Funds: A sketch played with this, which a woman discusses with a repairman his prices using onomatopoeia (whistles for high prices, "eh" for low prices, etc.) At the end of the sketch, the woman asks how much it would be if she helps install it, and he replies, "£50".


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