Sketch comedy is a term used to describe a comedy show in which each episode is comprised of sketches. A "sketch" is a short scene or story with a single premise. Notable sketch comedies include Monty Python's Flying Circus, The Kids in the Hall and Mr. Show with Bob and David. Unlike sitcoms, where the actors tend to play one character throughout the course of the series and the number of sets is limited, the casts of sketch comedies almost always play a wide variety of characters—even in any given episode—and there are at least as many sets as there are sketches. Occasionally a sketch comedy will stretch out one sketch to fill an entire episode—as Monty Python's Flying Circus did in 3x08 - The Cycling Tour or The Kids in the Hall did with the "Chalet 2000" sketch in 4x09 - 409. But in general, sketches tend to last between three to five minutes, so the average 30-minute show will have six to ten of them. While most sketches are done only once, some sketches will involve recurring characters—characters or concepts which appear in multiple episodes in multiple situations. Due to the popularity of their sketches, shows such as Saturday Night Live, Chappelle's Show, Mad TV and Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In are often called "sketch comedies," although they are more accurately described as variety shows.
See the Sketch category for a list of sketch shows.