Sketch Comedy Radio/Live/Filmed

I saw this sketch the other day, it’s by a sketch troop called Wittank.

Its a well filmed sketch, that I admittedly laughed out loud at even though I had seen the sketch before in a slightly different form.

The first half of the video below is the same sketch group performing in the BBC tent at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Its funny, seeing the two videos next to each other. Each have their own merits. The live one gives the performers space to play around and bounce off the audience.

The recorded sketch has the great sets which helps with the setting and the staging of the scene helps convey the flashback nature better. But the live video strangely feels like its missing a punchline where as the filmed sketch feels like it draws to a logical conclusion. Strange isn’t it? Its the same end in both.

The next video is from Mitchell and Webb’s radio series. Its a very simple duologue about being at a party with James Bond.

And this is the same sketch, shortened and filmed for their TV series.

This sketch is about two people talking. By that I mean; the location in which it’s set has no relevance to the dialogue. They could be at work, or driving home in a car and the sketch would have been the same. In the audio version there isn’t even any backing sounds, so in theory your minds eye can place the characters anywhere you like. I think that’s why the audio version works better for me on this occasion.

Lets look at another one.

This is Peter Cooks wonderful “One Leg Too Few” sketch which he originally wrote for Kenneth Williams (and appears in audio form on Williams album “The World of Kenneth Williams”).



Filmed (Hound of the Baskervilles):

It seems to work just as well in each format if you ask me. The audio of Dudleys jumping congers an image witch is actually just as funny when its visualised. 

But I guess my point is that some sketches work better in different mediums. Its not a ground breaking theory, but sometimes these things still need to be pointed out.

So if you’ve written a sketch and find its not working, it might not be what you’ve written, but what you’ve written it for. Or it could just be rubbish. Its so hard to tell what’s junk or not until the audience see/hears it. But that’s a blog for another time.

I am going to leave you one a clip by a some of my favorite live sketch performers, “Pappy’s” (formally Pappy’s Fun Club). They have had two pilots on Channel 4 but never really found the TV vehicle for them. Which is a shame as they are one of the best live acts around. Do go see them.