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Sketch comedy has been kicking around since the vaudeville days, but it may have found its perfect medium in YouTube. From Dick in a Box to Wainy Days, viral video lets sketches cut out filler and find as large an audience as they need, giving us a peek at some great material that would be unairable on network TV and would probably have been booed out of the music halls a hundred years ago.

Monty Python was too early for the boom times, but they’re catching up with their very own YouTube channel, loaded with excellent rips of a handful of classic sketches…and a few well-placed suggestions as to where you might find their DVDs. So far there’s only twenty sketches up, taken equally from long-running BBC series and their four films, but we expect more as time goes on.

Mostly, it’s refreshing to know that they’re just as good as we remembered. The ADD-absurdism of Andy Samberg and The State started here, and it still hasn’t been topped.

Here are our favorites:

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom