A sketch comedy consists of a series of short comedy scenes or vignettes, called 'sketches', commonly between one and ten minutes long. Such sketches are performed by a group of comic actors or comedians, either on stage or through an audio and/or visual medium such as broadcasting. Often sketches are first improvised by the actors and written down based on the outcome of these improv sessions; however, improvisation is not necessarily involved in all sketch comedy. An individual sketch or vignette is a brief scene or skit formerly used in vaudeville and used today on variety shows, comedy programs, adult entertainment, talk shows, or certain children's television series (such as Sesame Street). Such a sketch can include footage of a 'man on the street', pioneered by American television personality Steve Allen on evening comedy television programs like The Tonight Show.
Contributions by ChrisGriswold, Figaro, and Lukwam.