by Hans ten Cate
Sunday, 3 April 2005

Monty Python's Dead Parrot sketch ranked 2nd on a list of to 50 sketches, in a poll conducted by Channel 4

On Sunday, 3 April, Britain's Channel 4 aired a three-hour television special counting down the top 50 Greatest Comedy Sketches of all time. The top British sketches were chosen in a poll conducted by Channel 4 on its website,, which counted 32,000 votes. The television special included clips of the best bits and behind-the-scenes footage, as well as exclusive interviews with the people responsible for the 50 Greatest Comedy Sketches of all time.

Monty Python scored five of the top 50 sketches, with the Dead Parrot sketch ranking second to Little Britain's Lou and Andy. Other Python sketches making the list included: The Spanish Inquisition (#12), Ministry of Silly Walks (#15), Nudge Nudge (#31) , and the Lumberjack Song (#49).

Other notable Python-related sketches include the Class Sketch (#40) from The Frost Report and At Last the 1948 Show's The Four Yorkshiremen sketch (#46) which was performed many times by the Pythons at their stage shows.

Here is the complete list:

  1. Lou and Andy (Swimming Pool) - Little Britain
  2. Petshop/Dead Parrot - Monty Python's Flying Circus
  3. Tubbs and Edward (Road Men) - The League of Gentlemen
  4. Vicky Pollard (Swimming Pool) - Little Britain
  5. Four Candles - The Two Ronnies
  6. Going For An English - Goodness Gracious Me
  7. Acorn Antiques – Victoria Wood, As Seen On TV
  8. Breakfast - The Morecambe and Wise Show
  9. Ted and Ralph (Drinking Game) - The Fast Show
  10. Good Aids/Bad Aids - Brass Eye
  11. The Slobs (Brown Baby) - Harry Enfield and Chums
  12. The Spanish Inquisition - Monty Python's Flying Circus
  13. Silence of the Lambs - French and Saunders
  14. Papa Lazarou (The Circus Comes to Town) - The League Of Gentlemen
  15. Ministry of Silly Walks - Monty Python’s Flying Circus
  16. Previn Plays Greig - The Morecambe and Wise Show
  17. The Only Gay in the Village (Daffyd's Coming Out) - Little Britain
  18. The Pool - The Day Today
  19. Michael Jackson's Crib - Bo Selecta!
  20. Suit You! Tailors (New Job) - The Fast Show
  21. Masterchef - The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer
  22. Singing Match - Smack the Pony
  23. Job Seekers (The Interview) - The League Of Gentlemen
  24. History Today - The Mary Whitehouse Experience
  25. Mastermind - The Two Ronnies
  26. One Leg Too Few - Beyond the Fringe
  27. Two Soups - Victoria Wood, As Seen on TV
  28. Gerald the Talking Gorilla - Not the Nine O'Clock News
  29. Mr Cholmondley-Warner (Women Know Your Limits) - Harry Enfield's Television Programme
  30. Stoneybridge Olympic Bid - Absolutely
  31. Nudge Nudge - Monty Python's Flying Circus
  32. Craig David on Tour - Bo Selecta!
  33. Constable Savage - Not the Nine O'Clock News
  34. Singing in the Rain - The Morecombe and Wise Show
  35. Alan Partridge (At the Races) - The Day Today
  36. The Dagenham Dialogues - Not Only But Also
  37. Thatcher and Cabinet - Spitting Image
  38. Damn It! - A Bit of Fry and Laurie
  39. Saying Goodbye - Smack the Pony
  40. Class Sketch - The Frost Report
  41. The Pandas (Japanese Tourists) - Who Dares Wins
  42. Cissy and Ada, Babysitting - The Les Dawson Show
  43. Two Flies - Alas Smith and Jones
  44. Jockey Safari - Big Train
  45. A La Carte - The Tommy Cooper Hour
  46. The Four Yorkshiremen - At Last the 1948 Show
  47. Slade in Residence (Christmas Day) - The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer
  48. Rod Stewart's Bum - The Kenny Everett Television Show
  49. The Lumberjack Song - Monty Python's Flying Circus
  50. Smashie and Nicey (Radio Quiet) - Harry Enfield's Television Programme