In Comedy, What's the Difference Between a Sketch and a Skit?

Or are they interchangeable?

Normally, a skit is fully scripted while a sketch is outlined for scene and then acted out through improv and ad lib.

According to the dictionary I just looked at, one definition of “skit” is “a humorous or satirical story, or sketch.” So I’d say they’re interchangable.

The word skit just has less cache’ than the word sketch, I’d say.

From Wikipedia (FWIW):

“More serious sketch comedians differentiate their art from that of the skit, maintaining that skits tend to be a (single) dramatized joke, while a sketch is a comedic exploration of a concept, character, or situation.”

They mean the same thing, though a sketch is more likely to be on TV while a skit is more likely to be on the stage.

And the word is “cachet.”

According to Lorne Michaels, “kids do skits.” He’d go ballistic whenever anyone referred to SNL bits as anything other than sketches.

I remember we had to do skits in high-school German class to show that we had mastered the material. I would never have called those sketches (though the ones I wrote usually came pretty damned close).


From Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip:

“A skit is when the football players dress up as cheerleaders and think it’s wit. A sketch is when some of the best minds in comedy come together.”

“Serious comedian” sounds like it ought to be an oxymoron. :slight_smile:

Skits are what Cub Scouts perform at a Pack meeting.

Yep, one of my drama instructors would lose her mind if we called it a skit. Sketch or Scene. Never skit.

Au contraire, good comedians are dead serious about their craft and their message.

SNL would seem to be about exactly in the middle of those two points.

It wasn’t in the beginning, but it started going downhill after the first year and a half. The one really bright spot since then (so far as I could see) was the Eddie Murphy–Joe Piscopo years. I quit watching after that.

I would tend to agree with this. A skit is simpler, shorter, and almost always contains only two characters. Abbot & Costello’s classic* “Who’s On First?”* is a skit, while Aykroyd’s & Martin’s* “Two Wild & Crazy Guys!”* is a sketch…

Tina Fey worships Lorne Michaels and would agree with anything he said. Lorne Michaels has done a great job managing SNL but by all accounts he is a narrowminded bureaucrat with the sense of humor of a concrete block.

Skit = sketch. They’re synonyms.

Then you missed some brilliant comedy.

I was out of the country most of that time, but what I saw when I came back for visits didn’t impress me at all.

Surely, that’s a routine. :dubious:

This may be the first time in history the words “bright spot” and “Joe Piscopo” were used in the same sentence.