2015 Primetime EmmysTV

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series: A New Category With A lot of Potential

Annika Fagerholm ‘19/ Emertainment Monthly Contributor

Amy Schumer from Inside Amy Schumer. Photo Credit: Comedy Central
Amy Schumer from Inside Amy Schumer. Photo Credit: Comedy Central

The 2015 Emmys will be the first ever to contain separate categories for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series and Outstanding Variety Talk Show. In past years, sketch comedy shows have been put head to head with the notoriously funny Late Night talk shows, such as the Late Show with David Letterman, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and more. Many believe that this new category allows shows like Saturday Night Live, which has consistently been nominated over the years, to stand on their own. Although the Outstanding Variety Sketch Show category contains only five nominees, each show brings a uniquely funny sense humor to the table.

Drunk History, another Comedy Central creation, is the underdog of this year’s nominees. The show features a new comedian every week recounting a piece of American history, which is later reenacted. The show’s unique basis as well as incorporation of a variety of well known comedians sets it apart from the other programs.

Satirical IFC television series Portlandia has succeeded in providing its audience with clever sketches and witty social critiques since 2011. Audiences have received Portlandia extremely well. The show stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, actors who effortlessly work together to create charming sketches full of an array of funny characters.

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele in Key & Peele. Photo Credit: Comedy Central
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele in Key & Peele. Photo Credit: Comedy Central

Key & Peele, a Comedy Central show focused on actors Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele portraying a number of recurring characters in pre-taped sketches, is notorious for its hilarious commentary on race relations among many other topics. Key & Peele has generated an enormous amount of popularity. The show has been extremely well received and is sure to continue to entertain in the future.

Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer has arguably created the most buzz this year due to the leading lady’s more than successful year in entertainment. The July release of Schumer’s film, Trainwreck, drew attention to this comedian and her uniquely raunchy sense of humor. Although the show premiered in 2013, Schumer’s rising popularity has drawn in a massive amount of viewers.

And last but not least, NBC’s Saturday Night Live has consistently entertained viewers across the country for the past forty years, earning a total of thirty-six Primetime Emmys. There is no doubt that SNL is the favorite to win due to its notoriety as well as its outstanding cast of actors and writers.

The emergence of these excellent variety sketch shows in recent years has created the demand for a whole new Emmys category that showcases comedians doing excellent work in their field, possibly inspiring future programs that will indulge and captivate their audiences.

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