It is believe that comedy sketches developed from the age old maxim that states "you don't have to be faster than the animal chasing you, you only need be faster than the slowest person in your group" which stinks if you are the slowest person in your group. Stand up comedy, which pre-dates comedy sketches and are theorized to be precursor to the comedy sketch, are believed to have been used to distract a group/party member so that the person telling the joke can make his escape from certain doom. I.E
"Hey Ug, what is big, green, has bad breath, razor sharp claws, and if it fell out of a tree on top of you it would kill you?"It was only after several encounters like the above that early man started sharing 'jokes' at the end of their hunting day that was used in the hunting parties so that they could escape becoming dinner for some wild animal. Somewhere along the way, after developing and collecting a variety of said stories, early man began 'standing up' surrounded by his friends to tell of his strategies and 'jokes' he used in hunting in order to ensure the survival of certain party members. It is believed that this is premise for the early formulation of Darwin's lesser know theory, aptly named "Survival of the Wittiest". The shared jokes often brought much laughter and was later determined to relive stress after a long day of hunting. It is believed that 30 seconds after the first stand-up comedy routine was finished the first critic came on the scene.
"I don't know Gug. What?"
"I don't know either but, it's right behind you!" (Ug makes fast escape while Gug turns sheepishly around to meet certain doom by the big green thing with bad breath and razor sharp claws.)