If you were to list and rank every cinematic genre, sketch movie would come pretty damn close to the bottom. Not only are there so few films that it barely registers as a genre at all, most of them range from “shrug” to “terrible.” Unless there are some hidden gems out there that haven’t been discovered [or, obviously, I’m just not thinking of], the complete list of moderately successful sketch movies includes early Woody Allen Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, Monty Python’s Meaning of Life and And Now for Something Completely Different, and this week’s pair Tampopo and ZAZ-written, John Landis directed The Kentucky Fried Movie.

Of course, Tampopo isn’t traditionally or exclusively a sketch movie, but its many side interludes play perfectly in that way. Tampopo takes full advantage of sketches allowing for a collage of different tones and cinematic references, even if they all revolve around food—a rice omelette being made like a vaudeville act, an old woman squeezing grocery products in the style of a British comedy of manners, and a fried rice zombie film can all be different cogs in the thematic piece. A successful sketch film [and, yeah, there aren’t many of them] must be a tapestry working cohesively. No matter how good the individual parts they must serve the whole; this is the difference between a collection of short films and a true sketch film.

With the title of The Kentucky Fried Movie, you may think you’re in store for more food themed spoofs, but that wouldn’t be the case. Instead, the film is a full of quick-hitting gags and scenes made from fake news footage, commercials, film trailers, and more. The scant 83-minute film is made of 26 different vignettes, which averages out to just over 3 minutes per—when you consider that the longest, an Enter the Dragon parody called “A Fistful of Yen,” runs over 30 minutes itself, that tells you how quickly paced The Kentucky Fried Movie can be. With a majority of the sketches lasting less than a minute, it is almost impossible for all the jokes to register, but the pace helps the humor build.

The Kentucky Fried Movie’s reputation is of an irreverent, classless, and lewd film that is bravely willing to take down all races, genders, and ways of life. It’s true that the film doesn’t shy away from broad stereotypes [a Dating Game-type show with Asian men whose names escalate from “Hung Well” and “Long Wang” to “Enormous Genitals,” for example] and there are a few jokes that don’t work so well today, but what must have set it most apart in the late 1970s was just how weird it is. The clearest comparisons to The Kentucky Fried Movie today are Adult Swim and the Tim & Eric anti-comedy movement—there is certainly more sex and nudity than could play on the cable network, though. The Kentucky Fried Movie was definitely ahead of its time for this comedic styling, even as Saturday Night Live was already pushing the limits with parody in sketch comedy. “A Fistful of Yen,” for example, comes decades before Kung Fu parodies become their own subgenre.

This is exactly a surprise given the comedic talent behind the film. Writers Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker would go on to write and direct some of the greatest parody films ever made: Airplane!, The Naked Gun, Hot Shots!, and the underrated BASEketball are a few. One of the more memorable sketches in The Kentucky Fried Movie is another parody of a popular genre, a trailer for “That’s Armageddon,” a take on the big cast disaster pictures [like Cinessential-covered The Poseidon Adventure!]. We’re told we’ll be “scared shitless” by the terror, with Donald Sutherland making a cameo as “the clumsy waiter.” A few of the spoofs are so specific, I’m not exactly sure what they are even spoofing—such as a two-part courtroom sketch where the lawyers take all the legal terms to their most literal.

Among other highlights, a trailer for “Cleopatra Schwartz” might be the most famous. In this sequence, the typical markers of the popular blaxploitation genre [a tall, badass black woman shooting her way through the criminal New York underbelly] is matched with a rabbi. There isn’t much more to the joke than that, but it works visually. Perhaps my personal favorite sketch is the finale, “Eyewitness News,” where a newscaster on television begins to become flustered when the couple in the living room begin to have sex. Like the rest of the film’s sexually explicit content, it is perfectly silly.

Overall, The Kentucky Fried Movie is as all over the place as you might expect. Though there are recurring gags and framing devices, there isn’t much of a coherent structure. While this might make for something that resembles more of an actual movie [such as Tampopo], it would definitely take away from the slapdash aesthetic and create something entirely different. Really, it is the style and intensity that makes The Kentucky Fried Movie entertaining, not any particular sketch or joke. Truthfully, the longest entries in the film are the ones that can drag. It is undoubtedly slight and more than willing to offend, but its wacked out charm is hard to ignore.