Mad (stylized as MAD) is an American animated sketch comedy television series produced by Warner Bros. Animation. The series was based on Mad magazine, where each episode is a collection of short animated parodies of television shows, films, games, celebrities, and other media, using various types of animation (CGI, claymation, stop-motion, etc.) instead of the usual animation style that Warner Bros. Animation is known for. The series premiered on the evening of September 6, 2010 on Cartoon Network at 8:30 P.M. right after the series premiere of Regular Show pilot episode "The Power". The series ended its 3-year run on December 2, 2013.
Series developer Kevin Shinick worked as a writer, producer, and voice actor on Adult Swim's Robot Chicken, and many people cite Mad as a "kid-friendly version of Robot Chicken".
The series has some recurring sketches:
- A Mad Look Inside – A short piece in which viewers see a magical world inside a celebrity. This only played during Season 1.
- Alfred E. Neuman for President – During the Election of 2012, there were campaigns for Alfred E. Neuman's presidential election.
- Ask the Celebrity – Where various celebrities respond with absurd answers to questions in letters from fans. For example, when Miley Cyrus was asked to tell what she did to put on a good concert performance, she stated that she would rub cats on herself and walk on wool carpeting.
- Bad Idea # – This presents a scenario from the long list of possible bad ideas.
- Celebrities Without Their Make-Up – The segment shows what real and fictional celebrities would look like without their make-up. For example: Zach Galifianakis is Benson from Regular Show without his make-up, Russell Brand is a wooden nutcracker without his make-up, Robert Pattinson is Alfred E. Neuman without his make-up, Iron Man is C-3PO without his make-up, and SpongeBob SquarePants is a fruitcake without his make-up.
- Commercials – There are some commercials for fictional items and programs on every episode.
- Dear Reaper - The Grim Reaper reads and replies to letters from children regarding their deaths.
- Don Martin – Adaptations to comics strips by longtime Mad cartoonist Don Martin.
- Drawn-Out Dramas – After one of the primary sketches of the episode concludes, the Mad "wallpaper" will appear and "rip open" to reveal a Sergio Aragones-style sketch in front of a colored background, often using a version of Alfred E. Neuman in some capacity.
- Gross and Beyond Gross – Showcases the differences between "gross" and "beyond gross".
- MAD News – A newsman delivers recent news. This sketch originally began appearing randomly in the middle of an episode — usually interrupting another sketch. Starting with episode 9, the sketch served as a cold opening for every episode. With Season 3 and the introduction of the MADvent Calendar, it returned to being featured as an interruption.
- MADitorial – An editorial segment starting with episode 5 of Season 4. The sketch is animated by Jorge R. Gutierrez.
- MADucation 101... – Lessons in any subject.
- MADvent Calendar – A series of funny and ridiculous pop culture events that happened recently. Starting with Season 3, the sketch serves as the new cold opening for every episode.
- Mike Wartella – Animations by cartoonist M. Wartella.
- Rejected – A segment revealing rejected ideas within various pop culture properties like Rejected Transformers, Rejected Superheroes, Rejected Audition Tapes, Rejected Pokémon, Rejected Toy Story 3 Characters, Rejected Smurfs, and more.
- Security Cam – A presentation of surveillance footage of things that happens at public places during nightly closing hours. Each video features seemingly supernatural occurrences with the implicit suggestion that such things would never happen during the day.
- Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions – An adaptation of Al Jaffee's reoccurring magazine feature, it features a person who asks a question regarding something that was obviously presented, resulting in the person or people whom were so queried to give a sarcastic response that suggests otherwise.
- Spy vs. Spy – An adaptation of the long-running comic series Spy vs. Spy.
- Super-villains for Your... – A parody of the PSA segments from the Super Friends. Here various super-villains from the Legion of Doom present themselves as moral guidance to some child or children. However, being villains, they always manage to swindle, double cross, or betray the children resulting in them dying at the villain's hand or suffering some unforeseen related event.
- This Day in History – A look at an achievement on the day of the initial broadcast. Most cases it will involve a lesser known person of historical significance doing or coming up with something in the shadow of another well-known historical figure.
- What's Wrong with this Picture? – A game inviting the viewer to recognize something which is incorrect or out–of–place within the picture shown on the screen, but then reveals the correct or least likely things shown to be the expected answer.
- Where's Lady Gaga – A Where's Waldo type sketch featuring pop superstar Lady Gaga who is hiding at a small-time public function. The viewer is asked to try to find her only to see at the end that she is always cleverly disguised as a prop to blend in perfectly with her surroundings.
Awards and nominations
2012 Emmy Awards
Outstanding Short Format Animated Program for "Kitchen Nightmares Before Christmas / How I Met Your Mummy" (Nominated)
2012 PAAFTJ Television Awards
Best Animated Series (Nominated)
The DVD Mad – Season 1, Part 1 was released on September 20, 2011 with a matted 1.33:1 picture and an English stereo track. The extras on the DVD are trailers for Young Justice, the 2011 ThunderCats, and The Looney Tunes Show. The rest of the first season was released on January 17, 2012.
All four seasons of the series are available on the online streaming service Amazon Prime.