Mad TV
Logo of MADtv.png
GenreSketch comedy
Variety show
Created by
Based onMad
by EC Comics
Starringsee List of Mad TV cast members
Theme music composer
Opening theme"Mad TV Theme" performed by Heavy D
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons15
No. of episodes329 (plus 7 specials) (list of episodes)
Executive producers
Production locations
Running time40–48 minutes
Production companies
  • Quincy Jones-David Salzman Entertainment
  • Bahr/Small Productions
    (seasons 1–3)
  • Epicenter Ventures
    (special; season 15)
  • Montgomery Studios
    (season 15)
  • Teitelbaum Artists
    (season 15)
  • Telepictures Productions
    (season 15)
Original network
Picture format
Original releaseOctober 14, 1995 (1995-10-14) –
September 27, 2016 (2016-09-27)

Mad TV (stylized as MADtv) is an American sketch comedy television series created by David Salzman, Fax Bahr, and Adam Small. It premiered on October 14, 1995, on Fox, where it ran for 14 seasons, with its final, 326th episode airing on May 16, 2009. Loosely based on the humor magazine Mad, Mad TV's pre-taped satirical sketches were primarily based around pop culture–featuring parodies of films, TV series, music videos, celebrities, and occasionally politics–and original characters, many of which were recurring.

Salzman created Mad TV after he and record producer Quincy Jones purchased the rights to Mad in 1995, and he soon brought on former In Living Color writers Bahr and Small as showrunners. The show was intended to compete with fellow sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live (SNL), which was being ridiculed by critics and audiences upon Mad TV's premiere. Mad TV typically fell behind SNL in ratings and has since been described by critics as an edgier "cousin" of SNL. Fox also made few efforts to promote the series and often made budget cuts to it; its eventual cancellation in 2009 was due to budgetary concerns.

The show's diverse cast over the years consisted of popular members such as its longest-running original member, Debra Wilson, and its longest-running member overall, Michael McDonald. Recurring celebrity impressions and characters attracted both fan followings and controversy, while critical reception of the series varied, though it was often negative. It has appeared on several critics' lists of the best sketch comedy television series of all time and was nominated for a number of awards, including 43 Primetime Emmy Awards, five of which it won.

After a 20th anniversary reunion special aired on The CW on January 12, 2016, the show's eight-episode 15th season was produced and broadcast on the same network, premiering on July 26, 2016.


Record producer Quincy Jones (pictured) and television producer David Salzman executive produced Mad TV after buying the rights to its namesake magazine
Record producer Quincy Jones (pictured) and television producer David Salzman executive produced Mad TV after buying the rights to its namesake magazine

William Gaines, who owned EC Comics and published the American humor magazine Mad from 1950 until his death in 1992, refused to sell the rights to the magazine as he despised television. In 1995, following Gaines's death three years prior, EC Comics sold the rights to Mad to record producer Quincy Jones and TV producer David Salzman.[1]

Fax Bahr and Adam Small began working as staff writers on the sketch comedy television series In Living Color in 1992 after David Alan Grier informed Bahr that showrunner Keenen Ivory Wayans had fired the show's whole staff. Two years later, Bahr and Small were brought on to be the showrunners of Mad TV alongside Salzman. The series began with 12 writers, including Patton Oswalt, Blaine Capatch, and writers from The Ben Stiller Show, as well as a diverse cast of actors. Its pilot episode premiered on October 14, 1995, at 11 p.m. on Fox. The network liked the pilot and soon ordered 12 episodes for its first season, which was heavily inspired by the eponymous magazine. It was pre-taped and contained a combination of short live-action sketches, movie parodies, and animated sketches.[1] Animated segments of Spy vs. Spy, a wordless comic strip originally featured in Mad and created by Antonio Prohías, appeared on Mad TV for four seasons, starting with its first season.[2] The show's theme song was created by American hip hop group Heavy D & The Boyz, who had previously created the theme song for In Living Color, and composed by Greg O'Connor and Blake Aaron, the latter of whom was Mad TV's guitarist.[3][4] Filming took place in Hollywood at Hollywood Center Studios and later at Sunset Bronson Studios.[5][6]

As the series went on, Mad TV became focused on satirical[7] character- and pop culture-based sketches, which were often parodies of popular films, TV series, and music videos.[8][9][10] According to casting director Nicole Garcia, the series "skewed a little more urban".[1] Sketches often featured celebrity impressions and occasionally contained political satire, and Fox executive Joe Earley called the series "an equal opportunity offender".[8][9][7] Bruce Leddy became the show's director and supervising producer starting in 2000.[11] After Mad TV's first season, Fox rarely promoted the series and frequently made budget cuts, with cast and crew members such as Debra Wilson and Bahr referring to the series as the "redheaded stepchild" of Fox.[1] The Hollywood Reporter's James Hibbard wrote prior to its cancellation that Mad TV had been "like a distant cousin of [Fox's] other programming" during its runtime; David Nevins, Fox's former executive vice president of programming, attributed the lack of promotion to Fox focusing on advertising its new prime time series instead.[12][10] Fox executives and Mad TV's showrunners often shot down sketch ideas that were viewed admirably by the staff writers, who wanted the show to be "edgy".[1][13]

Mad TV was partially designed to compete with fellow late-night sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live,[14] which, upon Mad TV's debut, was having one of its most critically derided periods.[15] In a review of Mad TV's pilot, the Orlando Sentinel called SNL "a corpse trying to reanimate itself" while praising Mad TV as "promising".[16] Another review of Mad TV's pilot in the Hartford Courant by James Endrst read, "Saturday Night Live has become so old and so pathetic that criticizing it is almost as boring as watching it ... Unlike Saturday Night Live, Mad TV is not live and only occasionally terrible."[17] However, SNL quickly bounced back and Mad TV typically trailed behind the show in ratings.[1] By late 2003, Mad TV averaged 4.4 million viewers per week, while SNL averaged 7.4 million viewers.[18] Mad TV was particularly popular among teenage viewers, who, according to Fox executives, watched the show more than SNL by 2001.[10][19] Former cast members have stated that teenagers often made up the majority of the show's studio audience.[20] In 2000, 59 percent of Mad TV's audience was between the ages of 18 and 49.[21]

In November 2008, Fox confirmed that Mad TV's 326th episode during its shortened 14th season would be its last, telling Salzman that the show was too expensive considering its ratings and time slot. By this point, the series was averaging 2.6 million viewers, which was a 6 percent decrease from the previous year, and it was the fourth longest-running Fox series ever after The Simpsons, Cops, and America's Most Wanted.[12] Salzman said that he would be exploring the continuation of the show on another channel, possibly cable.[14] In early 2009, the show was moved to air after Talkshow with Spike Feresten, the show that normally followed MADtv, as a test, before being moved back. The series finale aired on May 16, 2009.[22] It featured both new and old sketches and revolved around a fictional telethon called "Mad TV Gives Back".[23]

Broadcast and DVD releases

Mad TV was owned by Warner Bros. and broadcast every Saturday at 11 p.m. on Fox until its final episode in 2009.[24][10] Reruns also aired on Fox during prime time starting in 1999.[25] TNN aired reruns of the series after acquiring the nonexclusive cable TV rights to it in 2000, while Comedy Central acquired the rights to the show's first nine seasons in 2004 and aired reruns until 2008.[21][26][14] Episodes of the series were also made available to stream on The WB's website,, after its launch in 2008, and on The CW's streaming service, CW Seed, after the announcement of the show's 2016 reboot.[27][28] As of 2020, the series was also available to stream on HBO Max.[29]

A three-disc DVD of the first season of Mad TV, entitled Mad TV: The Complete First Season, was released in 2004 by Warner Bros. It includes a blooper reel, unaired sketches, and the show's 200th episode from 2003.[30][31] It was reviewed positively by Chris Hicks of the Deseret News, who said that it "demonstrates that the show is frequently very funny, in its own subversive way."[32] Warner Bros. also released a "best of" DVD for seasons eight, nine, and ten on October 25, 2005.[33]

Cast members

Main article: List of Mad TV cast members

The inaugural 1995 cast of Mad TV, from left to right: David Herman, Nicole Sullivan, Phil LaMarr, Debra Wilson, Artie Lange, Orlando Jones, Mary Scheer, and Bryan Callen
The inaugural 1995 cast of Mad TV, from left to right: David Herman, Nicole Sullivan, Phil LaMarr, Debra Wilson, Artie Lange, Orlando Jones, Mary Scheer, and Bryan Callen

In its early years, Mad TV's cast was considered especially diverse by critics.[19] Its first season starred Debra Wilson, Nicole Sullivan, Phil LaMarr, Artie Lange, Mary Scheer, Bryan Callen, Orlando Jones, and David Herman.[34]

Wilson was the first cast member hired for Mad TV.[1] She starred in the first eight seasons of the series from 1995 to 2003, making her the longest-running original cast member and its first and only Black female cast member during her time on the show. She later stated that her decision to leave the series in 2003 was motivated by her discovery that another white male cast member, who had joined after her, was earning more than her, and that her attempts to negotiate her salary failed.[35][36]

Sullivan was added to the cast because, according to her, Bahr and Small wanted someone on the show who "the audience would like to have dinner with".[1] She starred on the show from 1995 to 2001 and left to star in the ABC sitcom Me and My Needs, which was not picked up by the network after its pilot episode.[10][37] Herman starred in the short-lived Fox sketch comedy series House of Buggin' before appearing on Mad TV, while Jones had written for the Fox series Roc.[15] Jones, Callen, and Lange all left the show after its second season, and Lange later became well known in the media for his struggles with drug addiction.[38][39]

Michael McDonald starred on Mad TV for ten seasons starting in 1997 and was the show's longest-running and oldest cast member, also occasionally directing segments.[38][9] The show's second longest-running cast member was Aries Spears, who appeared in 198 episodes from its third season in 1997 until its tenth season in 2005.[40][41] Other popular cast members included Alex Borstein, who starred on the show for five seasons from 1997 to 2002;[42] Ike Barinholtz, who joined in 2002 and left in 2007;[43] Will Sasso, who joined the show in its third season;[44] Mo Collins, who joined in 1998 and left in 2004;[45] Stephnie Weir, who starred on the show for six years;[38][46] Nicole Parker, who appeared on six seasons of the show; and Bobby Lee, who appeared on eight seasons of the show from 2001 to 2009.[24] Other cast members, such as Andy Daly, Simon Helberg, and Taran Killam, the last of whom was the youngest person ever to be cast on the show,[47] found fame after brief tenures on Mad TV.[39] Comedians Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key met after being cast on Mad TV in 2004 for its ninth season, and the two would later star together in the widely lauded Comedy Central sketch comedy series Key & Peele.[20][48] Peele left the series in 2008, while Key stayed until the show's final season.[43]

Borstein and Peele were both kept from leaving Mad TV to pursue other roles due to their contracts, with Borstein cast as Sookie on the CW series Gilmore Girls and Peele cast on SNL to play Barack Obama.[49][50]

Recurring characters

Michael McDonald as the spoiled child Stuart Larkin and Mo Collins as his single mother Doreen Larkin
Michael McDonald as the spoiled child Stuart Larkin and Mo Collins as his single mother Doreen Larkin

Numerous characters and sketches on Mad TV became notable for their frequent appearances.[51] Michael McDonald played Stuart Larkin,[52] an overgrown, spoiled child with a bowl cut, bright red cheeks, and a rainbow plaid shirt.[53] His overbearing single mother, Doreen (played by Mo Collins), has a strong Wisconsin accent and was inspired by McDonald's own mother.[54] She tries to get Stuart to do basic tasks with the help of someone else who eventually gets driven crazy by Stuart's antics.[9] He has a number of catch phrases, including "Look what I can do!", "I don't wanna say," "Let me do it!", and "Dooooon't!", while his mother always mentions that Stuart's father left on Tuesday.[55] Stuart appeared in 38 sketches in nine seasons from 1998 to 2008.[9][53][56] He was described by Megh Wright of Vulture as the show's most memorable character and by Thomas Attila Lewis of LAist as "incredibly popular".[55][57]

Alex Borstein appeared in 44 sketches as the popular recurring character of Bunny Swan,[51] better known as Ms. Swan, an immigrant nail salon owner and manicurist[58] with a strong, exaggerated accent who annoys others by not being able to answer simple questions.[59][9] She has a bowl cut and wears a muumuu and a rainbow plaid jumper; she also has catch phrases such as "He look-a like-a man".[59][55] Although Ms. Swan was presumed by audiences to be Asian, the series identifies her as hailing from Kuvaria, the home of Santa Claus, while Borstein stated that her inspirations for the character were her Hungarian grandmother and Icelandic singer Björk.[51][10] Elahe Izadi of the Washington Post included the Ms. Swan sketches on a list of the "20 defining comedy sketches of the past 20 years" in 2019, writing that they were "among the most widely remembered of Mad TV's work".[60] Borstein briefly reprised the role outside of Mad TV for a parody of the trailer for the 2010 film Black Swan and for a video about the 2016 United States presidential election.[61][59] Since the show's cancellation, sketches with Ms. Swan became popular on YouTube.[62]

Alex Borstein as the immigrant manicurist Ms. Swan
Alex Borstein as the immigrant manicurist Ms. Swan

The Vancome Lady, an emotionally abusive, racist woman who struggled to keep a job due to her ignorant remarks, was played by Nicole Sullivan and made over 25 appearances on the show, starting with its pilot episode.[51][9] She was described by Candace Amos of the New York Daily News as "one of the characters fans loved to hate".[53] A sketch featuring cast member Anjelah Johnson as the irritable Latina fast food worker Bon Qui Qui went viral on YouTube.[39][63] Johnson has frequently reprised the character since, releasing the album Gold Plated Dreams as the character in 2015 through Warner Records.[64]

Other recurring and popular characters included the hot-tempered gym teacher Coach Hines, played by Key;[48] the middle-aged, hard-of-hearing Minnesota mother Lorraine Swanson and the fragile and infertile Trina, both played by Collins;[53][51] the incompetent Asian interpreter Bae Sung, played by Lee;[65] the Abercrombie & Fitch model Dutch, played by Barinholtz;[38] the hyperactive delivery man UBS Guy, played by LaMarr; the crazy 7-year-old Dot Goddard and the unintentionally prejudiced teenager Angela Wright, both played by Weir;[53][65] the moronic Antonia, played by Sullivan;[55] and the fast-talking Bunifa Latifah Halifah Sharifa Jackson, played by Wilson.[53][38]

Many of the show's recurring characters were parodies of celebrities such as Will Sasso's portrayal of singer Randy Newman and Aries Spears's portrayal of Bill Cosby.[55][53] Debra Wilson and Aries Spears frequently appeared on the show as married singers Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, who they portrayed as drug-addled, frantic, and "ghetto".[66][67][68] Along with her impression of Houston, Wilson also earned fame and acclaim for her impression of Oprah Winfrey on the show, with Vanity Fair's Yohana Desta describing Wilson's impression of Winfrey as "the gold standard" and HuffPost's Pollo Del Mar writing that Wilson's impressions of Winfrey and Houston were "as iconic as they were scathing".[69][70] Wilson went on to play Winfrey on the animated sitcom The Proud Family and in the 2006 parody film Scary Movie 4.[43][71] Other frequent celebrity impressions included Sasso's impressions of actors Robert De Niro and James Gandolfini, Lee's impression of newscaster Connie Chung, and Frank Caliendo's impressions of John Madden and George W. Bush.[38]


Main article: List of Mad TV episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
119October 14, 1995June 22, 1996Fox
222September 21, 1996May 17, 1997
325September 20, 1997May 16, 1998
425August 29, 1998May 22, 1999
525September 25, 1999May 20, 2000
630September 23, 2000June 23, 2001
725September 22, 2001May 18, 2002
825September 14, 2002May 17, 2003
925September 13, 2003May 22, 2004
1023September 18, 2004May 21, 2005
1122September 17, 2005May 20, 2006
1222September 16, 2006May 19, 2007
1316September 15, 2007May 17, 2008
1417September 13, 2008May 16, 2009
158July 26, 2016September 27, 2016The CW


Critical reception

During its early years, Mad TV's was reviewed favorably by Steve Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, who wrote that it "looked consistently fresh, with more energy, imagination and edge [than SNL]" and "rewards the effort of tuning it in".[72] Ginia Bellafante of Time wrote in 1996 that many of its film parodies were "especially clever" and that "it has steadily improved since its unpromising early episodes", but that many of its politically incorrect sketches were "so heavy-handed" that they were "virtually unwatchable".[19] After the end of the show's fourth season, Terry Kelleher of People wrote that Mad TV was "not a bad product" and praised its pop culture parodies but wrote that it had a "policy of putting recurring characters through the same tired paces" and stated that he "could barely sit through one sketch featuring Michael McDonald as [Stuart]".[25] In 2016, The A.V. Club's John Hugar called Mad TV "eh" with "some memorable recurring characters" such as Stuart that relied on "excessively broad comedy".[73] The Detroit Free Press's Julie Hinds wrote that the show "wasn't the most consistent vehicle", and that it "sometimes went too far with a joke but could still crack you up regularly".[74] Common Sense Media's Lucy Maher gave the series three out of five stars, stating that it "purposely pushes the limits of decency to the breaking point" but that it had "moments of brilliance".[75]

Jesse Thorn of The A.V. Club retrospectively described Mad TV as "long-running" and "critically maligned", and The A.V. Club's Chris O'Connell wrote in 2010 that anyone who believed that Mad TV was not "the worst sketch-comedy show on television" was wrong.[20][24] A review of the pilot episode by Tom Shales in The Roanoke Times wrote that Mad TV was "bad TV", criticizing it as tasteless and unintelligent.[76] For People, Craig Tomashoff gave the pilot a C-, stating that it was "pretending to be daring and irreverent" despite being "just unimaginative" and that its "lowbrow stab at humor" made SNL "look like a sharp, sophisticated show".[77] Entertainment Weekly's Alynda Wheat was critical of the show's finale, writing that "maybe it was time for Mad TV to go" due to "how thin its material has grown", also criticizing its fake telethon as "terribly inappropriate".[23]

In a retrospective review of the show, Carleton Atwater of Vulture criticized the recycling of sketches featuring "goofy characters with signature catch phrases" like Stuart, Ms. Swan, and Vancome Lady, writing that it "just seems so lazy and unambitious" and "appeals to the lowest common denominator".[9] Aisha Harris of Slate wrote that the show "could so often be joke-writing at its laziest" and relied on "sophomoric, out of touch humor" and "unfunny and offensive sketches" that mocked minority groups. She also wrote that it "could also occasionally be very good and smart" when it struck a balance between "titillation, insight, and hilarity".[65] For The New Yorker, Zadie Smith wrote that Mad TV's humor was "broad—and too reliant on celebrity subjects".[50]

Saturday Night Live comparisons

Mad TV has frequently been compared to Saturday Night Live. Rolling Stone described Mad TV as a "more cultish weekend cousin to Saturday Night Live aimed squarely at teens", while the Detroit Free Press's Julie Hinds called it "a boisterous second cousin" of SNL.[56][74] Slate's Aisha Harris called Mad TV "a scrappy, less sophisticated cousin of SNL", and IGN called Mad TV "the young, scrappy upstart to SNL's elder statesman brand of sketch comedy".[65][78] Luke Winkie of Vulture wrote that, despite not having the "live kinetic energy" or "the all-star glitz" of SNL, "most children of the '90s have a special place in our hearts for MADtv".[79] Terry Kelleher of People wrote, "It would be easy to dismiss [Mad TV] ... as the poor man's Saturday Night Live. But basically Mad TV has everything SNL has—the virtues and the defects."[25]

Cast and crew members later stated that Mad TV lacked the "cool factor" and "hipness" that SNL had, but noted that it instead appealed more to "the average person" and to middle-class people of color.[1] Ginia Bellafante of Time wrote in 1996 that Mad TV had a "more balanced cast" than SNL and "an edginess that Lorne Michaels' once revolutionary show has long lacked".[19] Salzman stated that Mad TV's racially diverse cast and "urban sensibility" set it apart from SNL.[8] Mad TV's former video researcher Asterios Kokkinos, who was fired in 2007 after helping to shut down a Mad TV shoot as part of the Writers Guild of America Strike,[80] wrote for Paste that the show was "was a cheaper copy of [SNL]" that "nobody seemed to care about".[13]


Some celebrities and organizations have spoken out against parodies of themselves on Mad TV. Bobby Brown said in 2022 that the show's parodies of him and Whitney Houston "really offended" him, while Rosie O'Donnell shared on her self-titled talk show that she was offended by the show's parody of her, in which Borstein portrayed her as a closeted lesbian.[67][10] In 2003, the United States Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers both publicly called on all of their employees to protest Mad TV over a then-upcoming sketch about a group of gun-wielding postal workers arguing over who should be able to "go postal" first.[18] The Postal Service's vice president of public affairs, Azeezaly S. Jaffer, called the sketch "ugly", "untrue", and "an insult to every man and woman in the Postal Service".[7]

The show was also criticized by audiences and critics for relying on racial stereotypes.[73] Borstein's character Ms. Swan in particular has frequently been identified by journalists[81][65] and by Asian activists such as Guy Aoki[58] and Margaret Cho[82] as an example of yellowface.[83] The character was protested by Aoki's organization Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA).[84] In 2019, the Washington Post's Elahe Izadi called Ms. Swan an example of "the kind of 'problematic' stuff TV networks used to air" and "'edgy' comedy from the early aughts that more overtly trafficked in racial stereotypes".[60] Candace Amos of New York Daily News wrote that Ms. Swan would "both anger and delight fans" and "was often called out for being racist", and Lara Zarum of Flavorwire wrote that "we're all in agreement that Ms. Swan, the nail-salon-owning, squinty-eyed, walking Asian stereotype[,] is a problem".[85]

Mad TV also featured two instances of blackface: one in which Bobby Lee plays George Foreman's fictional half-Asian son, and another wherein Michael McDonald plays a magical busboy from a foreign island.[86][87] Harry Connick Jr. was criticized for his appearance on the show in 1996 for portraying what audiences believed to be a stereotypical Black preacher.[88]


Main article: List of accolades received by Mad TV

Rotten Tomatoes, Rolling Stone, and Screen Rant all placed Mad TV on their lists of the greatest sketch comedy TV series of all time, with Rolling Stone writing that it was "beholden to no one and often about as subtle as Artie Lange laughing at a fart" and a "ceaseless roast".[56][89][90] The Black Spy and the White Spy from Mad TV's animated Spy vs. Spy sketches were listed as two of the best TV spies of all time by Entertainment Weekly in 2014.[2]

Mad TV was nominated for 43 Primetime Emmy Awards, all of which were for technical work, and won five of them.[91][92] It won the Emmys for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series in 2001, for Outstanding Costumes for a Variety or Music Program in 2005 and in 2006, for Outstanding Music and Lyrics for the song "A Wonderfully Normal Day" in 2006, and for Non-Prosthetic Makeup for a Multi-Camera Series in 2009.[93][94][95][96] In 2007, Mad TV's eco-friendly Emmys campaign,, allowed Emmys voters to view clips of the series online rather than being shipped DVD screeners.[97] Anjelah Johnson was nominated for an ALMA Award for her performance on Mad TV in 2008.[98]


Reunion special

Mad TV had a one-hour-long 20th anniversary reunion special, titled MADtv 20th Anniversary Reunion.[99] It was executive produced by Salzman, directed by Bruce Leddy, and produced by Telepictures and Epicenter Ventures. It aired on The CW on January 12, 2016, at 8 p.m. and garnered 1.7 million viewers.[100][8][74] Its plot involved 19 returning cast members going to an awards show where things go awry.[101]

2016 reboot

A reboot of the series, which was executive produced by Salzman, John R. Montgomery, and Mark Teitelbaum, premiered on The CW on July 26, 2016. The show's 15th season, it ran for eight hour-long episodes on Tuesday nights and starred eight new cast members: Carlie Craig, Chelsea Davison, Jeremy D. Howard, Amir K, Lyric Lewis, Piotr Michael, Michelle Ortiz and Adam Ray.[102][78][103][8] Cast members from the original series such as Sullivan, Sasso, Collins, Lee, Barinholtz, and Wilson, hosted.[8][45][65] The reboot placed a greater emphasis on political comedy than its predecessor and included parodies of former U.S. Presidents such as then-candidate Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, the latter of whom had been spoofed in the original series several times during the late 1990s.[104]

The reboot received mostly negative reviews from critics. Ray Rahman of Entertainment Weekly wrote that it was "inconsistent and lack[ed] any urgency" while "fail[ing] to justify its existence", calling its humor "not just lame, but also stale".[105] Aisha Harris of Slate similarly wrote, "In its new, blander incarnation, it’s hard to imagine why MadTV needs to exist at all."[65] IGN's Jesse Schedeen gave the revival a score of 3.2 out of a 10, writing that it had a "simplistic, toothless brand of humor" and failed "to recapture any of the show's old spark".[78] The A.V. Club's John Hugar gave the premiere a C- and wrote that "the new Mad TV can't help but seem like an off-brand version of the original, which was an off-brand SNL to begin with".[73] The Guardian's Brian Moylan praised the diversity of the new cast but wrote that it was mostly not funny, while Common Sense Media's Melissa Camacho gave it three out of five stars and wrote, "Fans of the original show will find it funny, but its irreverent humor isn't for everyone."[104][106]

See also


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  2. ^ a b Agard, Chancellor; Shamsian, Jacob; Ward, Kat (August 15, 2014). "25 Best TV Spies of All Time". Entertainment Weekly. No. 1324. p. 38. Retrieved December 29, 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  3. ^ "Rapper Heavy D dies at 44". CBC. November 8, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  4. ^ "Blake Aaron performance". WBRC. June 17, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  5. ^ "Making the Scene". Los Angeles Business Journal. March 19, 2006. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  6. ^ McNary, Dave (November 13, 2008). "Hudson Capital rebrands studios". Variety. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c "Postal Protest Over Comedy Sketch". CBS News. December 11, 2003. Retrieved December 31, 2022.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Rhymes, Shameika (July 25, 2016). "Meet the New MADtv, Same as the Old MADtv". Vanity Fair. Retrieved December 18, 2022.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Atwater, Carleton (March 3, 2011). "Looking Back at MADtv". Vulture. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Keck, William (February 24, 2001). "Fox's Satiric Little Secret Finds a Growing Audience". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  11. ^ "'Sing Now or Forever Hold Your Peace' director Bruce Leddy". IndieWire. April 30, 2007. Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  12. ^ a b Hibberd, James (November 12, 2008). "Fox cancels 'Mad TV'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 14, 2022.
  13. ^ a b Kokkinos, Asterios (September 1, 2016). "You are Now Living at Mad TV". Paste. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  14. ^ a b c Schneider, Michael (November 12, 2008). "Fox cancels 'Mad TV'". Variety. Archived from the original on January 22, 2015. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  15. ^ a b "Fox's 'Mad TV' to take on 'SNL'". UPI. June 23, 1995. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  16. ^ Boedeker, Hal (October 14, 1995). "'Mad TV' clobbers 'SNL'". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved December 14, 2022.
  17. ^ Endrst, James (October 13, 1995). "'Mad TV' Isn't As Bad As 'SNL,' But Just Wait". Hartford Courant. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  18. ^ a b Moraes, Lisa de (December 12, 2003). "No Bridal Bouquet for Capital's Viewers". Washington Post. Retrieved December 31, 2022.
  19. ^ a b c d Bellafante, Ginia (February 12, 1996). "Television: The Battle for Saturday Night". Time. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  20. ^ a b c Thorn, Jesse (March 20, 2012). "Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele of Key & Peele". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  21. ^ a b Dempsey, John (April 19, 2000). "TNN 'Mad' for sketch skein reruns". Variety. Retrieved December 27, 2022.
  22. ^ Kinon, Cristina (May 6, 2009). "'MADtv' hopes finale isn't last laugh". NY Daily News. Archived from the original on December 10, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  23. ^ a b Wheat, Alynda (May 17, 2009). "'MADtv' series finale blunder". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  24. ^ a b c "Former MADtv star Bobby Lee doesn't understand how the show ever existed in the first place". The A.V. Club. January 27, 2010. Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  25. ^ a b c Kelleher, Terry (June 7, 1999). "Picks and Pans Main: Tube". People. Archived from the original on January 9, 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  26. ^ "Comedy Central Goes 'Mad'". Zap2it. October 24, 2002. Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  27. ^ Garrett, Diane (August 15, 2008). " set for Aug. 27 launch". Variety. Archived from the original on September 16, 2008. Retrieved January 2, 2023.
  28. ^ Swift, Andy (April 11, 2016). "MADtv Revival Series Set at The CW; Original Cast Members Will Guest-Host". TVLine. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  29. ^ Dessem, Matthew (June 30, 2020). "Just How Many Recent Shows Featured Blackface, Anyway?". Slate. Retrieved December 27, 2022.
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