It was inevitable when drawing caricatures at the theme parks every summer that should I do a drawing of a kid with a round head and large ears I would hear behind me “you look that that kid from MAD Magazine in the picture!”. Har har. However in the late 90’s that exchange changed somewhat. I more often heard (at least from the under 20 crowd) “you look that that kid from “MAD TV” in the picture!”.
Me: “Actually that’s Alfred E. Neuman you are talking about, from MAD Magazine.”
Them: “You mean “MAD TV” has a MAGAZINE?!? COOL!”
Since I started working for MAD I cannot do a talk or a Q & A with any high school aged kids without fielding a question about “MAD TV”. Do I do anything for “MAD TV”? Does MAD Magazine have anything to do with “MAD TV”?, etc. (The answers are: No, and No- they only license the name and rights to animated shorts with MAD characters).
It was recently announced that FOX has canceled “MAD TV” after 14 seasons… that’s a pretty good run for a sketch comedy show not called “Saturday Night Live”. I confess I have never actually watched a full episode of “MAD TV”, but I have been told at times during it’s run it was pretty funny and cutting edge. The bits I have seen of it demonstrated to me that is actually was, occasionally at least, a video version of MAD Magazine. It did MAD-like movie and TV show parodies, some of which I’ve seen and were pretty funny.
There is talk from the show’s producers that they are trying to get picked up at another network, so maybe this isn’t the end of “MAD TV”. I hope not, if nothing else it keeps the “MAD” name out there.
Here’s a couple of You Tube “MAD TV” sketches to enjoy:
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