Fox has said the sketch-comedy show will have its last telecast in May 2009, not quite 15 years after it premiered in October 1995. That's a good run for almost any series, and there were times when "MADtv" was funnier than "Saturday Night Live." But the end of "MADtv" makes the durability of "SNL" all the more impressive. It marked its 15th anniversary in 1990, and has run another 18 years since. It wasn't always funny, and has been hot and cold this year, but when it's hot -- Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, the Jon Hamm episode -- it's very much so.
The "MADtv" announcement is after the jump.
FOX has announced the final season of Emmy Award-winning sketch comedy series MADtv. Now in its 14th year, MADtv will air its 326th and final original episode in May 2009. MADtv airs Saturdays (11:00 PM-Midnight) on FOX.
“MADtv has been one of the longest running series in recent television history,” said Kevin Reilly, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “The fact that this Emmy Award-winning show has been a FOX mainstay in late-night for 14 years is a testament to the creativity and dedication put forth each week by the talented cast, writers and crew. This was a very difficult decision and we would like to give our heartfelt thanks to everyone at MADtv for making us laugh for over 300 irreverent episodes.”
“Fifteen years ago, MADtv was sold to FOX as a multicultural wall-to-wall pop culture parody series, and now it resonates more than ever given our changing nation,” said David Salzman, Executive Producer, MADtv. “We thank everyone at FOX for believing in MADtv for an unprecedented 326 episodes, and particularly applaud the artistry and passion of the most gifted cast, writers and production team anywhere. We hope that the great interest in this show allows it to carry on in the years ahead.”
Since its debut in October 1995, MADtv has earned four Emmy Awards and 41 nominations, as well as many other awards. The politically incorrect, fast-paced late-night series is best known for its signature characters, celebrity impersonations and pop-culture parodies.
The current MADtv cast is Bobby Lee, Keegan-Michael Key, Nicole Parker, Crista Flanagan, Arden Myrin, Johnny Sanchez, Erica Ash, Matt Braunger, Eric Price and Lauren Pritchard. MADtv has also helped launch the careers of several well-known actors and comedians including Michael McDonald, Alex Borstein, Orlando Jones, Mo Collins, Debra Wilson, Frank Caliendo, Artie Lange, Nicole Sullivan, Will Sasso, Stephnie Weir, Aries Spears and others. The Saturday-night staple has featured wildly popular impersonations of Whitney Houston, Connie Chung, Kenny Rogers, Britney Spears, Ellen DeGeneres and Morgan Freeman. Additionally, the series has brought to life scores of hilarious original characters such as “Stuart,” “Coach Hines,” “Ms. Swan,” “Blind Kung Fu Master,” “The Vancome Lady,” “Mrs. Campbell,” “Lorraine,” “Bunifa,” “Reality Check Girls,” “Mofaz,” “Lida and Melina” and “Dot.”
Over the last 14 seasons, MADtv has featured guest appearances by numerous celebrities including Ryan Seacrest, Queen Latifah, Jessica Simpson, Susan Sarandon, Carlos Mencia, Regis Philbin, Neil Patrick Harris, Shakira, Carmen Electra, Nicole Richie, Mandy Moore, Pamela Anderson, LL Cool J, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tyra Banks, Jessica Alba, Serena Williams, Jay-Z, Halle Berry, Kathy Bates, Don Cheadle, Rebecca Romijn, Missy Elliott and Jeff Probst, among others.