1)It's a sad day at the Junior house because today is the final episode of sketch comedy show "MadTV" on the evil network FOX (they deserve that for canceling "Arrested Development" and "The Critic"!).
The network announced that they would not renew the show after 14 seasons on the air. They barely made up for this by also announcing that Wanda Sykes would be getting her own show on Saturdays, but I'm still going to miss my "MadTV" a lot! Sniffle.
Now before you get all "whatevs" on me and say that "MadTV" wasn't funny or it was not as good as "Saturday Night Live" (my response: "As if!"), regardless of the fact that you liked it or not, you have to admit that it was good having another sketch comedy show on TV. The genre is lacking.
See, I grew up with "In Living Color" and "The Kids in the Hall" and "The State" and "All That" and "SNL" so I grew to love the sketch comedy genre.
And with "Chappelle's Show" gone, my only holdouts are "Important Things with Demetri Martin" and "The Big Gay Sketch Show," both of which produce few episodes and are funny, but can waver a bit. That's why having "MadTV" on air was such a blessing!
You had that weekly dose of sketch comedy without always having to turn to the Walmart of sketch shows "SNL." That isn't to say that "SNL" isn't funny. It's just that "MadTV" often went places that "SNL" would never touch. Places in pop culture that were younger, fresher, more current, more diverse, and more raunchy. And, especially recently, as "SNL" has cultivated this indie niche of pop culture relevance (see Andy Samberg et al.), "MadTV" kept it real with characters who weren't all smart or cultured but who also weren't the butt of the joke.
Who could be black or Latin or Asian without it being a novelty. And who could be completely over the top without it seeming forced.
Plus, after a few years of not really being very funny at all, "MadTV" was just getting its mojo back this season with new cast additions and a return to some of its classic farce routines. But as FOX has decided it wants no more, we can only hope that another network picks the show up and keeps it going because it has always, from day one, been a hilarious source of comedy.
That's why, in honor of the finale episode of the 14th season which airs tonight at 11 PM, I present My Top 14! Favorite MadTV Sketches!
But let me tell you that it was very difficult to choose even 14 sketches. "MadTV," which aired for an hour from 11 PM to midnight on Saturdays, rarely had musical guests, which meant that the show was choc-full of sketches.
Now, the ones in the first half were usually the better sketches, but even still, that was an hour's worth of sketches every week, which is more output than any other sketch show on TV, which made it so great!
That being said, I did have trouble choosing my favorite sketches but I did it and I'd like to take some time to describe the clips you see to your left. Okay, number 14 features Will Sasso (who was such a crush I had) playing Randy Newman. whose songs do all sound the same. Number 13 is a newer episode featuring Johnny Sanchez and "Gay Sketch Show's" Erica Ash.
Number 12 features Michael McDonald, Stephnie Weir, who I tried to include more of, and a hilarious guest spot by Susan Sarandon. Number 11 is the first of many appearances by the hilarious Debra Wilson, this time as Beyoncé, while 10 features Wilson, her also hilarious often scene partner Nicole Sullivan and Mary Scheer as Barbra Streisand in "Terms of Imprisonment"! You gotta love that!
Number 9 and 8 are both set in school, with the first being "Pretty White Kids With Problems" which is so smart and funny at the same time, and the second featuring the great Keegan Michael Key as Coach Hines, who is seriously like every coach I had in high school! That is no joke!
Number 7 is Wilson and Sullivan as Lida and Melina, two Hispanic teens who get into trouble. "It's Ricky Martin's panties" is the best line ever! Number 6 is my fave, "The Lillian Verner Game Show," with Paul Vogt, Ike Barinholtz, Weir, and the amazing Mo Collins, who keeps cracking up!
Number 5 features over the top Bobby Lee with...
Actually, they did several skits together and they were all hilarious. I also wanted to include more Lee on the list but couldn't fit it. His Connie Chung is fall on the floor funny! Okay, Number 4 is Collins doing Shakira's "Whenever, Wherever": "I could sing about pancake batter" makes me crack up every single time!
Alright, now onto what I consider to be the best sketches the show has ever done. Number 3 makes my stomach hurt it's too much. It's Wilson, who is the only person who should ever be allowed to impersonate Whitney Houston, Aries Spears as Bobby Brown and Collins as Diane Sawyer lampooning that crazy interview Houston did with Sawyer years back. There is so much, I can't stand it!
"Do you know, Diane? Do you? Do... you? Dianne. Do you?"
"Spark it up!"
"Yes, Merry Crystal Methmas!"
"Put it up under your wig!"
It's so funny that I can't watch it any place where I have to be quiet for fear of bursting at the seams. Also, add "Merry Crystal Methmas!" to your vocabularies now!
Okay, Number 2 just narrowly edged out Number 3 for its spot. It features Barinholtz and Josh Meyers (brother of "SNL's" stuck-up Seth) playing "two guys who got excited and made out". I've shown this clip on the blog before but every time I watch it, I'm amazed at how it's still funny, how culturally aware it is making fun of the stereotypes of straight and gay, how it also lampoons both cultures while admitting that if you kiss guys you're gay, and actually showing two men kiss sexually, which I don't think "SNL" has ever done.
Plus, it's got some great lines with "Should we go to a gay bar? I don't know, can you go when you're new?" my absolute favorite!
Now, if there's any mistaking it, NUMBER ONE is Sullivan doing the Single Greatest Parody anyone has ever done, making fun of Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby... One More Time," I now present to you all "Lick My Baby Back Behind"!
I actually like this version so much that I don't even remember Britney's version. "Too bad our love's a felony (a felony). You're big like daddy, I'll open wide. Put it inside. Lick my baby back behind" has to be the greatest lyric of all time! I love it so much!
Okay, that's my list!
But as you can see, there's still so much missing. I had no room for Nicole Parker or Crista Flanagan or Alex Borstein or Jordan Peele or Arden Myrin or Andrew Daly or Nicole Randall Johnson and so on and so on... And there were so many characters that all the actors do that I couldn't fit into just 14 clips, but here's hoping that some network (not Comedy Central, who wouldn't promote the show and probably bury it on Saturday mornings) will pick up the show, even in a half-hour version, just to keep this talented troupe going and keep one of the few remaining sketch comedy outfits in business. Question Time!
Did you like "MadTV"? Will you miss it when it's gone from FOX? Who was your favorite "MadTV" performer? What about your favorite sketch or character or music video parody? It's it funny that MadTV has been doing short video parodies long before "SNL" and never gets the same acclaim! It's Verrrry Interesting.
Anyway, show me some "MadTV" love!