Mad TV 20th Anniversary

If you’re not a Saturday Night Live fan like myself, maybe you found some laughs with the sketch comedy series Mad TV that ran on Fox from 1995 to 2009. The show was basically an alternative to SNL, opting for recorded sketch comedy with a live audience instead of a live show, though it never really got the same acclaim or audience. But now fans can take a trip down memory lane with a Mad TV 20th anniversary special coming in January.

TV Line reports the one-hour MADtv 20th Anniversary Reunion will air on January 12th at 8pm ET/7pm CT, but it won’t be on Fox like the original series was. Instead, since the show is owned by Warner Bros., it will air on The CW.

A slew of cast members from the show will be reunited for what the network describes as “a glamorous award ceremony to honor the series, but in classic Mad TV fashion, nothing goes as planned.” Does that mean the cast will be appearing as various characters from the show accepting awards? We’ll have to wait and see.

Famous faces and some forgotten cast members will all be back for the reunion special. The talent roster revealed so far includes Family Guy star Alex Borstein, Neighbors and The Mindy Project star Ike Barinholtz, Emmy nominee Keegan-Michael Key and Futurama star Phil LaMarr. Other key cast members appearing will be Mo Collins, Crista Flanagan, Anjelah Johnson, Nicole Randall Johnson, Artie Lange, Bobby Lee, Michael McDonald, Arden Myrin, Nicole Parker, Eric Price, Will Sasso, Aries Spears, Nicole Sullivan, Stephnie Weir and Debra Wilson.

Surely the more popular characters like Miss Swan (Borstein), the oversized toddler Stuart (McDonald), the hyperactive UBS Guy (LaMarr) will make appearances, but we’re not sure what’s in store. Frankly, I’d like to see Will Sasso back as Randy Newman:

Mad TV was never a favorite of mine like Saturday Night Live, but there were some pretty good sketches to come out of the show from time to time. Even cast member Bobby Lee was never sure what the show was trying to be as he told The AV Club in an interview from 2010:

We were never a show that knew what we were. Every year, we kept trying to figure it out and we were never able to find it. Were we an urban show? Were we the alternative to SNL? NBC backs SNL, but we never got backing from Fox, because Fox didn’t own MADtv—it was owned by Warner Bros. It was one of those weird shows where the numbers were decent, and that’s how we survived … Half of it was good, half of it was the worst sketch comedy you’d ever seen. At the end, it wasn’t that good.

I suppose we’ll have to check out the special in January to see if that will be any good.

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