MADtv: The Complete First Season (DVD)
MADtv is a late night sketch-comedy show based on the humor of the popular MAD magazine. Material includes celebrity impersonations, music video, commercial, movie, and TV show parodies, recurring characters, musical guests, and the occasional mock cartoons. The show competes against another popular sketch-comedy show, the long-running Saturday Night Live, but the show is aimed at a younger audience. With the show's revolving-door cast of talented, comedic actors and numerous Emmy Award nominations, MADtv is truly a success story. MADtv airs at 11 PM Saturdays with most FOX affiliates, and episodes from the first 8 seasons air on Comedy Central at various times of the day.
A fan and critical favorite for 10 seasons, the sketch comedy series MadTV
makes its long-awaited DVD debut in a three-disc set that compiles its first season, along with choice skits and outtakes culled from its entire network run. Like its magazine namesake, MadTV
earned its stripes on the strength of its parodies of pop culture, which included clever potshots at Hollywood ("Gump Fiction"), rock & roll, children's animation ("Gumboy and Pokey") and politics. The irreverence of the skits was well served by its versatile cast, which included future breakout performers Orlando Jones, Nicole Sullivan, and Artie Lange in the first season (1995-96) lineup. Though MadTV
rarely landed celebrity guests on par with its main competition, Saturday Night Live
(first-season highlights are ex-Kids in the Hall Dave Foley and Bruce McCullough), the quality of the writing and performances really didn't require added star power to earn its laughs. In addition to all 19 episodes of the first season, the set includes a number of unaired skits and bloopers, the series' 200th episode (from season 9), which features the return of several first-season players, and a collection of parodies from all 10 seasons. --Paul Gaita