During its 14-year run on Fox, MADtv put out some seriously strange and daring sketch comedy. The series often took things way too far, and it likely would not survive in a climate where audiences are more aware of prejudice and stereotyping in the media, even in a comedic setting. That said, when the show was firing on all cylinders - like it was with the following MADtv sketches that aged well - it was untouchable. Many of the best MADtv sketches weren't attempting to capture anything in the zeitgeist; instead, they were just trying to be funny while doing something different. Even though the series was hit-or-miss, the audience could always count on being surprised.
Many of these funny MADtv sketches feature cast members who went on to find major fame, and it's fun to watch the actors and comedians work out their kinks before rocketing to stardom.
The idea of something as "adult" as The Sopranos appearing on syndicated television is funny to begin with, but the idea that a cable network would snip and edit until the episodes are only two minutes long is so bullheaded, it's hilarious.
Wendy Walker (Crista Flanagan) wants to show her viewers how easy it is to make their favorite meals. Unfortunately, she's woefully underprepared. Each "3-Minute Meal" sketch pushes Walker to the brink of madness as she tries to make something simple.
"Can I Have Your Number?" is a dramatized portrait of the harassment women deal with on a daily basis - except it's also a comedy sketch. After this sketch, people everywhere were quoting "Do you like Mike & Ikes?" to everyone they met.
MADtv cold opens were often Trojan horses for weird comedy. In this post-Thanksgiving episode opener, Keegan Michael-Key is trying to warm up the crowd when Crista Flanagan shows up, bloody and bruised from a Black Friday expedition. "But look, I got a thumb" may be one of the greatest lines ever uttered on television.