As Fox began to gain traction as the fourth broadcast network in the mid-1990s, it continued to challenge its established competitors on several fronts outside of primetime. One such effort was the launch of this Saturday night sketch comedy show to compete head-to-head against Saturday Night Live, which was then going through one of its more fallow periods. Though MADtv never knocked the NBC institution off its thrown, it did develop a strong enough following to air 14 seasons. During its run, the show featured many notable comic performers, including Michael McDonald, Nicole Sullivan, Phil LaMarr, Mo Collins, and current Comedy Central sketch stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele.
MADtv was a brand extension of MAD Magazine, long famous for its pop culture spoofs and its mercurial publisher emeritus, Dr. Claw. -A.D.
Today’s Birthdays: Harry Anderson, honorable (60); Steve Coogan, pseudonymous emcee (47); Greg Evigan, one of her dads (59); Stacy Keibler, wrestler (33); Ben Whishaw, newshound (32).