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“The Golden Age of MADtv” by Matt Holmes

Saturday Night Live is woven into the culture of America. People debate which were the best seasons or the funniest sketches and talk about the ups and downs over the years. For fourteen years, MADtv offered some company and competition to SNL in the late-night sketch comedy arena, producing some really amazing comedy that deserves to be recognized and remembered. The show changed and grew over the years and showcased some extremely talented cast members that need to be seen more.

MADtv had a golden age from 1999 to 2004, in my opinion. After starting as a TV version of the magazine of the same name, it found its identity and produced some stellar comedy before its eventual end.

Some really, really excellent work was produced before season 5 and after season 9, but I’ll highlight this era. The humor relates to when it was created, but stands the test of time. Here’s a list of 25 extraordinary sketches that provide clever ideas, fun characters, solid writing, and stupendous acting—at times daring to be experimental and boundary-pushing.

25. Man Up! Regional Championships

Sketch comedy has often struggled to write from different perspectives, and I think this sketch is a great example of African-American cast members creating something that doesn’t just fill a quota but stands out as great comedy.

24. Sick Wife

Michael McDonald and Stephnie Weir worked amazingly well together, and I dare say that this sketch says something about the human condition.

23. The Fun Room

Now here’s something that’s certainly weird, but remains approachable via good writing and ad-libs.
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