We've all grown up with sketch comedy shows. When we were young kids, we'd watch All That on Nickelodeon. Now that we're adults, we watch Saturday Night Live. But when we were teens, thinking we were basically adults but acting more like kids, we watched MADtv. While All That focused on fart jokes and elementary school humor and Saturday Night Live prefers political satire and more adult themes, MADtv was a perfect blend of both that focused primarily on pop culture satire and just enough slapstick humor to keep us entertained.
Even today, we'll occasionally hear a quote or reference from the iconic show: "Can I have your number? CAN I HAVE IT?" and "he look-a like a man" are just a couple of the most recognizable examples. We all knew and loved the characters from MADtv, and when we see the actors in films and television shows today, we still recognize them and laugh at what they bring to the table.
But wait, where are those actors today? MADtv ended back in 2009. Not too long ago, but long enough for a lot to have happened in the lives of these comedians. It's rare for a comedian to find a steady gig, one that doesn't involve constantly booking new gigs. The cast was all very fortunate to have had the opportunity to stay with the same group of comedians for years. Now that they're on their own again, how have they adjusted to solo flight? Let's find out - here's fifteen stars of MADtv you forgot about!
15 Ike Barinholtz
Ike was another frequent straight player on MADtv, though he played a decent amount of outlandish characters as well. One of his most popular sketches was as one of the "Gay Straight Guys," the bros that would hang out to watch the game and celebrate by making out.
14 Aries Spears
Aries Spears is known best for his amazing Eddie Murphy impersonation, but he's also done hilarious impressions of Kobe Bryant, LL Cool J, Denzel Washington, Queen Latifa and R. Kelly. He was on MADtv for eight years and did a lot of great impressions, and he made a lot of very memorable skits ("Denzel Washington Needs an Oscar," "R. Kelly and the Girl Scout," and "Behind the Music With Eddie Murphy").
13 Debra Wilson
Debra Wilson had one of the craziest personalities on the show. She was perhaps one of the most memorable cast members, starring in skits like "Can I Have Your Number," where she played Daryl, "Whitney Houston Screws Up the Classics," where she played Whitney (it was before she died- it was still in good taste at the time), and "Love Muffin," a crude and lewd Mariah Carey spoof. She also did a hilarious spoof music video of Beyonce leaving Destiny's Child.
12 Michael McDonald
Michael McDonald played perhaps one of the most beloved MADtv characters, the oversized man-child Stuart. Stuart appeared with his mother in many skits including "Stuart Goes to School," "Stuart Goes to his Dad's," and "Stuart Gets a Rival." Another recurring character of his was Larry, an over-obsessive film fanatic that worked at a movie rental store.
11 Alex Borstein
Miss Swan is certainly Alex Borstein's most famous character on MADtv, with such famous sketches as "Miss Swan at the Candy Store," "Miss Swan at the Drive Through," and "Miss Swan on the Sex Line." While Miss Swan was an Asian character played by a White woman, which is inadvisable and pretty racist, Alex was pretty damn hilarious and Miss Swan is known as one of the most iconic characters of the MADtv world.
10 Crista Flanagan
Crista played in a lot of skits. Some of her most memorable skits and characters were Yvonne in the "Can I Have Your Number?" skit and a customer/straight player in the "Bon Qui Qui" skit. In fact, she played the straight player, the character who has the voice of reason in an outlandish situation, many, many times in the MADtv skits.
9 Phil LaMarr
Remember Phil? One of his most memorable sketches was "Ms. Swan on a Plane." Though he was a consistent member of the cast, it was rare that his characters made reappearances. He was better known as being a supporting actor in other well-known sketches.
8 Keegan Michael - Key & Jordan Peele
They're two separate people, each with amazing sets of sketches. Keegan's well known for his "Coach Hines" sketch, and Jordan is best known for his "R. Kelly Trapped in the Cupboard" sketch. So why are they listed here together? Because their chemistry together on MADtv inspired an entire show that is all theirs.
7 Nicole Parker
Some of Nicole's best known moments on MADtv included "The Ashlee Simpson Show," her Ellen DeGeneres parody of "I Kissed a Girl," and all of her various Britney Spears skits, especially the "Me Against the Music" parody. She did a shocking amount of singing on the show, considering she wasn't a remarkably good singer.
6 Frank Caliendo
Frank Caliendo played many caricatures of real life people on MADtv, including John Madden in skits like "John Madden for The Popcorn Popper," "John Madden for Ace Powertools," and "John Madden for Vagisil." A lot of his time on the show was spent doing fake infomercials that went horribly awry, ending in cheap bloody effects that worked for a few good laughs.
5 Stephnie Weir
Stephnie Weir was always a little weird, from her looks to her characters. She played in many memorable skits as many memorable characters, but perhaps her most popular was Dot, an overexcited and not too wise eight-year-old, who appeared in such skits as "Dot on Oprah," "Dot and the Psychiatrist," and "Dot Reunited with Karen."
4 Will Sasso
Will Sasso is the memorable heavy-set White man from the stages of MADtv (it's actually impressive how diverse the cast was, in retrospect). Some of his most memorable skits were "Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Sound Studio," "Entertainment Tonight with Steven Seagal," "JackAss with Kenny Rogers," "Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino Get Ice Cream," and "Date Line with George Lucas." His impressions were shockingly spot-on and very entertaining.
3 Nicole Sullivan
Nicole played a lot of crazy characters in a lot of wacky skits on MADtv, including her crazy character of Antonia in "Free Pizza," "Word Association," and "Christmas with Antonia." She also played the ridiculous character of Lida in skits like "Melina and Lida Get Robbed," "Karaoke," and "Melina and Lida at the Fire Station." Her characters are completely outrageous and hilarious to watch.
2 Mo Collins
Mo Collins was arguably one of the most hilarious actors on MADtv. She played the crotchety old lady Lorraine Swanson in skits like "Lorraine in the Second Hand Store," "Lorraine on Price is Right," and "Lorraine Buys a Bed." She also played Carol Finney on the "Lillian Verner Game Show" skit. Her impression of Shakira was hilarious, and her role as Stuart's mother in the Stuart sketches left us rolling in laughter.
1 Bobby Lee
Bobby was the only Asian-American actor on MADtv, and it earned him a lot of great (though sometimes very racist or politically incorrect) roles in the show. Some of his better known characters were himself in "24 with John Cena, Triple H in the "High School Wrestling Match" skit, a scientist in "North Korea Science," and the translator in the "French Airport" skit.
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