MADtv debuted on Oct. 14, 1995, 20 years after Saturday Night Live — and though the upstart FOX sketch comedy ensemble never unseated NBC’s SNL in the battle for late-night Saturday TV viewers, the show named for the long-running animated satirical magazine managed to produce plenty of comedy stars over its own 14-season run.
Key & Peele, anyone?
The list goes on, and many of those stars have realigned to celebrate the 20th anniversary of MADtv‘s birth.
Only their reunion tribute isn’t airing on FOX? Nay nay. It’ll air in primetime Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, on The CW — the so-called fifth broadcast network that’s quickly jump-starting a new reputation for comedy.
Here’s the deal, straight from the press release:
Marking 20 years since the debut of the Emmy Award-winning sketch comedy series “MADtv,” The CW Network will broadcast the MADtv 20th Anniversary Reunion on Tuesday, January 12 (8:00-9:00 pm ET/PT). This one-hour retrospective of classic “MADtv” clips showcases the series signature pop-culture parodies and politically incorrect humor from the show’s 14 seasons, interwoven with new comedy material featuring 19 series alumni.
Returning cast members for the MADtv 20th Anniversary Reunion include Ike Barinholtz, Alex Borstein, Mo Collins, Crista Flanagan, Anjelah Johnson, Nicole Randall Johnson, Keegan-Michael Key, Phil LaMarr, Artie Lange, Bobby Lee, Michael McDonald, Arden Myrin, Nicole Parker, Eric Price, Will Sasso, Aries Spears, Nicole Sullivan, Stephnie Weir and Debra Wilson. In the special, the cast reunites to attend a glamorous award ceremony to honor the series, but in classic “MADtv” fashion, nothing goes as planned.
The MADTV 20TH ANNIVERSARY REUNION will also feature appearances from some of the show’s signature characters, many of which have amassed tens of millions of views on YouTube, including Anjelah Johnson’s Bon Qui Qui. Also included are star-studded highlights from throughout the show’s 14-season run, with guests such as Jessica Alba, Tyra Banks, Drew Barrymore, Halle Berry, Adam Carolla, David Carradine, John Cena, Bryan Cranston, Anna Faris, Neil Patrick Harris, Dr. Ken Jeong, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the Kardashian family, Jamie Kennedy, Jimmy Kimmel, Christopher Meloni, Ryan Reynolds, Snoop Dogg and Xzibit, among others.
In addition to the primetime special, 75 of the maddest and funniest episodes will be available to stream exclusively on CW Seed, The CW’s digital network, beginning January 5, 2016.
The MADTV 20TH ANNIVERSARY REUNION is produced by Telepictures and Epicenter Ventures, with David E. Salzman serving as executive producer. The special was written by John Crane and directed by Bruce Leddy. Rick Squire is the executive in charge and Adam Salzman is supervising producer.
Speaking of the most popular MADtv moments on YouTube featuring cast members making it to the reunion: