The year was 1995. Saturday Night Live had wrapped up its 20th season with a whimper, with fans and critics alike speculating that the king of late-night sketch comedy was in the middle of a creative slump. There existed a power vacuum in that time slot, and when October came around, so did a vibrant, garish, crass menagerie of sketch comedy misfits, rejects, and hellraisers bearing the name “MAD” and donning a red-haired, grinning, gap-toothed mascot as their symbol. The original MADtv lasted 14 seasons before cancellation, with a 20th anniversary special and a rebooted 15th season coming years later. Here are some entries from MADtv’s tumultuous history in the shadow of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

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