The twentieth anniversary of MADtv brought with it a reunion special and a revival that introduced audiences to a new group of sketch comedians and their takes on topical comedy. With the season finale looming, it's not clear whether MADtv will return for another season, or if the series will leave TV once again. While normally, I'd think that the sketch series' years of popularity and audiences' recent love of nostalgia would propel it to another season, the new version of MADtv failed to make a noticeable impact — even returning cast members' guest appearances did little to register. According to the Wrap, the CW's ratings for the MADtv premiere were very low, with the network coming in last of all the major networks on the night of the show's debut. However, the name recognition and legacy of MADtv might be enough for the network to justify giving the revival another chance, especially given the success of past cast members.
But for now, the future of more MADtv is up in the air, so you may want to find other places to watch sketch comedy in the meantime. Luckily, since there are so many networks and streaming sites, there are more places than ever for comedians to put their work. Here's just a sampling of the sketch/character-based comedy you can watch this fall while waiting to find out about MADtv's fate.
Saturday Night Live
I'm pretty sure if you're a TV fan, you've heard of TV's most venerated comedy institution, and you're probably sure if you like it or not. But it's an election year, and that's traditionally been where SNL thrives, so even if you haven't watched it in a while, this fall is the time to tune in.
A new season of this series just popped up on Netflix, if you missed it in early 2016. With almost all of the sketch characters played by Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, and special guest stars, it manages to perfectly satirize hipster culture in a way that doesn't feel cliché.
Netflix's original series gives a bunch of comedians the chance to produce a half-hour episode filled with character-based sketches. Each comedian plays a half dozen or so original characters, making for a recurring sketch-free comedy that's not topical at all but still hilarious.
Inside Amy Schumer
Is Amy Schumer overexposed? That's the question that the last season of Inside Amy Schumer asked, and while it resulted in the series' most mixed season to date, the entirety of the series is available to stream on Amazon Prime and filled with comedy about what it's like to be a woman in America in 2016.
This one's a throwback — Mr. Show aired back in the early 1990s, before Bob Odenkirk and David Cross were famous for their Better Call Saul and Arrested Development roles, but it's available on HBOGo for the first time, so you can now stream whole episodes and seasons.
More a series of vignettes than purely comedic sketches, this series perfectly recreates the styles of famous documentaries throughout history with a comedic angle. It also features two SNL veterans, Armisen and Bill Hader, who have plenty of comedy experience. The second season is airing now, while the first is currently on Netflix.
Even though another season of MADtv may be a bit of a long shot, there's never been a better time to be a fan of sketch comedy.
Images: Patrick Wymore/The CW; Giphy (6)