Mad TV (season 4)

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MADtv season 4
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 25
Original channel Fox
Original run August 29, 1998 (1998-08-29) – May 22, 1999 (1999-05-22)
Season chronology
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MADtv (season 3)

The fourth season of MADtv aired from August 29, 1998, to May 22, 1999, with 25 episodes.

Season summary[edit]

The new season had several cast changes. Mary Scheer, Chris Hogan, and Lisa Kushell left the show. Andrew Bowen and Mo Collins joined as repertory players, with Michael McDonald as a featured player. Nicole Sullivan did not appear in the first five episodes of the fourth season. However, she did return in the sixth episode, the show's Halloween special, performing her popular characters Antonia and The Vancome Lady. Spy vs Spy became the reruns of this season.

Season four had a notable change of pace and format compared to the first three seasons. The show had a faster pace and began to use recurring characters, such as the wacky mother/son duo Doreen (Collins) and Stuart (McDonald) Larkin, more often. Separately, Collins played the eccentric Midwestern character Lorraine Swanson and McDonald played Jewish slob director Marvin Tikvah and overexcited dweeb Rusty Miller in sketches that appeared in heavy rotation.

Original cast players Nicole Sullivan and Debra Wilson introduced new characters, playing Latina bimbos Lida and Melina together, while Wilson performed Bunifa, a fast-talking ghetto fabulous girl. Alex Borstein frequently appeared as Ms. Swan and Rosie O'Donnell; Pat Kilbane appeared as the Coffee Guy and the spokesman for Spishak, and performed his Howard Stern impersonation; Will Sasso frequently impersonated famous people such as Bill Clinton, Kenny Rogers, and Steven Seagal and Aries Spears did several impersonations of popular African-American celebrities.

Season four was marked by one notable controversy. During the episode that aired February 6, 1999, Bret Hart appeared in a sketch with Will Sasso. Hart, a WCW wrestler, attacked Sasso during filming. It was unclear whether this was part of the sketch or ad-libbed, until a MADtv head writer revealed that the fight was real and Sasso did actually bleed.[1] Hart returned three weeks later to accept Sasso's challenge of an arm-wrestling match.

Opening montage[edit]

The MADtv logo appears against the backdrop of a busy street in Los Angeles. The theme song, which is performed by the hip-hop group Heavy D & the Boyz, begins. Cast members are introduced alphabetically, with their names appearing in caption over a slow-motion montage of color still photos of them. When the last featured cast member is introduced, the music stops and the title sequence ends with the phrase "You are now watching MADtv."