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.
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. Hart returned three weeks later to accept Sasso's challenge of an arm-wrestling match.
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."
Ms. Swan (Alex Borstein) opens the show with a joke. A spoof of There's Something About Mary focuses on the romance between Bill Clinton (Will Sasso) and Monica Lewinsky (Alex Borstein). Keanu Reeves (Andrew Bowen) gives students lessons in wooden acting. Al Gore (Pat Kilbane) gives sex tips to a couple in bed. CNN frequently interrupts a TV show with an important news bulletin by Bernard Shaw (Phil LaMarr). A man (Will Sasso) calling a sex line accidentally reaches Ms. Swan (Alex Borstein). MADtv vies for Emmy consideration with a sketch featuring Sonny Bono's widow Mary (Alex Borstein) and first wife Cher (Mo Collins) settling their differences through song. A jock (Aries Spears) is less than thrilled to have overexcited nerd Rusty Miller (Michael McDonald) as his dorm mate. Vivica A. Fox is a guest on Funky Walker, Dirty Talker.
Howard Stern (Pat Kilbane) reviews MADtv's past and present cast. Siegfried (Pat Kilbane) & Roy (Michael McDonald) fight crime and their fear of women in a crime drama. A commercial parody for Egg-Beaters' newest product, Meat-Beaters, shows a man (Will Sasso) apparently masturbating as he prepares food. Obese Jewish film director Marvin Tikvah (Michael McDonald) joins a fitness program. JCPenney promotes clothes that protect children from school shootings. Kenny Rogers (Will Sasso) and James Brown Jr. (Aries Spears) host a cooking show. Nicolas Cage (Andrew Bowen) introduces a vintage superhero show called Rocket Revengers. A randy senior citizen (Michael McDonald) recalls how he survived the crash of the Titanic.
Steven Seagal (Will Sasso) kicks the crap out of people while touring America. Lorraine (Mo Collins) peruses items at a yard sale. Chris Rock (Phil LaMarr) demands funnier material in an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show. Spishak promotes a cereal bowl that also works as a pasta bowl. Debra Wilson promotes a virtual reality retirement home. Stuart Larkin (Michael McDonald) gets lost.
Debut of Lorraine and Doreen and Stuart Larkin sketch
Ms. Swan (Alex Borstein) gets hypnotized. Debra Wilson promotes a product for keeping women's nether regions fresh. Monica Lewinsky (Alex Borstein) appears on Talking American. Trina Moss (Mo Collins) attends a baby shower. Rosie O'Donnell (Alex Borstein) interviews Kevin Sorbo on the set of his sitcom, Oh, Hercules. Gary Coleman plays a police negotiator in a parody of The Negotiator, co-starring Eddie Murphy (Aries Spears) and Keanu Reeves (Andrew Bowen).
Members of KISS appear in a sketch as life-size action figures which must stop Michael Jackson (Phil LaMarr); in another sketch, band members go on a date. Kenny Rogers sings duets with Cher (Mo Collins), Björk (Alex Borstein), Marilyn Manson (Pat Kilbane), and Nat King Cole (Phil LaMarr). After a sketch about his role in V, Robert Englund becomes entangled in a string of murders on the MADtv set. Stuart Larkin (Michael McDonald) goes trick-or-treating with Antonia (Nicole Sullivan).
Special Halloween episode
November 7, 1998
Little Hassan Taylor (Phil LaMarr) performs racist songs. In a pornographic version of Saving Private Ryan directed by coke-addled director Harvey Lachien (Aries Spears), two nymphomaniacs (Mo Collins, Debra Wilson) service troops. Magic Johnson (Aries Spears) hosts Jeopardy!. Björk (Alex Borstein), Marilyn Manson (Pat Kilbane), and Stuart (Michael McDonald) and Doreen Larkin (Mo Collins) appear on Lowered Expectations. An undergraduate named "Intensity" (Nicole Sullivan) is obsessed with a man (Pat Kilbane) she barely knows in a parody of Felicity. Lida (Nicole Sullivan) and Melina (Debra Wilson) open their own beauty salon. In a new medical drama, doctors are so focused on their work that they ignore other patients in the waiting room. A drunken storyteller (Will Sasso) tells fractured fairy tales to children. Reverend Jesse Jackson (Aries Spears) plays psychiatrist to the Clinton family.
November 14, 1998
The Vancome Lady (Nicole Sullivan) hosts her own game show. Bill Clinton (Will Sasso) sells commemorative plates. Michael McCleoud (Will Sasso) and Jasmine Wayne-Wayne (Alex Borstein) sing an annoying song. Rusty Miller (Michael McDonald) goes to the College Bowl. Karl Childers (Pat Kilbane) and Blade (Aries Spears) join forces in a new movie. Working as a maternity ward nurse, Antonia (Nicole Sullivan) delivers the wrong baby to a new mother's (Alex Borstein) room. Spishak promotes a dance father can perform.
November 21, 1998
Steven Seagal (Will Sasso) and Jean-Claude Van Damme (Andrew Bowen) defend their fathers in the hard-hitting drama One True Impact. Kenny Rogers (Will Sasso) and James Brown Jr. (Aries Spears) host a Thanksgiving cooking show, where they must cook food for homeless people. A man (Phil LaMarr) becomes so obsessed with the taste of the food he's served that he goes insane. Pat Kilbane tells his "Snapshot Stories."
Shaquille O'Neal interrupts a monologue by Mother Love (Aries Spears). The Eracists spread their message of tolerance in the Middle East. Lethal Weapon cops Riggs (Pat Kilbane) and Murtaugh (Aries Spears) appear at a comedy club with Kenny Rogers (Will Sasso) and his puppet friend Pappy. On an episode of Forgive or Forget, Mother Love (Aries Spears) hopes to reunite Bobby Brown (Phil LaMarr) with Whitney Houston (Debra Wilson). In a parody of Meet Joe Black, Brad Pitt (Andrew Bowen) tries to escape the clutches of Della Reese (Debra Wilson). Shaquille O'Neil's plea to get out of prison is misunderstood. O'Neil plays Dennis Rodman's sister on Lowered Expectations. Rick (Phil LaMarr) appears as a contestant on The Dating Game; one of his potential suitors is Ms. Swan (Alex Borstein). A college jock (Andrew Bowen) hosts his own show from his dorm room.
December 12, 1998
Spishak spokesman (Pat Kilbane) promotes radioactive Christmas tree lights. Rusty Miller (Michael McDonald) tries to celebrate the holidays by himself. Ms. Swan (Alex Borstein) goes Christmas shopping at The Sharpest Image. Woodworking show host Paul Timberman (Will Sasso) endangers himself with power tools. Old Man Sasso (Will Sasso) drunkenly reads "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to children. A claymation parody of I Know What You Did Last Summer involves Christmas. The Vancome Lady (Nicole Sullivan) insults Adam Sandler (Michael McDonald) in A Vancome Christmas Carol.Magic Johnson's (Aries Spears) literacy skills fail him when he tries to ring in Kwanzaa.
Special Christmas episode
January 9, 1999
A man (Michael McDonald) tries to get nearly everyone to go down on him. Keanu Reeves (Andrew Bowen) and Steven Seagal (Will Sasso) perform stand-up comedy at a comedy club. Saturn employees harass a couple. Lounge singer Shaunda (Alex Borstein) sings in a public restroom. While performing at a hospital, Lethal Weapon cops (Pat Kilbane, Aries Spears) receive a lukewarm reception to their over-the-top antics. In a parody of Dawson's Creek, the teenage cast is replaced by children. The Spishak salesman (Pat Kilbane) promotes a mini-guillotine that chops vegetables and can be used for a quick and easy circumcision for Jewish bris reasons. Ellen DeGeneres (Alex Borstein) questions if Anne Heche (Mo Collins) will remain loyal to her.
January 16, 1999
Spishak promotes a razor with ten blades. Celine Dion (Nicole Sullivan) celebrates Martin Luther King Day in song. Bunifa (Debra Wilson) goes on a date and appears on Lowered Expectations. Will (Will Sasso) is bothered by his annoying sister (Alex Borstein) at an arcade. Nicole Sullivan tells her "Snapshot Story." A psychotic woman (Nicole Sullivan) obsessed with murder appears on Lowered Expectations. Ms. Swan (Alex Borstein) tries to use an automated teller machine. Charlie Sheen (Andrew Bowen) discusses his drug escapades in an anti-drug commercial. Bill Cosby (Aries Spears) hosts a parody of Kids Say the Darndest Things - with pimps!
January 30, 1999
Antonia (Nicole Sullivan) referees a football game. Adam Sandler (Michael McDonald) and Drew Barrymore (Nicole Sullivan) star in The Riverboy. The Vancome Lady (Nicole Sullivan) sells refreshments at a football game. Kenny Rogers (Will Sasso) hosts a Super Bowl halftime show.
Kenny Rogers (Will Sasso) opens the show and discusses his portrayal on MADtv. Antonia (Nicole Sullivan) plugs her own perfume. Randy Newman (Will Sasso) composes songs for the new Star Wars movie. Bunifa (Debra Wilson) gets a fast-food employee (Nicole Sullivan) fired. Prince (Phil LaMarr) stars in a parody of The Prince of Egypt. Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura (Will Sasso) introduces his new lieutenant governor, Bret Hart. Stuart Larkin (Michael McDonald) goes to the doctor. Pop-Up Video presents a music video from Alanis Morissette (Mo Collins), and reveals what went on during the shoot. Steven Seagal (Will Sasso) and Ice Cube (Aries Spears) star in The Odd Couple. Keanu Reeves (Andrew Bowen) is a Lowered Expectations bachelor.
Rusty Miller (Michael McDonald) opens the show by plugging his college. Magic Johnson (Aries Spears) doesn't fare well as a teacher. Brian McKnight stars as himself on The Dating Game, where Bunifa (Debra Wilson) is the contestant. Ms. Swan (Alex Borstein) creates a disturbance at a local cineplex. A Spanish-language version of Three's Company airs. A Star Wars special edition features clips of Hans Solo (Pat Kilbane) fleeing danger. Old Man Sasso (Will Sasso) reads a fractured Valentine's Day tale to children. Will Sasso trains to exact revenge on Bret Hart for injuring him during the previous episode of MADtv. During the taping of a cooking show, the chef (Nicole Sullivan) broods about her romantic problems.
Special Valentine's Day episode
February 20, 1999
Miss Swan (Alex Borstein) opens the show by singing the MADtv theme song. A special McDonald's feast help those who want to look like Ally McBeal. A new Spishak product doesn't work well for its user (Andrew Bowen), but his wife (Alex Borstein) falls for the salesman (Pat Kilbane). The O'Malley parents (Mo Collins, Michael McDonald) embarrass their daughter (Nicole Sullivan) with their nudity. Robin Williams (Pat Kilbane) stars in a variation of Patch Adams. A married couple (Michael McDonald, Nicole Sullivan) struggle to get into their honeymoon suite. Michael Jackson (Phil LaMarr) and Deborah Rowe (Alex Borstein) appear on Change of Heart. The events surrounding John (Michael McDonald) and Patsy Ramsey (Alex Borstein) are recast as a romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks (Pat Kilbane) and Meg Ryan (Nicole Sullivan). In a sequel to the family drama Stepmom, a man (Michael McDonald) and his children replace his frumpy wife (Alex Borstein) with a younger, hotter woman (Debra Wilson).
Woodworker Paul Timberman (Will Sasso) suffers accidents while building a Lazy Susan. The Vancome Lady (Nicole Sullivan) stars in a parody of Jay-Z's "Hard Knock Life" co-starring rapper Mase (Aries Spears). Lida (Nicole Sullivan) and Melina (Debra Wilson) host their own news show. Wealthy socialites (Michael McDonald, Alex Borstein, and Nicole Sullivan) play the (literal) poor man's Monopoly board game, "Welfare." Will Sasso competes with Bret Hart in an arm-wrestling match. Stuart Larkin (Michael McDonald) gets his picture taken. A blaxploitation parody called Son of Dolemite airs.
Cher (Mo Collins) opens the show with a new song. Mike Tyson (Aries Spears) becomes the new spokesman for GAP clothing. A Spanish-language version of All in the Family airs. UBS guy Jaq (Phil LaMarr) rents pornography and Teletubbies episodes. Stuart Larkin (Michael McDonald) learns how to play Tee-ball. Aries Spears reviews his day with Michael McDonald in his Snapshot Story. Keri Russell stars in a parody of Felicity with several MADtv recurring characters. A telegram-singing couple (Pat Kilbane, Nicole Sullivan) pester another couple (Andrew Bowen, Debra Wilson). The Eracists sing about letting homosexuals march in a St. Patrick's Day parade. Desperation Lee (Phil LaMarr), Redd Foxx (Aries Spears), Cocoa Latite (Debra Wilson), and Kenny Rogers (Will Sasso) star in a parody of Armageddon.
March 27, 1999
Ms. Swan (Alex Borstein) opens the show with a magic trick. Fess Weiss (Pat Kilbane) sings a tale about a lumberjack (Will Sasso). Yassir Arafat (Andrew Bowen) performs party tricks. A man (Pat Kilbane) refuses to stop dry-humping his wife (Alex Borstein). Keith Richards (Pat Kilbane) promotes illicit drugs as a sleep aid. Rusty Miller (Michael McDonald) appears in a commercial for a fast-food joint. Catwoman (Debra Wilson) fights the cableman (Aries Spears) to get her cable TV installed. Happy Folger (Michael McDonald) embarrasses his daughter at her wedding with a gross story.
April 10, 1999
Andrew Bowen opens the show by inviting Bunifa (Debra Wilson) onstage. Debra Wilson promotes a new anti-masturbation aid. In a sitcom, a daughter (Alex Borstein) loses her boyfriends to her irresistible gay dad (Andrew Bowen). Army specialists observe a rubber-like man (Pat Kilbane). Coffee addict Stan (Pat Kilbane) is nervous when he sees Janeane Garofalo (Alex Borstein) at a bistro. Kenny Rogers (Will Sasso) offers exams for testicular cancer. Nicolas Cage (Andrew Bowen) stars in an episode of Rocket Revengers. All Tammany (Will Sasso) wants to talk about is Hollywood.
A Spanish-language of Star Trek airs. A VH1Behind the Music special examines the lives of the Eracists after Steve (Phil LaMarr) left the group. Spishak claims one out of ten customers prefers its new detergent. Jerry Springer interviews Lida (Nicole Sullivan) and Melina (Debra Wilson), and is accosted by Bunifa (Debra Wilson) as he leaves the studio. Rosie O'Donnell (Alex Borstein) interviews shock jock Howard Stern (Pat Kilbane). Lorraine Swanson (Mo Collins) takes hours shopping for a car. Shaunda (Alex Borstein) performs at a prison.
May 8, 1999
Kenny Rogers (Will Sasso) and James Brown (Aries Spears) open the show. George Jefferson (Phil LaMarr) moves further on up in a parody of The Jeffersons. Ms. Swan (Alex Borstein) stars in a film noir parody in which she flirts with a private eye (Pat Kilbane). The Aussie Hunter gets mauled by crocodiles, sharks, and cheetahs. An elderly pharmacy employee (Debra Wilson) embarrasses other people by reading their prescriptions aloud. Debra Wilson tells her Snapshot Story. The Rocket Revengers do battle in Atlantica with the help of their new member (Aries Spears). A handicapped repairman (Phil LaMarr) fumbles around while fixing a woman's (Nicole Sullivan) apartment.
Stuart Larkin (Michael McDonald) and his mother Doreen (Mo Collins) open the show. Parody of Whose Line is It Anyway. A man (Michael McDonald) keeps shushing his girlfriend (Nicole Sullivan). Mo Collins tells her Snapshot Story. Rusty Miller (Michael McDonald) is ecstatic to meet his idol Donny Osmond on MTV Fanatic. Lorraine Swanson (Mo Collins) creates a disturbance at a grocery store. Superheroes Falconman (Andrew Bowen) and Birdboy (Phil LaMarr) bring order to the workplace.
May 22, 1999
Celine Dion (Nicole Sullivan) opens the show with a joke. Spishak promotes a new product for managing ice. The Aussie Hunter gets mauled by gorillas, elephants, and ants. Competitors pass gas during a dance competition. The News at Six team reports on a spore attack. Marvin Tikvah (Michael McDonald) enlists the aid of the Vancome Lady (Nicole Sullivan).