* CastingGag: One episode had [[Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit Christopher Meloni]] play a resident of a gated community at a community meeting... who also happened to be a serial groper harassing one of the female residents.
* DuelingShows: With ''Series/SaturdayNightLive''. While ''MADtv'' has its share of fans, boasted a more ethnically diverse cast[[note]]though MADtv has less black cast members than SNL does overall [10 vs. 18], only hired a male Asian-American cast member [Bobby Lee, who is Korean] while SNL hired two male Asian cast members who weren't full-blooded [Rob Schneider, who's Filipino and Jewish, and Fred Armisen, who's Japanese, Venezuelan, and German], never hired a female Asian cast member [technically, SNL did with Nasim Pedrad, since Iran is in The Middle East and The Middle East is part of the Asian continent, but now that she's gone, they don't have one, nor has SNL ever hired a female Asian cast member who has origins in China, Japan, Korea, or any East Asian country], hired a gay male cast member [Paul Vogt] but not a lesbian, bisexual, or transgender person, though SNL did hire a gay male cast member [Terry Sweeney, who later wrote for MADtv] and two lesbians [Danitra Vance and Kate [=McKinnon=]]. As of 2016, ''SNL'' has no cast members who are bisexual or transgender -- though that can change, since the show doesn't seem like it will end anytime soon], and MADtv hired more Hispanic cast members than SNL ever did. MADtv had Pablo Francisco, Nelson Acenscio, Jill-Michele Melean, Anjelah Johnson, and Johnny Sanchez while SNL only has Horatio Sanz, Fred Armisen, and Noel Wells[[/note]], and is considered the longest-running FOX sketch show (and ''SNL'''s longest-running rival), ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' (for all its flaws, SeasonalRot, and controversial moments) came out on top as the edgy, weekend live sketch show with a cast of up-and-coming comedians. ''Saturday Night Live'' even has two former ''MADtv'' cast members: Jeff Richards (who was on the show from 2001 to mid-2004) and Taran Killam (who came on the show in 2010 and is still on there)[[note]]it would have been five, but Stephnie Weir, Jordan Peele, and Erica Ash were turned down[[/note]].
* KeepCirculatingTheTapes: For a time, the only [=DVD=]s ''Series/MADtv'' had out were the complete season one set and a compilation special called ''The Best of Seasons 8, 9, and 10''. Despite a preview for the second season DVD, Warner Bros. decided not to release any more [=DVD=]s for the show due to low sales. Creator/ShoutFactory picked up the slack and released seasons two, three, and four on DVD, but then stopped for the same reason Warner Bros. did. And don't bother looking for it on television, since Creator/ComedyCentral stopped airing the show in 2010 (it didn't even air the last couple of seasons [12 to 14], though Canada's Comedy Network aired season 12 before pulling the show) and no other channel has aired it since [[note]]in contrast, ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' is now airing on Logo, VH1, and is back airing on Comedy Central, along with some hour-long reruns of past season episodes on NBC, a collection of memorable sketches on NBC's webpage, Hulu, and on Yahoo Screen, and a memorable stint on Netflix and [=Xfinity=] On-Demand's Streampix[[/note]]. YouTube seems to be the only place anyone can find ''MADtv'' sketches (albeit ones with Comedy Central station identification bugs or Dutch subtitles), and iTunes store only has full episodes of the last two seasons available.
* NoExportForYou: Narrowly averted with the first run. {{FOX}} didn't plan to air the show in {{Seattle}} because the ''local'' SketchComedy show ''Series/AlmostLive'' (the show that made ''BillNyeTheScienceGuy'' popular before he had his own educational series on PBS) was well-established and wildly popular at the time.
* SiblingRivalry: Josh Meyers (a cast member on ''[=MADtv=]'' for the show's eighth and ninth seasons) is the younger brother of [[Series/SaturdayNightLive Weekend Update]] anchor Creator/SethMeyers in RealLife, making Creator/SethMeyers the only cast member to have a sibling on a rival sketch show. Made evident when Seth Meyers appeared on Weekend Update to talk to his dad and tells him to turn off ''Series/{{MADtv}}''.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: One of the regular skits in the show's early seasons was "Lowered Expectations", a video dating service for..."troubled" individuals. But even in the mid-90's, video dating was becoming...dated what with online dating sites on the rise, and the skit was retired by the end of the decade.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen - Creator/SethMacFarlane (the man behind ''Family Guy'', ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'', and ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow'') was originally contracted to do cartoon shorts for this show, but backed out in favor of creating his own TV series for FOX. Had [=MacFarlane=] taken the offer, he would have created ''Family Guy'' for ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' before spinning it off into its own show, much like Matt Groening did with ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' on ''The Tracy Ullman Show''.
** Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele were originally hired with the intention of FOX picking only one of them to be in the next season's cast, but the two had such great chemistry both separately and together that FOX decided to pick them both.
** Stephnie Weir (the ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' cast member known for recurring character Dot[[note]]a mentally unstable girl who's parents abuse her because she's not smart like her sister[[/note]] and her impression of Anna Nicole Smith[[note]]and, startlingly, being from the same Texas town and born on the same day as her[[/note]]) originally auditioned to be a ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' cast member. She was passed up on ''SNL'' in favor of Rachel Dratch.
*** Jordan Peele also auditioned to be on ''Saturday Night Live'' during the hiatus brought on by the 2007-2008 Writers' Guild strike when Lorne Michaels used the time off to find a cast member who could play Barack Obama. Peele and another black male cast member (Donald Glover) were passed up in favor of Fred Armisen (to much controversy) until September 2012, when Jay Pharoah was chosen. The joke's on ''SNL'' as [[HilariousInHindsight Jordan Peele played Barack Obama]] on Comedy Central's ''Series/KeyAndPeele''.