Boo hoo hoo!
I don't see why some give this show a lot of flak. "Because it's Robot Chicken kiddied up!" What a crock! Seth Green's little puppet show fell into the same pitfalls Family Guy did: misfired black comedy and pandering to the creator's 80's fetish. Not to mention another criticism I have toward adult animation at large: no sense of restraint and the misguided notion that "sex = funny". The difference between MAD and Robot Chicken is that you can do an amusing parody sketch show without having to sink to domestic abuse "jokes". I enjoyed the merger of Toriyama's Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z with Go, Diego, Go!, "Super 80's" was pretty good as well, and "Garfield of Dreams" was and excellent Take That to Seth MacFarlane and movies based on comic strips. It shows that you don't need vulgarity to be interesting. The show may be an acquired taste (but then again, so is [adult swim] in general), but to dismiss it because it doesn't have robots humping washing machines and whatnot speaks volumes for the maturity of the complainers.
Like a madman aiming, a hit-and-miss.
You really can't describe MAD as a whole. Because it's not. It's a complete and utter mishmash. So even if you hate the abundance of "Actor's name?!" in the main segments, you're bound to find something you like in the others. Unfortunately, though, it also works the other way. Even if you adore most of the segments, there's bound to be at least one that makes you groan or turn away. So in other words, when you watch MAD, you're truly in for a gamble.
Imagine this for a second. You're watching your favorite television show (say, Family Guy). In the episode you're watching, Family Guy seems to be a lot like South Park, trying its best to be as topical as possible. And I don't mean "popular two months ago" topical, I mean "specifically created to be accurate as soon as it aired" topical. Anyway, you're watching a segment when something occurs to you. As if the show was suddenly whitewashed, every bad word is censored. It's almost as if Seth Mac Farlane himself wanted to insert as many dirty words as possible, but he was whipped by Fox into putting censor bars and replacing jokes on his show. As a result, the jokes get duller, as if the maturity was the show's only sustinence. That's how Mad is. Simply put, it's like someone put Robot Chicken and South Park in a blender, but picked all the curse words and nudity out before serving it to their customer. Jokes that would've at least given you a chuckle are ruined to become PG rated. Even the Spy vs. Spy jokes, often the most original and humorous shorts on the show, are "defanged" to remove all violence. Essentially, Mad is really for one demographic: kids who somehow understand the rapid-fire jokes coming at them, most of them obscure references only adults would get, but who also have never experienced a better series, like Robot Chicken * . Unless you fall into this manchild-like category, you will ultimately never be satisfied with the end result.
After an average season 1, season 2 got to be progressively better with episodes like "Demise of the Planet of the Apes" "Rio-A" Al Pacino and the Chipmunks" "Captain American't" "My Little Warhorse" "Super 80s" "Thunder Lo Lcats" "Kitchen Nightmare Before Christmas" "Money Ball Z" and so on. Yeah sometimes the eps can fall flat like "My Supernatural Sweet 16" "Tater Tots and Tiaras" and the over reliance on the "You Shall Not Pass!" meme and Twilight jokes are really stupid and grating after awhile. I guess like Robot Chicken or any other sketch show if the writers liked the subject they'll make good comedy from it it. So out of ten I'd give it a 7 or 8.