Main Stage @ Park West, 322 W. Armitage
Saturday, April 28
Tickets: $37.50, at the Park West box office; Ticketmaster: 312-902-1500; and on-line at www.ticketmaster.com (enter "Chicago Improv Festival")
MADtv's 12th season premiere aired on September 16 , 2006.There was a major format change in Season 12. At the beginning of the show, instead of airing a sketch before the opening credits, sketches from the upcoming episode are previewed. Also, so more sketches can fit into individual episodes, sketches are shorter, much like they were in early years. Often, sketches that have too much material to be all in one sketch are split into 3 parts, to prevent the sketch from dragging too much (such as a three-part filler piece about what shows celebrities have saved to their TiVo).
The featured performers from Season Eleven, Frank Caeti and Nicole Randall Johnson, were promoted to repertory status.
New sketches in Season 12 included a Korean Soap Opera spoof called Attidues and Feelings Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive, starring Bobby Lee. Attidues and Feelings, spoken in fluent yet random Korean words and subtitled in comical Broken English (the dialogue and subtitles are not related), is a rather bizarre cliched soap opera about the twisted life of Dr. Poon Jum, his love's antics, and his enemy, Mr. President, a Korean crimelord. Each sketch left the viewer in a hilarious yet shocking cliffhanger. The sketches were usually shown about 5 episodes apart. Lee also played Johhny Gan, a Korean millionaire who hosts a rather odd talk show where him and his assistant, Pongo (who seems to be in love with him) interview celebrities.
Keegan Michael Key
Also, Michael McDonald brought over a character from season 11, Larry Felmer, a celebrity-obsessed man who gets extremley angry when celebrities are mocked. Familiar faces also returned in Season 12, including Crista Flanagan's Wendy Walker (Three Minute Meals) and Luanne Lockheart, Nicole Parker's Disney Girl, Nicole Randall Johnson's Ka-Son, Keegan-Michael Key's Coach Hines, and Michael McDonald's Stuart.
For the first time in 7 years, animated sketches appeared on MADtv. Season 12's most popular claymation sketch was the recurring sketch "Celebrity Pets", in which pets of celebrities talk about their daily lives with their celebrity owners. There were also some non-sequitur claymation sketches such as "Red Snow" (a Happy Feet-meets-Saving Private Ryan movie trailer), Real Police Video: Immigration, and a Christmas short where George W. Bush blackmails Santa into killing his enemies. MADtv also developed a popular recurring animation sketch called "Weekly News with Toby", in which first grader Toby (voiced by Frank Caeti) talks about his view on current events.
Because of the major format change, shorter sketches, and return of claymation and animation, many have agreed that Season 12 has brought back the feel of the early seasons of MADtv, and some have also dubbed it a new era for the show.
The twelfth season features a brand-new title sequence showing action shots of the performers as they prepare for the show. The screen divides into several different live action shots. When the music starts, the announcer says "It's MADtv! Starring...". When the last cast member is announced, the screen turns to the whole cast in a live action shot as the music stops and the phrase "You are now watching MADtv!" is said. The sequence also features a new announcer.