The first broadcast was October 14, 1995. The one-hour show first-ran on Saturday nights on Fox and was in syndication on Comedy Central. In Australia, the show screened on satellite and cable TV channel The Comedy Channel and in late-night timeslots on free-to-air broadcaster the Nine Network and its affiliates.
Mad TV was created by Fax Bahr and Adam Small. The series was originally produced by Bahr/Small Productions and Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment (QDE). After Bahr and Small left the series at the end of the third season (they were later credited as "executive consultants"), the series was handled by QDE and distributed by WB Television Distribution. The series was directed by Bruce Leddy (196 episodes) as well as David Grossman, and Amanda Bearse.
Mad TV was taped in front of a live audience and consisted of sketches, cartoon shorts, and musical performances. Much of its comedy parodied popular television shows, movies and music, as well as topical, political, and pop culture humor.