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Cartoon Network’s MAD

First look at Warner Animation’s new MAD cartoon series. It starts airing September 6th on Cartoon Network.

  • Dan

    I’m assuming that it’s an issue with the youtube video and the show isn’t quite that stuttery. Either way it’s good to see Cartoon Network getting back to cartoons, but I would have pegged this as more of an Adult Swim show that standard CN.

    I’m probably alone on this but I thought a lot of the cartoons made for Mad TV were pretty decent.

    • tyler

      ok im a a teenager and your right this show is actully really good most of the stuff were kind of stupid but it had like how i met your mother jokes a glee joke and many more i personally loved it and it reminedes me alot of mad tv and shouldve been on adult swim

  • John Dorian

    Here’s a better version of the MAD promo:

    And it looks very good! I said this before, and I’ll say it again, this is the most intriguing WB Animation series, and it’s about time MAD got a decent adaptation.

    • amid

      Thanks. We updated it with your link.

  • The Spy vs Spy bit has an interesting looking animation. The Don Martin segment looks too “Flash”, tho…

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I thought so too (I think the ’74 version looked better IMO).

    • PowerPorts

      The Wartella clips look pretty good actually. And Spy vs. Spy. The rest looks like cheap foreign-animated crap. Way to go Warner Brothers!

  • Doug Drown

    I have to confess I haven’t read a copy of Mad in probably fifteen years. Is the magazine part of the Time Warner family now?

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Yes it is.

    • Actually, Mad has been part of the Time Warner family since the sixties. They were bought in the early sixties by Kinney, which by 1971 had become Warner Communications.

  • Lewis

    This crude style is in vogue now but it isn’t on par with MAD magazine’s level of art.

  • All we can hope for is an improvement over the last MAD Magazine associated television show (albeit loosely), MADtv.

  • The Ghost of Warner Bros. Past

    Looks like “Ecccccch” to me.

  • Maybe this is what impresses kids now, but I grew up with the MAD of the 70’s (german edition) and expected a somewhat more elaborated animation. It just looks cheap to me.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I felt that way too watching this. It didn’t really speak to me the way the magazines did. It needs more hand-drawn fluidity as I can picture it in a few of those. I don’t mind the more dialogue-heavy stuff of getting the Flash treatment if needed, but the non-verbal efforts certainly could afford a little more.

    • Stephan

      Did your magazine move more? I’m not sure I understand…

  • Mad Magazine was about social commentary. It was the first place that you learned that used car salesmen and politicians could not be trusted. It taught us to question what we’d been told by our parents and other “adults of authority”. Mad Magazine was an inoculation that protected us from the world that we were growing up in.

    Don Martin and Dave Berg presented social follies.
    Spy Vs. Spy showed the futility of deviousness and violence.

    When I saw the clip of Alfred E. Newman getting flushed down the can, I know that this isn’t the Mad Magazine that I grew up with. I’m going to wish ’em well, but…

    • I’m watching the show
      MAD right now and they have real life people heads on cartoon bodies. It’s almost like Robot Chicken.

  • Marc Baker

    I have to agree that the ‘Spy Vs. Spy’ footage didn’t look nearly as good as the ‘Spy Vs. Spy’ skits from ‘Mad TV’. I also agree that the Don Martin bit was obviously done in Flash.

    • id say a lot of the bits were, just judging by the clean lines and color schemes, which are mostly from the default palette of flash

  • erlab

    Is this another project by Augenblick that failed to tell its fans they were doing it in time to hire them?

  • Deaniac

    I guess CN is really starting to embrace more programming aimed at older audiences. I approve.

    And I remember a press release said MAD would be a “chaotic mix of animation styles”, so there’s probably more “elaborate” animation styles than the ones presented here. I’m actually pretty intrigued to see how it turns out.

  • nothing to write home about animation wise… especially since I played the Medussa clip before looking at this…but most sucess depends on the opinions of your target demographic.

  • Cyber Fox

    I hope that this is WAY better than the aggrivating clustercuss that was MADtv

  • Rooniman

    Looks okay, like how each segment has a different animation style.

  • I think CN is embracing more of a counter-culture vibe with its primetime line-up. The “cheap” look of the animation certainly feels like the rock n’ roll, “I don’t give a f*ck” attitude of underground comics and many of the animated shorts kids are watching online. (I remember “Charlie the Unicorn” being a big hit with my former students). Definitely more in line with the Adult Swim style.

    CN’s new animation series look exciting. When I was a kid and first heard about the creation of Cartoon Network–this is what I’d imagined it would be: Animation cut loose. And Bugs Bunny in primetime.

  • Ink Dipper

    My walls are plastered with 52 pages of MAD magazine original artwork by Mort Drucker and Jack Davis. Brilliant, satirical and funny and on top of all that, beautifully drawn. This clip of the new cartoon series has nothing to do with the MAD magazine I used to know, what a shame…

  • MadMadMadMadAnimator

    “Cheap”? Yes. Thank WB for that, with the lack of money behind this project. Ask any of the studios working on it. Also ask how much they complete in a given week!

  • What the great drawings? This looks like bad kids’ tracings of Mad. Mad Magazine had a profound influence on modern American humor. It’s a shame to see it dragged down to just another cash in crapped out Flash show. It deserves better… A LOT better.

    • Steve we tried to get you in here for layout but we couldn’t afford your rates! You would have done the show justice, we know! <3

      • I’d have been happy to provide reference, and suggest artists with the talent to pull off a Mad show worthy of the name.

      • Stephan

        @aaron I like the Mad spirit of that snarky comment! If you’re really working on that show, let’s hope this cruel ‘light at the truth’ attitude will imbue each and every pencil stroke!

      • John Dorian

        Aaron, this show has numerous animation styles, not just “Flash”.

        This MAD show is for the new generation, not the older generation.

        I wish people would get that.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      I feel your pain here Steve. The show certainly deserves better.

    • I agree, but then again MAD has become a shell of it´s former glory, gone are the great talents of old which amazed us with ther sheer talent and draftmanship, nowadays the magazine is filled with lame scribbles, cheap photoshop gags and no real satirical bite.

      • Steven Finch, Attorney at Law

        Spoken like a true person who’s not picked an issue up since 1980.

    • I agree Mad, should be treated with reverence. Either they don’t give a shit, or they’re incapable.

  • Roberto Severino

    Interesting adaptation of the classic magazine. At least they were attempting to have different drawing styles on this show rather than the status quo that most studios are doing today.

  • Jeff Harris

    Remember guys, this isn’t for us adults. This show is for teens, and it isn’t trying to be just like the Good Ol’ days of MAD, we already had rubbish show with GREAT Spy Vs. Spy/Don Martin cartoons until after the second season.

    Can you guys just give it a chance without dismissing something just because it isn’t what you wanted? It will have various animation styles that appeals to kids and teens and other generations. Times change. Get over it.

  • MAD…. It’s MAD repetative (*where everything looks like it’s been done cheaply in Flash)

    I think we’ve lost the days of “quality” in television shows(*if there ever was any)

  • Theyre missing the very important texture of a MAD magazine – the computer just cant fake some things – shoulda been hand drawn

  • I don’t understand, why doesn’t this look like the classic animation of the Golden Age, done by absolute masters of the medium? I really expected some impeccably crafted visual spectacles of orgasmic animation in this series. It just really irks me when everything can’t be exactly how I envision it in my own mind, which of course would make it highly respectable and Godlike.

  • It’s amusing to read comments lamenting the lack of reverence for a magazine whose purpose was to treat subjects with a lack of reverence.

    • While Mad Magazine had a distinct lack of reverence for the subjects it was lampooning – it had a huge amount of respect for its audience.

  • CTM

    As someone who never read the magazine, I guess it looks… okay. Doesn’t really look like my kind of show though.

    • The Gee

      It is still published. It isn’t like it an artifact of a bygone era.
      Look at a copy at your local supermarket, buy a copy. read it and if you don’t like it then know that there’s a lot of good, older stuff that was collected and republished. Or, you could borrow older copies from friend who may have been into it for a while.

      As for the show: the diversity looks like a good thing–for the show, the crews and the humor. But, it could look a bit more polished. And, this is just base on watching that clip and not having

      I thought I read that some of the content was done in-house and that it was partially based on existing MAD artist’s work. So, it has a hand from the magazine’s talents. Somehow.

  • Swetch

    Animation cut loose? Cut loose from funding.

  • BLT

    I would rather watch 10 shows like this than a single “reality” show on Cartoon Network. I thought there was some talk about CN doing more Nik-style “goop” shows (and they still might) but I’m really glad to see them trying stuff like this as well. This is just a short clip made up of even shorter sub-clips… it might be really fun! I can’t wait to see the real thing, and it won’t be long.

  • Ever since I’ve grown out of Cartoon Network years ago – they’ve stopped showing some of my favourite shows: Ed, Edd n’ Eddy, Dexter’s Laboratory, Cow & Chicken, etc.

  • Shmorky

    it looks like it’s from the early to mid 90s.

  • Vzk

    This is going to last as long as Sunday Pants (anyone remember that show?).

    • Stephan

      No, but I’m guessing Mad is a more powerful property.

  • Stephan

    It blew me away how brlliant this trailer was. Almost like something that would air on Comedy Central instead of Cartoon Network, which is really all the better, as the Spongebob style trend is great, but growing tired. Besides, kids watch shows that seem like they’re catered to adults.

  • Stephan

    Also, very glad to see its not all imitation of classic artists. After all, Mad didn’t make its name by imitating Kurtzman and Elder, but by hiring new talents (still to this day, discovered Friedman through mad!)

  • i dig it… i’m of course partial to m. wartella’s contributions with the aid of my girlfriend joy’s inbetweening work. haven’t seen a late night cartoon network show i wanted to watch since samurai jack.

  • MedusaUSAINC

    I think I read somewhere that Devin Flynn did the Spy Vs. Spy? I dunno, looks pretty good? Yes, it’s Flash but his stuff is all drawn and animated by hand. Other clips like the dunking for apples looks too cheap and generic for the MAD brand. We’ll have to see when it premieres. Until then…


  • John Dorian
  • John Dorian

    No problem, Jerry.

  • I love that poorly animated shows are made for today’s teens as if kids today don’t deserve well animated shows. Especially when the real reason things are animated poorly is because studios are too cheap to put out good quality.

  • The quality of animation made for today’s teens isn’t any worse than that made for them in the 70s and 80s. Hanna Barbera never struck me as high quality animation. Even as a kid I knew Scooby Doo and Fantastic Max were pretty cheap stuff. (Not that I’m knocking them–I was a fan growing up).

    At least today’s shows make up in style and inventiveness what they lack in funding.

    • John

      I like how you understand that it’s not really the picture quality that REALLY matters, it’s the content. i got to say, as a teenager I really like this show. I thought I was watching adult swim actually, minus the really mature content. I’m just glad it’s not a stupid show like dude what would happen.. that stuff is terrible. I mean it’s not even cartoon, funny, or whatever.

  • I agree, Steve…btw I prefer to read the Mad books and do my own voices outloud.,..I’ve read Don Martin’;s Capt.Klutz a la Art Carney as Ed Norton of Honeymooners, alias Daws Butler as Yogi Bear, since Capt.Klutz lived up to his name, and I’d read to myself Dave Berg’s Lighhter Side self-caricature “Roger Kaputnik” asl…Frank Nelson. Dave Berg, btw, is veyr hard to tranfer to animation due to nore realistic design.


  • Tim Nicholson

    I’ve seen the first episode of the MAD series….it’s really good! Recommend it to fans and people who never heard of today’s MAD Magazine!

  • CL

    anyone know who’s doing the Flash animation production for the show?

  • Jason

    I’ve seen a few episodes. It seems OK so far. I’m not laughing at it really but I’m an adult. It wasn’t made for me. If I was 15 again, like I was when I was reading Mad like crazy, I’d probably be laughing pretty good at most of this. Could it be better? Yeah, I think so. It’s not terrible though. What really cracks me up are the comments complaining that it looks “cheap”. HAHAHA! Complaining that this looks cheap makes no sense when William Gaines himself once spent double the money to buy the crappy paper Mad was printed on when that kind of paper wasn’t available because he didn’t want slick nice paper. He thought Mad was supposed to look cheap, even if it cost him more to do so.

    I’m curious if the usual gang of idiots is involved at all though. I’m guessing not.

  • No

    Stop the mad shit… I am disappointed in what it has become…. I want that show SUED
    TermiloXBL: its funny how there not sued
    Djk0: They need to be.
    TermiloXBL: they’ve tooken so much shit
    Djk0: They’ve broken at least 23 copyrights so far.

  • Sierra

    You should make a little thing thats apart of the ask a celebrity that asks Justin Beiber,”Dear Justin Beiber,Why is your voice so high?” then Justin Beiber says,”because im actually a girl,,,see?” then he takes off a wig in front of his fans