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Okay, so that title is a little misleading... although, one of the two men these impressions are of will be hailed as the new President of the United States in a few months.

With the season 14 premiere a mere few weeks away, what better time to give you the first piece of information we have been made aware of regarding what you can expect to see? While most of us have grown used to Keegan Michael Key's Barack Obama and Nicole Parker's Hilary Clinton impressions over the last two years, with Hilary now out of the running, its time for the show to introduce an impression of Republican candidate John McCain to feature in the shows political satire.

In true MADtv tradition, the show is taking a big risk by casting someone none of us expected would ever be cast for the role. Perhaps it is a response to the controversial casting of Fred Armisen as Obama on SNL, perhaps he was just the best suited person for the job, perhaps it was neither of these things... but I can now reveal to you that none other than Bobby Lee will be debuting his John McCain impression in episode #1401. Also making their first mark in the presidential stakes will be Arden Myrin's Nancy McCain and Erica Ash's Michelle Obama impression.

Here's what FOX's official release has to say about the premiere:
MADtv returns for a 14th season of off-the-wall humor and side-splitting laughs. Keegan-Michael Key and Erica Ash are "Barack and Michelle Obama" and they join Bobby Lee and Arden Myrin as "John and Cindy McCain" on a spoof of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE: PRESIDENTIAL EDITION. The McCains try to impress the judges with their waltz as the Obamas try to win votes with their hip-hop number on the season premiere episode of MADtv airing Saturday, Sept. 13.
Just to remind you all, the new cast of regulars includes returning favorites Crista Flanagan, Keegan Michael Key, Bobby Lee, Arden Myrin, Nicole Parker and Johnny Sanchez. They will be joined by Matt Braunger and new featured players Erica Ash, Eric Price and Lauren Pritchard. The season premiere is on September 13th this year, and the show will, hopefully, be taking a step back towards the favored format by being shot, in part, in a brand new theatre. So those of you who were left disappointed by season 13, give this new season a chance before you pull the plug completely. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Posted by Dartanian on Tuesday, August 5th, 2008 @ 11:31am PDT
Tags: Anjelah Johnson, Johnny Sanchez
Rookie cast member Johnny Sanchez and former featured player and youtube sensation Anjelah Johnson have both been nominated for ALMA Awards for the 2008 ceremony.

The ALMA awards were created in 1995 in order to promote fair, accurate, and balanced portrayals of Latinos in the entertainment industry. The show was named "ALMA" (Spanish for "spirit" or "soul") which represents the determined spirit of the Latino people in an effort to reflect the spirit as well as the scope of the awards program.

Anjelah is in contention for the title of Outstanding Female in a Television Comedy Series, and will compete against Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place), Judy Reyes (Scrubs), Nadine Velazquez (My Name Is Earl), Persia White (Girlfriends) for the honor. Similarly, Johnny is up for Outstanding Male in a Television Comedy Series, and will be competing against Carlos Mencia (Mind of Mencia), Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men), Oscar Nunez (The Office), Jake T. Austin (Wizards of Waverly Place) and Joshua Gomez (Chuck).

This marks the first time a MADtv cast member (let alone two) has been nominated for an ALMA award, which isn't surprising when you think of the brief periods during seasons 5-8 when latino cast members Nelson Ascensio and Jill-Michele Melean graced our screens. The push by the show runners to give a voice to the hispanic community in season 13 has seen mixed results (praise for Anjelah, disappointment in Johnny), but their efforts have been recognised, and all involved should be commended for the achievement of being nominated.

The Alma Awards will be hosted by Eva Longoria Parker, and will screen on Friday September 12th, 8/7c on ABC.
After months of blackmail both administered and received, we can at last reveal everything you could possibly want to know about Season 14 of "MADtv," at least before it debuts. All right, admittedly, we will not be reporting what Nicole Parker ate for breakfast this morning; nevertheless, with this update, rest assured that you will have all the Season 14 information with which any rational fan will be more than happy. Here, then, is your full scoop on the upcoming season, complete with brown chips which have not been conclusively identified as chocolate.

Let us begin by introducing you to our final addition to the Season 14 "MADtv" cast. According to this article, the fourth newbie for the upcoming season will be the lovely, versatile Erica Ash. Smile prettily for the camera, dear:

As is the case with Eric Price and Lauren Pritchard, Erica will be joining the "MADtv" cast as a featured player. According to her impressive resume, which can be found here, Erica's experience with televised sketch comedy does not actually begin with "MADtv." For two seasons, she has been a cast member on "The Big Gay Sketch Show," which, coincidentally, is directed by "MADtv" mainstay Amanda Bearse. Add to that stint her various appearances in theatrical productions and commercials, her numerous voiceovers for video games, and a list of special skills that makes most of us look downright boring by comparison; and Erica Ash may have just what it takes to survive on a show that has always prided itself on multifaceted cast members. Erica, here is hoping that you get to stick around for a while on FOX's late-night sketch comedy series.

In other news, what would a final Season 14 update be without one last surprise farewell? Fans of Jordan Peele's "MADtv" work will no doubt feel a sense of emptiness as the show's resident Morgan Freeman impersonator ends his five-year run as a cast member. Apparently, Jordan somehow managed to escape the rumored coercion by "MADtv" to squeeze a few more episodes out of its five-year players. Unfortunately, it is not known at this time whether he, Nicole Parker, and Keegan-Michael Key drew straws to determine who would get to leave after Season 13 or whether Quincy Jones simply went "eenie-meenie-miney-mo" to determine their fates. At any rate, Jordan, we at Planet MADtv hate to see you go; and we wish you the best of success in whatever showbiz endeavors you decide to pursue from this point on. Thanks for the many laughs!

Next, we can confirm that Season 14 of "MADtv" will be shot at the Sunset Bronson Studios, which are both the original location of the Warner Bros. Studios and the current home of CW affiliate KTLA, Channel 5, in Los Angeles, CA. Although we will obviously have to wait until the Season 14 debut, on September 13th, to see how these new facilities will work out for the cast, something tells me that most, if not all, of the series' diehard fans will no doubt wet themselves with glee over the sheer mention of the word studio. While Sunset Bronson Studios may not be the original "MADtv" home we all knew and loved for twelve years, I think it has to be considered a major step up from the Henry Fonda Music Box Theater. Unlike that almost roundly hated facility, Sunset Bronson will probably not inspire fans to wish all season long for a well-placed wrecking ball to find its way into the exterior walls. Enjoy your new and (we assume) vastly improved, home, you crazy Season 14 cast members, you!

Fittingly, we will conclude this "full scoop" update by reminding you of all the cast members who will be enjoying these new quarters during Season 14 of "MADtv," as well as providing you with a recap of those who will not. Established series regulars who will help provide the Season 14 fun are Crista Flanagan, Keegan-Michael Key, Bobby Lee, Arden Myrin, Nicole Parker, and Johnny Sanchez. Joining them will be new series regular Matt Braunger and three new featured players, Erica Ash, Eric Price, and Lauren Pritchard. Sadly, we have been forced at gunpoint to accept the departures of Season 13 featured players Daheli Hall, Anjelah Johnson, and Dan Oster; five-year veteran Jordan Peele; and the show's longest-running cast member ever, ten-year stalwart Michael McDonald. All in all, it will be very interesting to see how everything unfolds come September 13th. Can you handle the anticipation? I know I can. Season 14 of "MADtv," the world awaits.
Posted by mizzimad on Sunday, June 22nd, 2008 @ 9:10pm PDT
Tags: Dan Oster, Johnny Sanchez
After the shocking news regarding old McDonald, do I dare ask if it is okay to hit you with another Season 14 "MADtv" update so soon? Just hold my hand, and I promise you that we will get through this difficult time together. While it will be nearly impossible for us to top that H-bomb from the last update, our bag of surprises is far from empty. When we left you last time, we were still awaiting confirmation on five established cast members; suffice it to say that we are now down to three. In "American Idol" lingo, one of the two cast members mentioned in this report is safely through to Season 14; the other is going home. Consider your agony no longer prolonged, for it is now time to reveal their fates.

How many diehard Johnny Sanchez fans do we have out there? Ah, I see the hands of two family members -- good, good. Well, your prayers have been answered; for your man will definitely be returning for Season 14. Seriously, though, Johnny began showing some real promise and even a little diversity toward the end of Season 13; so not all is lost. (Would he therefore be a "Johnny come lately"? I will take my beatings now, thank you.) At any rate, here's hoping that he can continue that winning streak next season. Whether he will remains to be seen; still, it might behoove us "MADtv" fans to remain optimistic until we see evidence to the contrary. Then again, it might not -- your call. Nevertheless, rest assured that Mr. Sanchez will have another full season to carve his "MADtv" niche; that is, if fourteen episodes can indeed be called a "full season." Johnny, despite the ribbing, we at Planet MADtv do wish you the best of luck with your second season.

Depending on your perspective, the following news on the aforementioned departing cast member may or may not be terribly shocking; however, I dare say that it will ruffle a few collars just the same. Ladies and gentlemen, I am dismayed to report to you that the unfortunate axe of doom swings in the direction of talented Season 13 featured player Dan Oster. Since there is only one appropriate response to this ousting, I hope that I am at liberty to speak for all of you Dan fans when I say, "Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!" Apparently, being the one featured player who was signed on for more than four Season 13 episodes does not count for much in the land of "MADtv." Would I sound overly bitter and whiny if I noted that those who begin as full-fledged cast members have an automatic edge over the featured folks, no matter how well the latter prove themselves? Even if you answered in the negative, then you will likely refute that claim anyway by agreeing that Dan seemed almost a shoo-in for full-time status next season. While it would not be fair to begrudge Johnny his Season 14 confirmation, one has to admit that the show's decision to send Danny Boy packing is a head-scratcher, the likes of which will no doubt make serious contemplators go bald. If we were keeping score in golf, then "MADtv" would have just racked up another quadruple bogey in a round already rife with them. (There is a "par for the course" reference there that is just dying to manifest itself.) Dan, we at Planet MADtv wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors; it's just a crying shame that the fourteenth season of FOX's Saturday night sketch comedy series will not factor among them.

Chew on these developments while you can, folks. Before you know it, we will be serving up another heaping platter of bewildering Season 14 information. If you can handle the bitter truth, then stay tuned to Planet MADtv for further updates!
Posted by mizzimad on Thursday, September 13th, 2007 @ 4:17pm PDT
Tags: Daheli Hall, Anjelah Johnson, Dan Oster, Johnny Sanchez
Apparently, Johnny, Anjelah, and Dan are not the only new cast members for Season 13. According to a recent article from thefutoncritic.com, an African-American woman, Daheli Hall, has been added to the Season 13 cast. Daheli's list of credits is short yet impressive: she has worked as not only an actress but also a writer, director, and producer. Although the article does not say whether Daheli will be a regular cast member or featured player, her abilities in several entertainment arenas could well be great news for the already versatile "MADtv" cast.

The Futon Critic article also mentions four new characters that will be introduced this season. Since apparently no "MADtv" cast with an African-American woman is complete without an Oprah Winfrey impression, no one should be surprised to discover that Daheli will indeed fulfill that role (both literally and figuratively) for Season 13. New original characters include Anjelah's "Tammy, the Nail Lady"; Johnny's "Farhid, the Kite Salesman from the Middle East"; and Dan's "American Jerk."

To extend a metaphor, I will simply note that Season 13 is growing by leaps and bounds. Hop aboard as it springs into action!

UPDATE: We can now confirm that Daheli was signed as a series regular.
Well, boys and girls, the confirmation train just pulled into the station.

Here is your final Season 13 cast:
Returning: Crista Flanagan, Keegan-Michael Key, Bobby Lee, Michael McDonald, Arden Myrin, Nicole Parker, Jordan Peele
Joining: Anjelah Johnson, Dan Oster, Johnny Sanchez
Departing: Ike Barinholtz, Frank Caeti, Lisa Donovan, Nicole Randall Johnson
Because we had the vast majority of this nailed down as early as June, there's only one real surprise here: Boom Chicago's Dan Oster is our final new cast member. Here's what we know about him at this stage:
  • He's a Los Angeles native.
  • He wears glasses.
  • He has performed with Ultimate Improv and Boom Chicago.
  • He doesn't have an IMDb profile.
  • He *does* have a YouTube profile.
  • He was signed as either a featured player or a series regular.
  • His first name is Dan.
  • His last name is Oster.
  • He, apparently, is a human male between the ages of 18 and 40.
Stretching a little, I know. Dan: If you're reading this, please drop us a line! We need more information!

With casting now wrapped up like a mummy in Jeffrey Dahmer's freezer, let's move on to the show itself. Over the course of the past five updates, we've painted a near-complete picture of what to expect from MADtv's upcoming season. To summarize (and to add a few new tidbits):
  • Season 13 premieres on September 15th. The first episode will be #1301.
  • If history is any indication, expect three new episodes to air (September 15th, 22nd, and 29th) before baseball season commences. Because shooting doesn't begin until October, these episodes will be comprised of S12 holdover sketches.
  • Barring a shooting schedule change, don't expect to see Anjelah, Johnny, or Dan before November.
  • While 18 episodes will be shot this season, it's believed that 22 will air when all is said and done. Unfortunately, this cannot be definitively confirmed one way or the other until the season finale date is announced.
  • Shooting has been moved to the Henry Fonda Music Box Theater in Hollywood, which, supposedly, "will enhance [MADtv's] live-event feeling". Sadly, pre-taping your episodes will then nullify said enhancement. Better luck next time, boys!
  • Because the show's budget has once again been slashed, remotes will be utilized in greater numbers this season. For those who aren't aware, a "remote" is a segment shot on location (out-on-the-town sketches, red carpets, etc.). As I'm sure you can imagine, no costumes and few to no props = muchos savings!
  • The landmark 300th episode will air on November 17th. No further details are known at this point.
  • Former executive producer Dick Blasucci has been sent packing, and replacing him are head writer John Crane and director Bruce Leddy. These two will join forces with long-time executive producers David Salzman and Quincy Jones to form the ultimate cast-hushing, information-withholding, uber-authoritarian dream team!
  • On the topic of the new season, David Salzman has stated: "Our plan is to preserve the fast-paced, cutting-edge pop culture parodies and audience-favorite characters while adding more topicality, fresh new elements and a real theater setting." Fresh new elements, eh? Oh, David -- you're so mysterious!
So, there you have it -- the full scoop on S13 almost two whole months before the premiere! To our many sources both inside and out, we thank you for making all of this possible. Beyond that, a big wet one goes out to those who provided exclusive information. We couldn't have done this without you, and for that, you have my eternal gratitude! For those who are keeping score, I'd like to note that we were once again right on every single account. First and second rules of Planet MADtv: do NOT question Planet MADtv!
Posted by blackwind on Sunday, July 1st, 2007 @ 11:02pm PDT
Tags: Anjelah Johnson, Johnny Sanchez
In breaking news, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Johnny Sanchez is our second new cast member for S13. It seems he's been signed as a series regular, completely foregoing featured player status just as Arden Myrin, Frank Caliendo, and others before them did. Johnny's credits are few and far between, but here's a brief blurb on him:
Johnny Sanchez is one of Los Angeles' hottest comedians. With his feverish energy, detailed characters and pinpoint delivery, his show takes you on a laughing journey of people, places and life. Working alongside comedians such as Louie Anderson, Chris Rock and Damon Wayans. Johnny has honed his comedy into an exquisite art form. Johnny Sanchez recently shot a half hour special for Comedy Central and has performed standup on HBO's 'Comedy Showcase', Comedy Central's 'Premium Blend' and BET's 'Comic View' among others. He has also appeared on such sitcoms as 'Becker' on CBS and is a recurring character on NBC's 'Watching Ellie'. Johnny Sanchez lent his voice opposite of Elijah Wood, Robin Williams and Brittany Murphy in the animated feature film 'Happy Feet'.
THR also reveals that Anjelah Johnson -- the first new recruit we heard about -- has been signed for a paltry four episodes. Sounds like yet another female who's sure to make a big splash!

One more to go, folks. Catch the wave!