Mad TV Demo Reel

Pat Kilbane December 15, 2012 5

This demo was my calling card for my post-Mad TV years in the early 2000′s.  The music and impressions are definitely “of the time,” but I’m still proud of it as a synopsis of my contribution to the show.

Behind the Scenes

When we wrapped Season Five of Mad TV in the spring of 2000, I knew that my contract was up and that coming back would not be a sure thing for me.  In fact, Fox was still deliberating at that point whether the show would even be returning for another year.  I got a part in a pilot that spring – the role of a spaceship 1st officer in an ill-fated Star Trek parody – but I knew I needed more momentum.

Then I saw an episode of MTV’s Biorhythm that covered the career of Jim Carrey.  The cutting style was manic and made Jim look like an absolute lunatic in the best possible way.  I immediately started getting my Mad TV material together to cut a demo reel that did the same thing for me.  Rich LaBrie, a great guy and talented Mad TV editor, worked with me on putting together the cut at a facility-for-hire in Burbank.

When the edit was done, I passed the video along to Alissa Vradenberg, my manager at the time at Industry Entertainment, and she passed it along to Keith Addis, a founding partner at the firm.  Keith felt like the reel was something special, so he sent it to Jeffrey Katzenberg at Dreamworks, who then sent it to Steven Spielberg.  From what I was told, they all loved it, and a few meetings and many emails later, I had a massive two year holding deal at Dreamworks SKG.  Keith Addis was truly brilliant in the way he handled the process; it was the single most expert piece of talent management I’ve ever had executed on my behalf.

History shows, of course, that little came of the deal outside of the large paycheck, but the lesson was poignant for me: when a vision for something seizes you, see it through and interesting things will follow.


  1. Jay March 22, 2013 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    Brilliant stuff, your impressions are as good and even better than anybody. I also liked the Mel Gibson Lethal Weapon character, which I didn’t notice…

    Some of these I had forgotten about and I was laughing out loud as I watched them again. I really want to see the Andy Griffith episode again where you cut off the ear of Floyd the Barber. So funny!

    When you were on the show, it was the best. I can’t wait till I can get those seasons on dvd. Mad was much, much funnier than SNL. Those sketches still hold up for their creativity imho.

    My question is did you write some of the sketches as well? Would the cast create their characters themselves and write the material themselves? Or would a writer come up with an idea, and then it was the comedian’s challenge to see if they could play the part?

    • Pat Kilbane March 22, 2013 at 8:27 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Jay!

      In answer to your question, during the time I was there, the actors were not technically on the writing staff the way they are at SNL, but we did do a lot of writing, and it was a combination of all of the scenarios you describe. The creative collaboration was an insane amount of fun.

  2. Aaron April 25, 2013 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    Pat Kilbane you were awesome at MAdtv, I especially liked the coffee guy sketch. My question is what was your favourite sketch that you did in Madtv?

    • Pat Kilbane May 9, 2013 at 6:51 pm - Reply

      Hey Aaron, I had a lot of favorites and liked different sketches for different reasons. I never had more onstage adrenaline than when I did the first Coffee Guy sketch, but I never had more of a sense of family with my castmates than I did in our Wizard of Oz sketch. The Howard Stern show open I did, where the impression fooled our audience at first, was also a thrill. What was your favorite?

      • Aaron May 10, 2013 at 10:56 pm - Reply

        Hey,Pat, My favorite was the Coffee Guy Sketch. I really liked most of the episodes. =)

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