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mad tv – no blacks on the tv screen

This MAD TV sketch is a parody of Chris Rock’sNo Sex in the Champagne Room,a music video in which Rock doles out advice to his viewers in a comedic format. In this MAD TV version, “Chris Rock” (Phil LaMarr) takes the opportunity to give out advice about the role of African Americans in popular television. He tells viewers that “no matter what the networks tell you, there are no blacks on the TV screen – NONE!”


Although the video clearly acknowledges the existence of some black characters on television, the refrain remains the same: “there are no blacks on the TV screen – NONE!” Given the context of the rest of the video, what, then, is MAD TV suggesting about the quality of black representation on television? What argument does this clip make about the relationship between television networks and diversity? Do you think this critique still holds true today?

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