Jordan Peele Reveals Why He Left MADtv On Such Bad Terms

Jordan Peele The Tonight Show NBC
(Image credit: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC)

Jordan Peele is opening up about why he left Fox’s sketch comedy MADtv on such bad terms. Peele had joined the show in 2003 and starred in over 90 episodes. By 2008, he was heading towards the end of his contract with MADtv. Around that time, Peele was offered an enormous opportunity – a job at Saturday Night Live.

Why did Jordan Peele not get to take them up on it? The multi-talented star revealed the answer while speaking at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (via THR), and it turns out that he wanted to go for SNL. The problem was MADtv. Yes, the sketch comedy show kept him from taking the job at Saturday Night Live. How? Peele explained, saying:

MADtv wouldn’t let me out of my contract.

Despite approaching the end of his contract, MADtv would not let Jordan Peele out of it. Thus, putting an end to his opportunity at Saturday Night Live. Following that event, Peele departed MADtv in 2008. As you may have gathered, Peele did not part on good terms with the show given what it had done.

Time did not diminish Jordan Peele’s ill feelings towards the sketch comedy for what happened. Seven years after he left, MADtv invited Peele to take part in the show’s 20th-anniversary special in 2015. Peele pointed out that he did not put in an appearance. He also shared that after leaving the show, he plotted payback. Then he realized something. Peele said:

I wanted to be a producer. These producers are making these decisions about art and comedy, and they didn’t know anything about art and comedy. I want to be a producer and bring my artistry to that and they’ll all be sorry.

They say that "the best revenge is living well," and Jordan Peele has certainly done that since leaving MADtv. The multi-talented actor, producer, director, and screenwriter has gone onto do great things. His major career successes include work in television and movies.

When it comes to TV, Jordan Peele has been a producing machine. Most recently, Peele has produced the new Twilight Zone series on CBS All Access, as well as the docuseries Lorena for Amazon. He now has the power to make the decisions he discussed wanting to make.

MADtv did not last much longer after Jordan Peele left. His last season turned out to be the penultimate installment of the show. Fox announced the end of the sketch comedy would occur with its fourteenth season. The last episode aired in 2009, the year after Peele’s departure. It would later come back for a brief revival in 2016 on The CW.

You have to believe that Saturday Night Live is dying to have Jordan Peele host the show. It is hard to fathom that he has not hosted yet and even harder to understand why he has not. What is going on there?

Also worth wondering is why Saturday Night Live did not keep trying to get Jordan Peele to join the show. Why did they not offer him a job again after he got done with MADtv? Why did they let such a tremendous talent go? So many questions, thankfully Peele has provided the answer to the MADtv part of it.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.