The format of MADtv is a mixture of scenes shot live for a studio audience and pre-taped short films—both place a heavy emphasis on pop culture parody. Skits and sketches r performed in a manner similar to other variety shows. In the first three seasons, animated segments based on Don Martin and Spy vs. Spy comic strips would be shown between sketches without the studio audience. Aside from the appearance of Alfred E. Neuman in the opening credits and during occasional interstitials, these cartoons provided the only direct connection between the magazine and the TV series. Indirectly, another connection is that relative to other sketch shows, MADtv has a heavy focus on parody. Music videos and TV shows are parodied often on MADtv.