Monday, May 19, 2014

The Maya Rudolph Show

Variety Show Makes Fierce Comeback

Ever since I heard about Maya Rudolph headlining a new Variety Show, it's been on my high priority list. After watching tonight I wasn't disappointed. It was the perfect mix of The Carol Burnett Show (1967-1978) and SNL (1975-current). Of course I thought it would have some feel of SNL, the shows executive producer is Lorne Michaels. Maya Rudolph was on SNL for years and some of her fellow alumni were on her show (Fred Armisen, Andy Samberg, Chris Parnell). Much like The Carol Burnett Show, she has great co-hosts that enhance the show. It begins with a kick-ass dance & song number intro! She sings about being a mother of four. I love this for so many reasons. She's not stick thin, Maya's a real woman and has real woman curves and I loved watching her on the stage! She looks amazing after having four children.



First Act

One of her guests was Kristen Bell and riding off the fame from Disney's Frozen (2013). Maya explained how her kids love Frozen and they've watched it a crazy amount of time (which most parents can relate to - heck, even people without kids love the movie and have watched it repeatedly). So, they come up with a great idea to write the sequel to Frozen right then and there. Kristen (who portrays one of the main protagonists) sings about the weather and how crazy the winter was this year. Maya followed up with adding a new character that had another special ability (who she would also portray) who could thaw the frozen landscape. The farce continued with Sean Hayes playing on piano and portraying the character Kristoff. Not my favorite part of the show, but it was still comical. I just thought that it was kind of cheesy to put Frozen in there.



Second Act

Kristen Bell and Andy Samberg were paired as a couple going to meet Kristen's parents for the first time. She warns him about her parents, Mr. & Mrs. Garmin, the GPS Parents. I loved this act, it was original and hilarious. It took all the frustrations with using a GPS and combined the awkward moment of not only meeting the parents but announcing an engagement. Also in this act, another guest Craig Robinson lent his vocals for an interesting song. It's set in like a 50's style beach day, Craig is a hot roasted nut seller and he sings about his nuts... and then Kristen pipes in about her clams... They're fighting over which is better and then Maya suggests adding them together and includes even "tossing the salad"... and just when you sit there thinking "can they really do that?" Sean enters their turf selling chocolate covered camel toes... just in case you didn't get the other suggestives! I think I was in a little shock during the song but afterwards cracked up laughing. Nearly inappropriate, but hilarious!



Third Act

Maya sings about herself. All the songs are great and they have great voices (not like The Voice that was on before it. I only caught the last guy that performed. It was probably because I love Adele and he was singing Set Fire to the Rain, and I felt like he didn't do it justice... everyone else loved it though... whatever). Sean came out wheeling a huge red M on stage and singing about how great Maya is, followed by Fred rolling out a huge red A, then Andy brings out an I. She's quick to correct him that she knows how to spell her name. Luckily though (LOL) there is an "Y" in the audience (along with a Z that proclaims letters after "O" are GhettO). After the act they span directly to a couple sitting on a prop-balcony. It's Maya and Fred dressed as a rich couple with their butler behind them. This was a hilarious skit that I actually laughed out loud (as did Sean). After that the next skit was in the style of the old Pyramid Game, where there are two people in a team and two teams. The first team was Sean and Fred, and the second team was Andy and Maya as a Russian Starlet; Chris Parnell was the game show host. This was a funny skit too.



Fourth Act

This took me off guard, which I loved. It opened with Sean and Fred proclaiming how late they were as they tried to find their seats in the audience. I think this was a great way to get the audience involved. They were climbing all over the place trying to find their seats. Once they found them they announced their musical guest Janelle Monae. She did a great job performing Electric Lady and she dedicated it to Maya. I never really listened to her music before, but I might check it out now. The song sounded great, something I could add to my play list for sure. After the performance it cuts to Andy on a Doctor's Office bed getting checked over. I called this skit Copycat Doctor because it made fun of the doctor's that just copy everything you say and sometimes try to race to finish what you are saying. I love skits that it takes the truth in the frustrations of life and then lets us laugh at them.



Fifth Act (I think)

Maya and Chris (Parnell) are sitting on stools, no background sets or anything, and Maya announces how Chris just had a baby. He informs us that he wrote a lullaby for his new baby and wanted to share it with everyone. The duet is funny, I love how they took the things that you would think would discourage us from our children, but we still love them. It was a brilliant song and they sang it flawlessly. Being a mother of four I thought I saw Maya tear up at the end - no doubt. She thanks her band and starts to monologue about her love for animals when Andy interrupts her dressed in Saturday Night Fever attire and has his cronies behind him (Sean and Fred). He challenges her with a Dance Off. This was hilarious! Andy goes big - you'd think he would have nearly broken his neck with those moves (wink wink). When they taunt 'little Maya' about bringing it, she has a quick flashback skit with her grandma telling her about 'going little'. Her moves cracked me up and I just loved it. At the end most everyone that performed was on stage, she thanked everyone and then it was over (sad face).


Maya, Sean, Fred and Andy - Opening Number

Final Thoughts

I love this show for a variety of reasons. I love that Maya wanted to bring the classic variety show back and you could definitely feel that old technique mixed with what works best from what she's done in the past. It was just a perfect mix. I love seeing the people I love from SNL going on (like Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers) I would love-love-LOVE to see her continue this! I love the combination of talents that made this enjoyable to watch. Using classic skits that I could definitely see continuing like The GPS Parents (Mr. & Mrs. Garmin), the late/lost people (Fred & Sean) and I loved how Andy taunted Maya. My final thought was that it was well worth the wait. Sometimes you know, when you highly anticipate something, sometimes it can be a huge disappointed. This wasn't the case!

Links

The Maya Rudolph Show - TMRS on IMDb