Jan 25, 2021
Please Promise Us You Will Watch Maya Rudolph’s Variety Show
You probably know that here at Happy we are obsessed with the variety show days of yore, so we are pretty much beside ourselves about the Maya Rudolph Show which will air May 19, and is going to be an actual factual modern-day variety show, albeit just a one-off at this point. (If this goes well, there’s the possibility of additional episodes.)
It will contain many SNL alums, including Andy Samberg and Fred Armisen, but here’s hoping they are more like Harvey Korman and Tim Conway were to the Carol Burnett Show — consistent, reliable cast members, not the stars of the show. No disrespect to Samberg or Armisen, but too much SNL-ness will just make this a not-late-night SNL, while musical guests and actual guest stars will uplift this into the realm of a real variety show, which is something we haven’t had in ever.
[Doing] a variety show in the first place—an undertaking that seems so earnest and archaic that, in today’s entertainment landscape, only a comic with Rudolph’s experience could hope to pull it off. In fact, she’s wanted to pull it off for years, having initially broached the subject in a meeting shortly after leaving Saturday Night Live in 2007. “Everyone said, ‘I think people love the idea of a variety show, but every time people do them they’re not received well,’ ” she tells me later. “Like, if you say ‘variety show,’ then people think you’re going to come out in a Cher headdress. And I love a Cher headdress—don’t get me wrong. But I didn’t even know how to get it started.”
Oh my god, what if Maya Rudolph came out in a Cher headdress? What if CHER came out in a Cher headdress?
We might expire from joy if such a thing transpired.
There are most definitely musical guests, as Kristen Bell from Frozen is on hand to guest star and sing an as-yet-unrevealed duet with Rudolph and Janelle Monae will be the musical guest star, Janelle Monae who we love more than life itself.
Everybody reading this has to promise to watch this and make all their friends watch it so that it gets amazing ratings and goes on forever and ever amen. Also, you should all go read the full Vulture profile of Rudolph, because she is the fucking best and you can learn all about what it was like to grow up with Minnie Riperton as your mom, having many babbies with director Paul Thomas Anderson, and her first time writing for SNL, where she shared an office with an equally terrified Zach Galifianakis. Maya Rudolph is the bomb, y’all.