Maya & Marty: NBC SNL Summer Replacement – Yawn (Review)

 Maya & Marty - Season 1

For those who adore SNL it appears that NBC have allowed producer Lorne Michaels the chance to do a summer replacement version. Titled “Maya & Marty” it stars SNL alumni Maya Rudolph and Martin Short. This miniature variety type show is, apart from being a yawn fest, a three “T” experience.

Tedious, tepid and torturous.

The problem is that, despite the “name” guest-stars, the show is  just  not funny. It feels like ’70s leftovers served up as ’90s pastiche and it is stale, forced and  a waste of effort.  (Even Keenan Thompson seemed embarrassed to be a part of this SNL wannabe.)

“Maya & Marty” could work. Rudolph is an adept performer and does spot on impressions and was a SNL regular for an impressive 16 years (2000 – 2016). (On a sidenote, her appearance on “Saturday Night Live” toward the end of last season now makes a bit more sense.)

Martin Short worked on SNL from 1984 to 2015.  His pairings with Steve Martin (who was a guest on episode two of M&M) were funny – a couple of wild and crazy guys – and his other characters were equally amusing.

In essence the show should be funnier than it is.  Sadly, the episode goes from being lackadaisical to trying too hard. It also missed the mark a bit, especially in the faux English etiquette for kids skit.

Maya & Marty - Season 1
Trying too hard and missing the mark..

Maya got to do a ’70s type singalong with Tina Fey, the comic genius who could be seen as “Ms SNL” that was okay, but not overly funny or overly impressive.  Like the rest of the show it was, for all intents and purposes, a waste of time. So Fey and Rudolph can sing, cue applause and let us get back to the comedy.

Short reprised his Jiminy Glick character to interview Drake which, like the rest of the show, felt almost desperate in its forced attempt to garner laughs.

The funniest skit did include Short with  Steve Martin, plucking on his banjo, and the two  did a little ditty all about their  30 year friendship.   It was amusing and fun but it ended flat.  Martin is an old pro at comedy, and the banjo, and the sketch could have used more of both.

Maya did her Oprah “I love bread, y’all” at the start of the show and then beat that dead horse later on in the episode.  Too much may not be enough for The Bellamy Brothers, but for this skit, the second visit to the Oprah gag was more than enough.

Maya & Marty - Season 1
Steve and that banjo, easily one of the best bits of the show.

The pseudo Anna Wintour documentary was amusing but not overly so, despite Maya killing it with her Anna Winter impression and that Vogue magazine.  The “Apollo” skit where Steve Martin appears with his Martin Short wooden-head ventriloquist doll was interesting but it too felt slightly off. Short’s attempts to grab Rudolph’s boobs were funny the first three times, less so after that.

(Once again, Thompson looked embarrassed to be there.)

Maya & Marty - Season 1
Amusing but nothing to write home about,

This show may yet find its feet. Episode two could have used more Tina Fey (like more “cowbell,” I’ve got a fever) and less awkward SNL wannabe skits and gags that just did not work.

“Maya & Marty” appears on television at that in-between time. There is less competition than usual and that may have made it seem like a good idea.  However, almost comedy is not comedy. Just like a SNL knockoff is not SNL (which has its own problems).  The variety show airs Tuesdays on NBC.

Stop by if you really have nothing better to do…like wash your hair.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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