At this point Maya & Marty could be called the “Maya, Marty & Kenan Show” since the SNL regular appears in every episode. Regardless of Thompson’s increased presence on the show, it still misses the punchline. Granted, the gags and sketches do have punchlines but rather then putting them at the end of the skit, they are shoved in the middle and then forgotten as the sketch limps on to its finish.
There was, however, at least one highpoint in the show, the marvelous parody of America’s favorite sitcom comic Jerry Seinfeld. Presented as an advert for the Internet series “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” this sketch was actually funnier than the real show.
In the skit, Rudolph’s Chloe Kardashian being bashed in the face with a tree branch was brilliant. Amy Poehler with her segment was cute but somewhat uninspired.
The next skit; “Everyone Poops,” was, for lack of a better word, poop.
The followup Team USA Gymnastics (the Olympics drug sketch) was funny but again went on far too long and somewhat unnecessarily featured Kenan Thompson in a wig at the end. Once again the punchline was lost by dragging the gag out past its “due by” date.
The time travel sketch with Will Forte was funny only if one took the narcissistic punchline as an astute look at society’s current obsession with self. Taken from that point of view the whole old guy falling in love with his younger self is funny.
The American Open skit was amusing but could have taken out a few of those ball boy being bashed by the tennis ball moments and cut to the chase. At least the punchline was at the end. Maya’s car bashing the hapless lad as she was leaving was a fitting finish.
The marionette segment was funny. Will Forte as the puppeteer with seven broken fingers insisting that the show must go on. The sketch featured Amy Poehler who appears as a pregnant teen puppet. This could have tied with the other highlight of the show, especially with Kenan Thompson’s entrance as the policeman puppet who has jumped its cue.
Martin Short (Marty) appears again as Jiminy Glick which is easily the weakest part of the show. Despite having some funny guests on, who do make the segment funnier if they react well, it is hard to see the allure of Short’s host in a fat suit.
The Amsterdam skit was just annoying. For a start, in the real red light district the women in the windows wear much less than the two in front of Cath and her friend. This alone could have made the skit funnier. The women did not have to be semi nude but even a bikini or tho would have made it work so much better. The strident chorus of two middle age American women “working” in the red light district could have been that bit more amusing with a proper discord of “hookers” on offer. (Just saying.)
The show did end on a high note however. The return of the father/son law firm advertisement. This time it featured a riff on the cell phone and a brilliant throwaway punchline at the end of the skit. Rather annoyingly, there are no images or even a video showing this skit.
The law firm sketch is nigh on perfect but not a proper highpoint as it is faux commercial and not a proper skit. It was however, short, punchy and funny. (More like this please.)
Maya & Marty is a show that begs to be liked. However, rather than giving the studio audience laughing gas (It is the only rational explanation as to why they find the show that funny…) they should shorten the sketches or at the very least tighten them up.
The show appears to be taking a leaf from SNL as it is, for all intents and purposes, a summertime replacement for Lorne Michaels‘ other show. ( Does Lorne have a sticker on his car that reads: “My other show is Saturday Night Live?”) It uses a similar format but it is not working just yet.
There should be a comedy rule (perhaps there is but not being a professional comedian or a stand-up comic there is no way of knowing of sure) that states: “Once the punchline is delivered, stop.” It should be right on top of the rule that mandates keeping the gag short.
We will continue to watch Maya & Marty, in spite of its shortcomings. Maya Rudolph and Martin Short are talented performers, as is Keenan Thompson, but the show is trying to fill the shoes of a longer show (SNL) that buries its mistakes and flat routines in a flurry of skits.
Maya & Marty airs Tuesdays on NBC. Tune in and see what you think. Is it as funny as the studio audience (clearly on drugs) believes or is it struggling? Answers in the comment section below or on a postcard…