Maya & Marty‘s second week was a little more balanced as far as the writing goes, with more consistent humor and few laugh out loud moments, and a willingness to go into some odd and bizarre territory. Let’s look at this week’s sketches.
Oprah Loves Bread
The show kicked off this week with Maya doing her Oprah Winfrey impersonation to satirize those Weight Watchers commercials where Oprah talks about her love of bread. In the first of two bits, Oprah eventually goes to town on a loaf of sourdough. The second spot, which actually aired lated in the show, features Oprah in a sculpture garden where everything is made of … bread. Both bits were mildy humorous.
Episode 2 Monologue
Maya and Marty do their little banter, talking about their weekend (Maya spoke at a commencement ceremony … that she wasn’t invited to), and Marty ends up insulting Maya enough that he unleashes her inner Beyoncé to lay down a little “Lemonade” on him. The banter was funny, the song unnecessary.
The Cocoa Club
Harlem, 1928 and the headliners at the jazz club The Cocoa Club (a spoof of The Cotton Club) are dealing with some changes by the new management, having a ventriloquist act dumped on them. Maya and Kenan Thompson are the stars of the club, guest Steve Martin and Marty are the ventriloquist and his dummy. Short as the dummy was one of the most bizarre sights of the night, but this sketch made me laugh out loud because of his performance, makeup, and a couple of goof-ups that had the actors on the verge of losing it. It was weird, but it was the funniest bit of the night.
Tina Fey & Maya Rudolph Medley
Maya’s bestie “Trina” turned up to reminisce about the days of the great variety shows, focusing mostly on the musical guests and how they would cover someone else’s song, and combine the hits of the day into a medley. “Mayra” (Tina’s goof on her friend’s name) did an example of Charo performing “Love Will Keep Us Together” and Tina did a Joni Mitchell song that she made up (just reference a place in Canada and a baby and voila, you have a Joni Mitchell song). The two then launched into a pretty incredible medley that used about one line of a song with the last word becoming the first word of the next song. If you remember The Carol Burnett Show or The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, this was pretty spot on.
The Proper Way with Alistair Foote
Short satirizes what looks to be an early 1980s British etiquette program for children featuring the topics “Etiquette,” “Manners at Table” and “Casual Interactions.” The running joke of the bit was that Mr. Foote would constantly snap at one of the boys, yelling “BEN!” in the middle of a lesson and then completely losing it, horrifying the kids in the process. Poor Ben was never doing anything. A so-so endeavor.
Maya and Marty appear as a pretentious, artsy couple in a restaurant celebrating their son’s birthday. Excepted they’re too wrapped up in themselves to be bothered, and when their friends show up (played by Tina and Steve), things get even more bizarre … and then Maya’s “night time husband” shows up (special guest Sean Hayes). While the cast made outlandishly ridiculous requests for beverages, Kenan Thompson’s waiter had the funniest line about why it took him so long to take their orders. This one seemed to be going for the bizarre without really being all that funny, but at least they went for it.
Jiminy Glick with Drake
This bit must have been filmed while Drake was hosting SNL a few weeks back before he shaved off his beard, and Glick once again asked some entirely inappropriate questions of his guest, of whom he knew very little about except that he was Jewish and Canadian. A more uncomfortable interview than the one with Larry David last week, with the funniest line coming from Glick when pointing out Drake’s Canadian heritage and real first name, Aubrey.
Short appears with Nathan Lane in this pre-recorded bit, with Lane playing a pompous actor who has been kidnapped by Short’s creepy guy who just wants Lane to read the ransom note he’s provided. The ham actor can’t do a cold read and ends up directing his own ransom video, which we’re told in the bit’s punchline was a five hour ordeal (for the kidnapper). Some chuckle here and there.
My New York – Anna Wintour
Maya dons a blonde bob and big sunglasses to bring her version of Anna Wintour to life as the fashionista holds a staff meeting in her favorite New York City bodega, making her assistant get random things from the buffet table. Short shows up at the end as Karl Lagerfeld, but the whole thing was probably a little too “New York” insidery to be funny to most people who don’t even know what a bodega is.
The night ended with Steve and Marty talking about their tour and why Steve loves to tour with Marty – no paparazzi. Steve then had a duet for his friend about their friendship and it all ended up being about Steve, much to Marty’s irritation. It was a short bit, and Maya joined them to say goodnight. This week’s show really seemed to focus more on Marty than Maya for some reason, and six of the ten segments were pre-filmed before the show’s taping before a studio audience. I’m sure they expected to see more live comedy.
The episode had more laughs than the first week, but it needs to be more than just a shorter episode of SNL. The medley with Tina Fey did make one long for the days of Carol Burnett and the other 70s variety shows. Maya & Marty should take a look back at those classics to see what made them work (like how they would spoof a particular movie or TV show, and do those big musical medleys with their guests), and then apply them to this show to make it something that could become a classic.