On the fact that I believe last night was THE FIRST time a black woman had a variety show? If I am wrong about this PLEASE correct me but I did some quick research and I’m racking my brain but I’m coming up with nothing – not even Whoopi Goldberg had one! (UPDATE – See Below)
In case somehow you missed it, Maya Rudolph debuted her one hour variety show last night. Right now it was just a one off BUT if the ratings come through there is a possibility it will become a series. Perhaps a short series (13 episodes instead of 20 something) but still, I WILL TAKE IT!
From Kevin Fallon of The Daily Beast:
The Maya Rudolph Show faithfully revived every tenet of the variety show time capsule, from the cheesy production numbers to the direct-to-camera audience addresses to the celebrity guests and the random sketches. The result was a TV special that felt every bit as dated, but also every bit as joyous, as those variety series, when the likes of Dinah Shore and Julie Andrews and Judy Garland and the Jacksons would serve up entertainment comfort food in the ’60s and ’70s. Rudolph, though, peppers the format with the necessary spice and quirky flavoring that, throwback as it is, keeps that comfort food from feeling stale.
The Maya Rudolph Show wasn’t perfect. To be honest, it was a bit of a mess—albeit a wildly entertaining one. It was a sometimes too-corny, sometimes too-raunchy, scattershot hour that was as gut-bustingly hilarious as it was completely baffling. And I am prepared to do some pretty demeaning things in order to make sure I get to see it again, because I loved it just so much.
Basically what Kevin said. It needs some tweaking but I DEFINITELY WANT MORE!! This is what he recommends:
…we ask that everyone begin writing handwritten letters to NBC requesting that The Maya Rudolph Show air on the network every week. Yes, this is the age of Twitter, where TV shows are saved on the strength of hashtag campaigns and 140-character pleas. But we’re celebrating retro-ness here. Writing letters just seems right—about as right as Maya Rudolph hosting a regular variety series.
All I need is an address and I’m on it! Sample letter:
Dear NBC Univeral,
Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please PLEASE more Maya Rudolph variety show! Also a quick note, nix the attempt at edgy comedy (the nuts and clams bit), move it up to 8p and make it a bit more family friendly. If she’s going to incorporate a bunch of Mom stuff you might as well go with it.
A TV Junkie! 🙂
P.S. Bring back Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle as writers and I am open to being a Consultant. Just letting y’all know.
UPDATE: Via two friends on facebook (Allyson Hobbs and Arthur French), it was brought to my attention that the UBER talented Ms. Leslie Uggams had a Variety Show in 1969, it took over for the time slot of the cancelled Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. It aired for a half a season. Video link: http://bit.ly/1nln72e