There’s no kitchen sink, but Maya Rudolph has thrown just about everything else into the opening number of her variety series-inspired NBC special, “The Maya Rudolph Show.”
“There’s comedy and music and special guests and animals,” the “Saturday Night Live” alum said. The show airs at 9 Monday night.
“Well, there’s only one, I’m not going to lie,” Rudolph said. “There’s one pony that just shows up. I just felt like it was important to have.”
Also in the opener: guest stars Sean Hayes and fellow “SNL” alums Fred Armisen and Andy Samberg, as well as children and a plate spinner.
But that astronaut on stilts might have ended up on the cutting-room floor, she said. Rudolph said she was inspired by “The Muppet Show” and “The Carol Burnett Show.”
Burnett’s show “touched me in the same way that ‘Saturday Night Live’ did,” she said. “It was sort of this environment that was created that felt like this special place, and anything was possible. And people were just naturally giddy and happy when they came on.”
Rudolph said she would love to do a weekly series.
“Are you kidding me?” she said. “If I had the chance to continue to do this, I would be ‘very psyched,’ as the kids say.”
A variety of failures
If Maya Rudolph’s variety special is turned into a series, we can only hope it’s more successful than these long-forgotten gems:
THE BRADY BUNCH HOUR (1976): We always knew Jan was the smart one. Eve Plumb was the sole cast member who avoided this nine-week misfire that was more painful than a football smashing Marcia’s nose.
THE CAPTAIN & TENNILLE (1976-77): There was no muskrat love for this show starring ’70s husband and wife hit makers Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille. As a comedian, the Captain missed the boat.
THE STARLAND VOCAL BAND SHOW (1977): Skyrockets definitely weren’t in flight with this summer variety show from the group that reached its climax with the song “Afternoon Delight.” It did, however, give an up-and-comer named David Letterman a start.
MARY (1978): Mary Tyler Moore could turn the world on with her smile, but not with her singing and dancing in this “Carol Burnett Show” knockoff that ran three weeks. A revamped version in 1979 featuring a young Michael Keaton lasted 11 weeks.
ROSIE LIVE (2008): Rosie O’Donnell’s attempt at a variety show really took the cake. In fact, it ended with a half-baked production number featuring dancers dressed as cake and cookies. “Rosie Live” was dead on arrival after one airing.
OSBOURNES RELOADED (2009): Ozzy and his clan also tried to bring back the variety format with this one-shot deal that had Oz in drag and kids Kelly and Jack working a fast-food window.
Daniel Bubbeo, Newsday