Maya Rudolph to Revive the Classic Variety Show

Maya Rudolph is set to revive one of America’s favorites, the classic variety show. The show, entitled The Maya Rudolph Show, will debut on Monday, May 19th on NBC.

The Saturday Night Live veteran, 41, is reportedly bringing lots of her SNL friends with her. Andy Samberg, Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell are among the guests who will appear on the show. The show will be produced by Lorne Michaels, creator of Saturday Night Live itself.

Rudolph revisited SNL for the season finale which aired on May 17, 2014. Viewers had missed the comedian’s dry wit and cheeky sense of humor, as well as her outstanding impressions of other celebrities. Rudolph left the show in 2007, in order to pursue other works and put more focus on her family.

Recently, however, the actress claims she has missed being in the limelight of a show like SNL, and this is why Maya Rudolph has chosen to revive the classic variety show. The show reportedly aims to be similar to that of the popular variety show Donny & Marie, which was a family favorite in the 70’s, lasting from 1976-1979. Paul Telegdy, NBC president of late night programming, describes the shows purpose as a chance for people to view unique talents of celebrities that the celebrities might not be able to showcase elsewhere.

Other famous variety shows that the producers hope The Maya Rudolph Show will be able to live up to include The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (1971-1974), and The Brady Bunch Hour (1976-1977), which featured the cast of the popular television sitcom The Brady Bunch that aired  on ABC from 1969-1974.

Rudolph is known for her successful acting endeavors. She starred as one of the lead roles in the two season NBC comedy Up All Night, and she has dozens of movie credits under her belt. The role that launched Rudolph into a realm of fame outside of Saturday Night Live, however, was her big break in the smash hit comedy movie Bridesmaids. Rudolph stars alongside comedy goddesses Kirsten Wiig and Melissa McCarthy in the film that earned over $26 million in its opening weekend, eventually grossing more than $288 million in domestic and international success.

The film won several awards, including Movie of the Year from the American Film Institute, Best Ensemble Cast from the New York Film Critics Online, and Favorite Comedy Movie at the People’s Choice Awards. Rudolph’s co-star McCarthy won Best Supporting Actress from the Las Vegas Film Critics Society. The leading six females in the movie won Best Gut-Wrenching Performance at the MTV Movie Awards. There was talk of a Bridesmaids sequel, but leading actress Wiig turned down the offer, stating that she felt the movie would only stay iconic if it remained as one installment.

Rudolph also has a few upcoming films to add to her resume. One of these is Big Hero 6, an animated action comedy that centers around six superheroes that are recruited by the government and put in charge of defending the nation. This film is set to be released on November 7, 2014. The other is entitled, Inherent Vice, is a crime drama that focuses on a drug-fueled detective in search of a former girlfriend who has disappeared. This film hits theaters on December 12, 2014.

It remains to be seen whether or not Maya Rudolph’s decision to attempt to revive the classic variety show will be a success. However, her supporters will certainly be glad to see her back in the spotlight again.

By Rebecca Grace

USA Today
Los Angeles Times

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