Maya & Marty (and Tina & Steve): What Were the Best and Worst Sketches?

Tina Fey returned to her old 30 Rock stomping grounds on Tuesday alongside Maya & Marty‘s first second-time guest.

Steve Martin, who briefly appeared during Episode 1, brought his banjo along for Week 2 of NBC’s summer variety venture.

SNL‘s primetime equivalent followed up on its May 31 debut with sketches involving improper forms of etiquette, gropey ventriloquist dummies and Oprah Winfrey’s favorite things. The hour also featured special guests Nathan Lane, Sean Hayes and Drake, the latter of whom was sorely missing from all but one segment in which he was interviewed by Short’s intolerable Jiminy Glick.

Overall, the hour firmed up initial suspicions that Maya & Marty isn’t about to reinvent the wheel, and is perfectly comfortable being a substitute for the Peacock’s flagship sketch program during its summer hiatus. With that in mind, let’s stick to our usual method of selecting the best and worst sketches of the evening:

BEST: TINA AND MAYA’S THROWBACK MEDLEY
Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph lived out their dream of being on an old-fashioned variety show by sitting on some incredibly classy and unsafe bar stools while committing to some delicate ’70s microphone work. Together, they sang a medley of songs, including Dionne Warwick’s “Never Fall in Love Again” and a cover of Captain and Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together” while impersonating Charo. Later, Fey taught Rudolph how to (successfully?) make up a Joni Mitchell song on the spot.

BEST: RAINFOREST CAFE
Middle-aged hipsters Itchard and Atricia took their son Daniel out for the world’s worst birthday dinner. While we knew things were going south once Atricia asked for juice originating from a nonexistent fruit and Itchard claimed to be shopping for a boat in his head, the night only got worse when friends Pristella and an unnamed man arrived after attending a cat’s bar mitzvah. Later, Atricia’s “night husband” Blucas (Sean Hayes) showed up with his harmonica to (poorly) cover a Kelly Clarkson classic.

HONORABLE MENTION: THE PROPER WAY WITH ALISTAIR FOOTE
Short’s accent in this bizarre instructional home-video sketch was like a cross between Mick Jagger and Frasier Crane. Though wildly OTT, it perfectly suited the eponymous instructor who inadvertently gave a group of seemingly well-behaved children a lesson in improper social cues.

WORST: THE COCOA CLUB
Steve Martin and Martin Short portrayed ventriloquist Bob and his dummy Jasper, who somehow came alive on his own when jazz singer Miranda Mallomar caught his eye. What followed was two minutes of uncomfortable groping as bandleader Manny looked on in horror.

WORST: KIDNAPPING VIDEO
To paraphrase Connor Grayfield, this felt like the worst one. Nathan Lane portrayed the aforementioned actor who was kidnapped and held for ransom. When his abductor attempted to have him read a ransom note on tape, the thespian was more concerned with getting the lighting right than making it out alive. He was eventually released by his kidnapper due to “creative differences,” which was about the only funny thing about this sketch.

What did you think of Maya & Marty‘s second episode? Was it an improvement on Week 1? Grade the hour below, then drop a comment with your full review.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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23 Comments
  1. A huge improvement on the premiere, but it still has a long way to go. My personal favourite was the Anna Wintour sketch, though.. And Martin Short’s Karl Lagerfeld was awesome.

  2. echuckler says:

    There was a kind-of, sort-of Kath & Kim reunion tonight. The Rainforest Cafe sketch also had Mikey Day, who starred in the U.S. Kath & Kim TV series. Maya Rudolph guest-starred on that series as well–although I don’t recall Life Coach Athena Scooberman and Craig ever interacting together much at all on screen.

    • M says:

      Mikey Day is a cast member of Maya & Marty. He was in the first episode as well. Loved Kath & Kim so much.

  3. Cliff says:

    Can’t stand Martin Short.

  4. Amanda says:

    Night husband is Blucas.

  5. jr. says:

    IMO. You can tell by the lack of comments on this TVLINE article about this show, and the lack of comments on the latest TVLINE article about the Preacher, that viewers wouldn’t get fooled twice into watching these shows a second time! IMO.

  6. Max says:

    I turned it off once Glick made his appearance. Barely got through anything before that. Won’t be checking in a third time.

    • dan says:

      I watched the first 5-10 minutes of the season premiere and then turned it off. My wife wanted to watch last night’s episode (thinking it was the season premiere until I told her it was the second episode). I didn’t say a word, but after the cold open (Oprah sketch), the opening (which my wife groaned at), and the Cocoa Club sketch she said “this is terrible, turn it off.” I said “that’s exactly what I did last week.” Won’t be trying it for a third time. It is like watching a bad Atlantic City lounge act with people who are trying too hard to be funny. I like Maya, Marty, Steve Martin and Tina Fey, but this mess is hard to watch. And why is Keenan Thompson part of the cast? I just don’t get it.

  7. Pink says:

    I watched the premiere and it was mediocre. It wasn’t amazing but it wasn’t great either but i did find myself laughing occasionally. Like most new shows the first episode has a lot to accomplish and few nail it on the first try. I gave it a second shot by watching last nights episode and did not find myself laughing at all. It was boring, expected and felt like someone took the sketches from the cutting room floor of the SNL writers room. Current and former cast members of SNL are incredibly talented, however for years SNL has been plagued with writers who are lackluster at best. Maya Rudolph could exceed in this genre but to do so she needs to step away from the SNL style of skits and consider sourcing talented writers from a new pool.

  8. Mark says:

    Maybe it’s because I like Nathan Lane, but I really enjoyed the kidnapping sketch. I thought it was the funniest one. Nathan Lane is great!

    • Michele says:

      I totally agree; that was the best one of the evening. And I also liked Drake’s face after Glick told him he had absolutely no street cred due to being Canadian, a former child star, and named Aubrey.

    • Lauren says:

      I thought it was the best too!

    • KatsMom says:

      Me too! I thought it was the high point of the night. Lane getting hit by Short after being uncooperative in reading for the ransom tape, then starting to read again, this time with a black eye, “I haven’t been hurt…Well, that needs a rewrite now, doesn’t it?” (or something along those lines) was the first time in the whole episode that I laughed. I smiled through Tina and Maya’s medley. I felt like Glick was meh with Drake. But it wasn’t until the end with Lane, and the Steve Martin and Martin Short singing the song Steve had “just written” that I thought anything in the show was particularly funny.

  9. It was definitely better than the first show. I can’t say it was a massive improvement, but it was surely better. Though I guess Jiminy Frick is an acquired taste. And I liked the Kidnapping episode, along with the others listed as the best and honorable mention. All in all, it was an improvement over the debut show.

  10. webly3 says:

    Oprah Winfrey and Anna Wintour sketches were the best ones

  11. Dave Lowell says:

    I have wondered for many many years why they haven’t had another variety show this is very very entertaining soon they will get everything correct it takes time

  12. Laurie says:

    This is like a bad Saturday Night Live. The manners skit was stupid, the singing with Tina was uncomfortable, and the groping dummie skit was funny at first but then didn’t go anywhere. The talent these two have is incredible, but not in this venue. It just isn’t working.

  13. Myself says:

    Só, this will probably be mean,but… give Short the boot! He brings nothing to the show, his sketches are actually the worse, have no idea why he’s in there. Maya could easily carry the show like the old female comedians. She can do it, she is probably the ones getting the famous comedians and friends oh this anyway. Her sketches are funny, and moderna,and cute, and she can sing. I’m pretty sure she would feel much more confortable without Martin sinking the show. Sory, but not sorry!

  14. Donna G says:

    I love the Maya and short show I couldn’t story laughing at the etiquette skit, I think they picked the actors for this show.

  15. Calvin Brown says:

    The Cocoa club skit was a riot! Need to see more of the dummy. Also Glick is a riot too!