Rudolph and Short were also joined by Nick Jonas (Kingdom), Kevin Hart (Central Intelligence), John Cena (American Grit) and Jimmy Fallon, all of whom were game for segments involving hunky first-responders, pesky entertainment reporters and singing restaurant staffers.
In response to buzz surrounding the more melodic moments of Episodes 1 and 2 (including Rudolph’s duets with Miley Cyrus and Tina Fey, and Short’s duet with Steve Martin), Week 3 of the variety show featured an uptick in musical moments, including a monologue that had the eponymous duo sing about their showbiz friendship and a grand finale featuring the aforementioned host of the Tonight Show.
Lo and behold, our picks for best and worst sketches:
BEST: LAW OFFICES OF BARNES & SON
This incredibly bizarre, incredibly short sketch just so happened to be the best of the evening. Short and Mikey Day portrayed a father and son legal duo who clearly had some unresolved issues. As they attempted to film a commercial for their firm, all hell broke loose once Barnes Sr. complained that he couldn’t hear his son. It culminated in him telling Jr. that he wished he’d drowned in an accident (instead of his other son). Needless to say, things got really dark, really quickly.
BEST: HULK HOGAN V. GAWKER: AMERICAN CRIME STORY AUDITIONS
Cena portrayed himself auditioning for the role of Hogan for the next season of FX’s American Crime Story. What he didn’t know going into it was that his competition for the part was Short’s David Schwimmer, who blew audiences away in People V. O.J. Simpson. Cena soon realized he was the odd man out when everyone else auditioning — including Day’s James Van Der Beek and Longoria’s Rosie Perez — were ’90s icons, and the only reason he was asked to read for the role was because the cast of Blossom was unavailable.
BEST: “THE SCHUYLER SISTERS”
Rudolph accompanied School of Rock‘s Luca Padovan, A Bronx Tale‘s Joshua Colley and Kinky Boots‘ Douglas Baldeo for a soulful rendition of the Hamilton fan-favorite. It wasn’t only the best musical segment of the night, but one of the program’s best-produced segments to date.
HONORABLE MENTION: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Stiller was front and center in this digital short as Dr. Stone, a brilliant developer of artificial intelligence whose love for Aziz Ansari went unmatched. Had the “Azizhead” not been so distracted, he may have been able to properly configure Evelyn, a human-like robot built for a man who missed his chance at true love. Evelyn’s flaws quickly became apparent as she read off Zappos ads and Stone’s Google search history.
WORST: RAP BATTLE
This subpar offering featured a battle between Thompson as Lil’ Taco and Jonas as… Nathaniel, whose father, Dennis J. Thomason, D.D.S. quickly proved himself to be the true king of underground hip-hop. Though his rhymes were questionable, the crowd cheered for Nathaniel’s father after he took Taco down a peg with digs at his mother, none of which were particularly clever. In the end, Thomason dropped his mic without at all earning it.
What did you think of this week’s Maya & Marty? Did Stiller, Longoria & Co. bring their A-games? Grade the hour below, then drop a comment with your full review.