SNL rudolph

The variety show is making a comeback, thanks to Maya Rudolph.

Until last night, the variety show was dead to most Americans. Ask anyone under the age of 25 to name a variety show and they probably won’t even look up at you from their phone. But 7.2 million viewers later, The Maya Rudolph Show on NBC is bringing it back to prime time.

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In case you didn’t know, “variety show” is TV speak for “do just about whatever the hell you want.” And in the debut of The Maya Rudolph Show, Maya Rudolph did just that. She took the stage and reminded us how much we’ve all missed her, opening with a musical number that included a revival of her fan-favorite Beyoncé impersonation. Viewers spent the next hour wondering why there aren’t more talented women like Rudolph on TV and simultaneously feeling ashamed for hours of their lives lost to watching Real Housewives marathons over the last few years.

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For someone with a musical and acting range as wide as Rudolph, the variety show format is perfect. The comedic actress can sing, host, act and make you laugh without breaking character. The premiere episode featured sketches reminiscent of Saturday Night Live, musical performances and plenty of the self-deprecating humor that we’ve come to love from her. All those years on SNL and making box office hits like Bridesmaids are truly paying off, and so are the good friends she made along the way. Rudolph was joined by Will & Grace’s Sean Hayes, Frozen star Kristen Bell, and former SNL co-stars Andy Samberg and Fred Armisen. In the best sketch of the night, Armisen and Rudolph played the Garmyns: a family that made their fortune as the voices of GPS navigation systems.

The Maya Rudolph Show is off to a strong start. Others have tried and failed in the past, but if the actress who took a shit in the street wearing a wedding dress can’t do it, no one can.

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