Why are so many funny comic actors suddenly holding game shows?

In fair for Andy Samberg, you can not accuse Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s top man for reasons of swapping sitcom stars to host American series Bake it. When asked on the first episode of the new competitive baking show what convinced him to take the job, Samberg initially attributed his decision to the chance to be reunited with his co-host. Maya Rudolph, with whom he worked for a short time Live Saturday night. Moments later, he offered another, softer suggestion: “And money, make no mistake!” As Rudolph snickered beside him, Samberg added, a little unconvincingly: “But baking would also be an added bonus.”

Rudolph and Samberg aren’t the only big names in American comedy that have recently made the leap to host a competition-based game show. Scroll through the channels and you’ll soon be able to spot Development caught Can Arnett smash Lego designs with a baseball bat in the air? Lego Masters, Pitch Perfect’s Rebel Wilson takes dog stylists through their steps Perfect Pooch, Scream Queens’ Keke Palmer devours delicious sculptures on Foodtastic and Bridesmaids‘Melissa McCarthy oversaw a complex home renovation on Great return. Apparently, the channel that hosts TV shows from actor to comic game is just heating up: Who gets the current information? SNL Pete Davidson star will take on the role of Cilla Black in the reboot of Dating Anonymous will really turn yourself into a lorra lorra money.

In case Bake it, It’s easy enough to understand how Rudolph and Samberg landed the plum gig. Airing on NBC’s streaming service, the show is a live spin-off from Making it, a competitive crafting show that premiered in 2018 and saw artists, woodworkers and designers compete for the coveted title of “Master Maker”. It is organized by lover Parks and Recreation couple Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, who probably didn’t need to audition: a series co-produced by Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions.

For this year’s baking-based spin-off, Poehler and her fellow producers looked for a similarly hilarious double actor who could keep the show going while creating a few laughs about the serious business of making cakes that don’t look like cakes. Rudolph was hired first, and one of the show’s executive producers, Nicolle Yaron told Mashable that Samberg had been specifically hired for the chemistry he could bring to their double act. “We thought about all the people that Maya had a great relationship with and that we loved hanging out with, as well as Amy loves, and Andy was thinking about. So he came, and I mean, they’ve known each other ever since SNL,” said Yaron. “The three of them have a long history and a real chemistry, and it’s like what we wanted the show to be, it’s about coming together.”

Sure, Samberg seemed more interested in hanging out with Rudolph and trying to make her laugh by uttering vague lines about “master bakers” rather than whether the contestants were able to rise above the bar. their cake or not. If anything, Samberg’s lack of interest only improved his storage capacity. When viewers watch something low-stakes like a baking contest, we want to see someone who isn’t afraid to roll their eyes and occasionally puncture the competitive atmosphere, lest the whole thing go stale. like a week old cake. . Will Arnett, who may have landed his gig Lego Masters thanks to his winning role voicing Lego Batman in both Lego movies and Lego Batman Movie, is an expert at cropping up the entire business just enough that it doesn’t feel like we’re watching him spread plastic bricks. In one episode, he welcomes viewers back from a commercial pause by chirping: “We’re back! No more ads, no more companies trying to present their products in a fun and imaginative way… Welcome back Lego masters!

On why Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions wanted to get into the business of creating shows like Making it and Bake it from the outset, it was a simple question of the economics of the manufacturing company. Compared to scripted comedies, unscripted game shows are much cheaper to create and produce but can still make big money on primetime television. This can then be redirected to fund passion projects they actually invest in. In the case of Paper Kite, that includes critically acclaimed shows like The city is wide and Russian dolls as well as films such as Poehler’s coming-of-age comedy-drama Moxie. There are many examples of this business model in the UK: Zeppotron, the Charlie Brooker production company founded with colleagues from Program 11 O’Clock, produce popular, low-budget console programs like Did I lie to you? and 8 out of 10 cats Which bank banked the first season of Black mirror.

So competing shows have perhaps become the television equivalent of Martin Scorsese’s famous “one for them, one for me” filmmaking axiom, an effective way to balance commercial work. with personal projects. They are also clearly more appealing to A-list talent than the traditional role of the cheerful, people-pleasing ‘game show host’, a position just above car salesman. used in popular culture one level. The new server type diverged from that prototype, no doubt inspired by the genre-defining work done by Mel and Sue on The Great British Bake Off. The duo, who got their first TV break as comic actors on France & Saunders, influenced all the presenters with their easygoing personalities and their ear for allusions. As they say in the baking world, it’s time for those two to have the dough.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/baking-it-andy-samberg-maya-rudolph-b1969098.html Why are so many funny comic actors suddenly holding game shows?

Emma Bowman

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