Variety was certainly the spice of life in the 1960s and ’70s. Back then, everyone from Sonny
Variety was certainly the spice of life in the 1960s and ’70s. Back then, everyone from Sonny and Cher to Donny and Marie had a TV variety hour. Now, “Saturday Night Live” vet Maya Rudolph is hoping to revive the format with her self-titled special tonight at 10 on NBC. If it gets picked up, let’s hope her show is more successful than these long-forgotten variety outings.
v “THE BRADY BUNCH HOUR” (1976): We always knew Jan was the smart one. Eve Plumb was the sole cast member who avoided this nine-week misfire.
v “THE CAPTAIN & TENNILLE” (1976-77): There was no muskrat love for this show starring ’70s husband-and-wife hit makers Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille. As a comedian, the Captain missed the boat.
v “THE STARLAND VOCAL BAND SHOW” (1977): Skyrockets definitely weren’t in flight with this summer variety show from the group that reached its climax with the song “Afternoon Delight.” It did, however, give an up-and-comer named David Letterman a start.
v “MARY” (1978): Mary Tyler Moore could turn the world on with her smile, but not with her singing and dancing in this “Carol Burnett Show” knockoff that ran three weeks. A revamped version in 1979 featuring a young Michael Keaton lasted 11 weeks.
v “ROSIE LIVE” (2008): Rosie O’Donnell’s attempt at a variety show really took the cake. In fact, it ended with a half-baked production number featuring dancers dressed as cake and cookies. “Rosie Live” was dead on arrival after one airing.
“The Bachelorette” (9:30 P.M., ABC): Our condolences go out to Andi Dorfman. She’s the new leading lady on “The Bachelorette,” which kicks off another season of romantic dysfunction and mascara-running drama.
“The Maya Rudolph Show” (10:01 P.M., NBC): “The Maya Rudolph Show” has the former “Saturday Night Live” dynamo presiding over an old-school kind of variety special. Her guests include Andy Samberg, Kristen Bell, Sean Hayes and others.
TV listings, B6
Movies available Tuesday on DVD and through digital providers include:
“3 Days to Kill” (PG-13)
“About Last Night” (R)
“The Monuments Men” (PG-13)
“Vampire Academy” (PG-13)