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Baking It: Maya Rudolph & Amy Poehler’s Celebrity Holiday Special Review: A Warm Plate of Fun

Photo Credit: NBC Universal

Ever see the Progressive commercials where Dr. Rick tries to prevent people from turning into their parents? Well, this writer — given my penchant for writing about baking shows — has turned into his parents who were obsessed with cooking shows in the ’80s.

However, when you have programs like The Great British Baking Show or its quasi-American counterpart, Baking It! — it’s hard not to want to write about warm, genial and good-humored baking shows.

Baking It! is the food spin-off of NBC’s popular Making It! series (a competition show hosted by Poehler and Nick Offerman where “creators” make wonderful designs for homes, yards, etc.) Baking It! is currently in its second season and streaming exclusively on Peacock. Poehler has joined the series, taking over for Andy Samberg who original teamed with Maya Rudolph.

The premiere of the second season comes in form of Maya Rudolph & Amy Poehler’s Celebrity Holiday Special — a one-hour episode that features JB Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Fred Armisen (Wednesday) and Nicole Ritchie (The Simple Life) which also aired on NBC.

Here’s what the celebrities made, per an NBC press release:

  • Austrian Schaumrollen and Pickle Soup made by Kristen Bell, whose competitive nature led her to make two delectable dishes.
  • Sticky Apple Cake made by holiday lover Nicole Richie, who starts her festive season as early as September.
  • Vegan Banana Pudding Cake made by self-proclaimed “Cake Architect” JB Smoove, who made up his recipe on the spot.
  • Venezuelan Hallacas made by Fred Armisen, a recipe he got from his mother, although he has never baked before.

The competition is simple — create a delicious meal that the celebrity or their family would eat during the holidays. However, there’s a twist — Poehler and Rudolph are not the judges. It’s actually judged a panel of grandmothers. Yes, grandmothers. While this twist could come off as lame, it’s actually quite endearing. These grandmothers are hilarious, especially one woman who has a bit of crush on Fred Armisen (who is completely flabbergasted by all of it).

As contestants, the celebrities are all very affable and charming. Smoove comes off as one of the nicest humans who ever human-ed and his vegan take on a banana pudding cake (and his scientific approach to creating it) is one of the highlights of the episode. As expected Poehler and Rudolph are just undeniably wonderful as a hosting duo. The make the hour-long special breeze by and their interactions with the grandma panel is just a delight.

Baking It: Maya Rudolph & Amy Poehler’s Celebrity Holiday Special much like the Great British Baking Show Holidays special is a whimsical, mouth-watering and wholesome piece of television comfort food.

Baking It! and Baking It: Maya Rudolph & Amy Poehler’s Celebrity Holiday Special is now streaming on Peacock.

Bill Bodkin
Bill Bodkinhttps://thepopbreak.com
Bill Bodkin is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break, and most importantly a husband, and father. Ol' Graybeard writes way too much about wrestling, jam bands, Asbury Park music, HBO shows, and can often be seen under his season DJ alias, DJ Father Christmas. He is the co-host of the Socially Distanced Podcast (w/Al Mannarino) which drops weekly on Apple, Google, Anchor & Spotify. He is the co-host of the monthly podcasts -- Anchored in Asbury, TV Break and Bill vs. The MCU.

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