On shows throughout the televiewing world, it often takes two to tango and tangle, when it comes to program hosting.
The operative logic here is that a host needs somebody else on set to “bounce” his or her comments off, and variety and “chemistry” are the spice.
Given this in TV casting is to give viewers a fresh and unexpected combination of cohosts, not the usual, par-for-the-course pairing.
Thus, the team-up of dashing crooner Dean Martin and goony-looking Jerry Lewis on “The Martin and Lewis Show” on the boob tube, which quickly propelled them to film stardom, as well.
On TV this season, one of the most unusual and unexpected combinations of program hosts is provided by the kooky cookfest, “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party,” with rapper Snoop Dogg, of all people, sharing the kitchen table with the iconic Martha Stewart.
It turns out that Martha and Snoop have been friends for years, so their team-up isn’t that far-out. Still, the “surprising” cohosts offer a decidedly “ornery” contrast that makes their TV cookfest vividly and kookily viewable.
To make the show even more varied and fun, it invites a weekly panel of guests and food samplers who are show biz luminaries in their own right.
Martha has a saucily good time bantering with Snoop’s rapper friends, many of whom are as spontaneously funny as he is—and she delights viewers by dishing out zaftig and feisty zingers of her own!
In a recent telecast, Martha even went all wiggly and lovey-dovey with a biz, black rapper up to his ears in gold necklaces and bling, ostensibly “shocking” everyone around them.
She’s really come a long way from her “crisp and sweet” TV image of yore—perhaps due to her run-in with the law and prison stint some years ago.
This Martha is much more real and “accessible,” and for a veteran TV star who’s always in danger of becoming predictable and boring, that’s all to the good.
Snoop Dogg also benefits from his “surprise” pairing with Martha because it opens him up to the nonrap and wider TV audience.
In addition, some of the rappers he invites to the show are more interesting and articulate than expected, so they too gain plus points from the show’s feisty mix of contrasting elements.
Other cooking shows that feature a range of novel elements and viewing “hooks” include “The Worst Cooks in America,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Surgeons and Chefs,” “Cooking with Dog,” “Great Depression Cooking,” “The Naked Chef,” “Two Fat Ladies,” “Bizarre Foods,” “Eat, Shrink and Be Merry,” “The Galloping Gourmet,” “Cooking for Love,” “The Wild Chef,” “Baked and Confused,” “Bite Me,” “Eat Me,” “Food Freaks,” “Help My Yelp” and “My Food Obsession.”