Watch Tina Fey and Maya Rudolph Do Impeccable Joni Mitchell Impressions, and Teach You How to Do Your Own


Last night on Maya and Marty, the new Maya Rudolph/Martin Short variety series, Rudolph sat down with Tina Fey to serenade the audience — or tried to sit down with Tina Fey to serenade the audience. You see, in the vein of an old-timey variety series, Rudolph wanted to have the musical moment happen with each comedian/serenader seated atop a stool — but the stools turned out to be abnormally high. Quaint physical comedy ensued for a bit as each tight-dressed comedian attempted to hoist themselves onto the towering stools. Then, in keeping with the reverent yet jocular vein of the new variety series, the two began to also-quaintly chat and sing bits of songs to one another, with some fantastic imitations, and of course with the innate charm of being two of the funniest people on television sitting next to each other atop large stools. Highlights included Maya Rudolph’s Charo impersonation, a rapidly-transitioning musical medley, and the biggest highlight of all: a tutorial on how to make up a Joni Mitchell song, with excellent imitation efforts by both Fey and Rudolph.

Fey recalled “staying up late to watch Joni Mitchell on the Hudson Brothers Midnight Chanukah Special” where she sang her “classic” that still resonates with Fey today. Fey then launched into the song, singing the poignant lyrics, “It was a Saskatchewan rain storm/and I put the baby in a box of rolling papers” — lyrics she admits to inventing on the spot, because all you have to do to make up a Joni Mitchell song is “mention a place in Canada and then say something about a baby.” Rudolph then launched into her own equally impressive (Fey serves up more of a Ladies of the Canyon Joni sound while Rudolph gives pure Blue) imitation. Watch below: