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Monday, February 1, 2010

The Marriage Ref a sure-fire TV hit!

I was lucky enough to get to attend the tapings of a sneak preview and the first episode of a new NBC show, The Marriage Ref, starring comedian Tom Papa and executive produced by Jerry Seinfeld.

The premise of the show is that married couples have the same fight over and over again. What if there were a referee who could decide who the winner of the fight is? That's where Tom Papa comes in. He is hilarious, and this show should deservedly make him a star. He has a winning personality and comes across well on this show.

Couples are videotaped in their homes, fighting about the things we all fight about. (One observation: people are a little nuts about their pets. I know, I know, I was too when I had a dog, but not to this extent.) After the video, Tom asks a panel of three who should win the argument. On the premiere episode, the panelists were Jerry Seinfeld, Kelly Ripa and Alec Baldwin.

The panelists were quite humorous, Alec Baldwin in particular was an audience favorite. He seemed to take his role seriously, but he has a wicked sense of humor that fans of 30 Rock well know. His comments were funny and dead-on. All of the panelists meshed well together, and it was great to see Jerry Seinfeld back on TV. As anyone who saw Curb Your Enthusiasm this past season knows, he has not lost his comedic touch; if anything, he has sharpened his wit.

Legendary sportscaster Marv Albert has a role on the show, and he plays it deadpan for laughs. The Today Show's Natalie Morales is the "Just the Facts" person, whom Tom goes to for interesting facts that shed light on the argument. While Natalie is gorgeous, she doesn't have much to do here, and it is the one part of the show that needs work. She's a smart lady, and her talent seems wasted here. Hopefully as the weeks go on, this part will work better.

Comedian Joey Kola, a veteran at warming up audiences (The Rosie O'Donnell Show, Martha Stewart), got the crowd revved up and ready to go for the show. This is his forte, and his cat impression is one that won't be forgotten for a long time. Tom Papa said that it is one of the funniest bits he had ever heard, and I agree.

I think that everyone who is married will identify with The Marriage Ref. The arguments I saw were relatable, and the couples seemed natural. The couples are seen live via satellite to get the results from the ref, and this part of the show is really funny. Fighting over a mean dog, where to park the husband's motorcycle, a Mariah Carey obsession- it's all funny and it's all real. Watch it with your spouse; it's sure to spark conversation and laughs. Even better, invite your married couple friends over for a Marriage Ref party; you'll all have a blast!

I think The Marriage Ref will be a HUGE hit for NBC, and they sure can use it now. The sneak peek will run on February 28th , following the Olympics closing ceremony on NBC, then it moves to its regular time slot of Thursdays at 10pm on March 4th. If you need a good laugh (who doesn't?), don't miss The Marriage Ref.


  1. What makes the show, the couples or the panel?
    Are the couples natually funny? I just don't quite have a grasp on the show, hopefully when I see it, I will get it. I think JerrySeinfeld is a genius and really hope it's a show that will be great!!!

  2. The couples are the best part of the show. They are naturally funny because their arguments are so real and meaningful to them. You see a videotape of the couple at home discussing their problem, then the panel comments and try to sway the Marriage Ref (Tom Papa- HILARIOUS!) to their side. The Ref makes the final call, then tells the couple his decision on who wins the argument live via satellite. The satellite segment is the funniest!
    It's part game show, part talk show- it's hard to describe but watch it once and you'll be hooked. I laughed the entire time.

  3. Hello diane!-myself and carla are the couple fighting over the pet issue,goes to show you never know what your other-half is thinking at the strangest moments that you believe are just common occurances with your pets-(living or otherwise) can be seen as spiritual to those sensitive to the emotion brought forth by the memory or event!-But love is love,and every one links emotions to past experiances at one time or another!-So,enjoy the show!and watch for the ref,s decision?

  4. I'm looking forward to seeing the final cut of the show!

  5. I'm on the show and had a great time doing it. All the people were great & Eva Longoria actually told me I was attractive on national TV that was a great compliment coming from her.

  6. Wow- what a fabulous compliment coming a beautiful woman. Glad you had a good time. I actually attended a rehearsal for that episode as well. Which couple were you?
    Can't wait to see the finished episode!

  7. When you say game show, do the couples actually win prizes?

  8. The show is a comedy, so the prizes are along that vein. It's very funny!

  9. I saw a preview for the "stripping pole"

  10. The reviews are in, everyone is hating it.
    I think they wanted to hate it before they even saw it. I found it to be very funny and entertaining. I think Tom Papa needs to be a little more sillier, maybe he was nervous first episode? I also think a half hour will be better than a full hour. Aside from that, I found myself laughing alot..... I hate critics