February 28, 2010 11:31 PM by Nancy Floyd
NBC debuted a sneak peek episode of The Marriage Ref tonight following the Olympics Closing Ceremony. The new comedy, produced and created by Jerry Seinfeld, allows a panel of celebrity judges to serve as referees in the marital disputes of real couples. Tonightâ€™s sneak preview featured arguments about a dead dog and a stripper poleâ€¦.
The premise ofÂ NBCâ€™s The Marriage Ref is simple: a real married couple shares a dilemma they canâ€™t come to a solution on, a panel of celebrities talk it over and make jokes about it, and ultimately a winner is determined. It makes perfect sense right? After all, who better to receive marriage advice from than celebrities? Certainly theyâ€™ve been sitting on the secret to marital bliss for years.
Tonightâ€™s celebrity panel is comedian (and Marriage Ref producer) Jerry Seinfeld, TV talk show host, Kelly Ripa, and actor Alec Baldwin. The first couple needing arbitrational assistance: Danielle and Kevin. Married for 14 years, Danielle and Kevin have recently gone through a major tragedy: the death of their beloved dog, Fonzie. Well, to be fair, this death was only considered a tragedy to Kevin, who seems to have an unhealthy attachment to the dog. Danielle described Fonzieâ€™s death as â€œpretty much the greatest day in my life.â€ Danielle and Kevinâ€™s dilemma? Kevin wants to stuff Fonzie and keep the animal on display in their home. Seriously.
Naturally, Danielle is uncomfortable with the frozen, taxidermied corpse of their pet continuing to be a part of their lives. She pretty much summed up her feelings with this quote: â€œI canâ€™t, I canâ€™t, I canâ€™t, I canâ€™t, I canâ€™t, I cannot, I cannot, I canâ€™tâ€¦â€ Kevin tries to convince her by telling her this is a dream come true. I’m no therapist, but I think it’s safe to say that Kevin needs to get some new dreams. Preferably ones that don’t involve dead puppies.
Letâ€™s see what Alec, Kelly & Jerry have to say about this, shall we? Alec feels that if youâ€™re going to go through the trouble of stuffing your dog, why not stuff it in a useful position? Instead of opting to have the dog sleeping (like Kevin has), why not position it to look as though itâ€™s about to attack? Kelly feels that as Kevinâ€™s wife, she would be concerned about what heâ€™d do to her once she kicked the bucket. Jerry mostly just laughs for much of this segment.
Itâ€™s time for â€œJust the Facts,â€ another meaningless segment whereÂ NBC news correspondent, Natalie Morales, gives host Tom Papa a few facts about the situation. It turns out that last year in United States, 1,000 people had their pets stuffed. So just for the record, there are at least 1,000 total whack jobs living in America at this very moment.
Itâ€™s time for the celebrity panel to cast their votes. Not surprisingly, Alec, Kelly, and Jerry side with Danielle on this one. I canâ€™t imagine why. Tom Papa now has to make The Call. Letâ€™s go to Danielle and Kevin on the big screen, shall we? Theyâ€™re joining us via satellite from their home with none other than Fonzie lying behind them. Whatâ€™s even better is that Fonzie has been repositioned since we last saw him. He now has his eyes open!! And, as if thatâ€™s not terrifying enough, the Fonz looks like he could be the bastard child of Yoda and Gizmo. Tom Papa rules in favor of Danielle, but encourages Kevin to store Fonzie up in the attic. Great idea, Tom, because old, dark attics arenâ€™t scary enough; letâ€™s add an animal corpse.
The next couple on tonightâ€™s episode of The Marriage Ref is Greg & Dianah. These two lovebirds have been married for nine years. They met at a club where Dianah was dancing on the table. How romantic. That explains why their dilemma is over putting a stripper pole in their bedroom. Iâ€™ll let you guess which one wants it and which one is totally against it.
In a feeble attempt to convince his loving wife to get down and dirty once in awhile, Greg first likens the stripper pole to a fishing pole, then calls it an exercise pole. Dianah still isnâ€™t having it. When Greg tells her this is something heâ€™s always wanted, Dianah responds with what might be the greatest comeback in history and says â€œPeople in hell want ice water but they donâ€™t get it.â€
Back at the celebrity panel, Alec, Kelly, and Jerry are sympathetic towards both Greg and Dianah. Maybe it’ll help if Natalie throws some facts our way. Apparently stripping can burn 250 calories an hour. Also Greg has purchased 50 thongs for Dianah and spent $500 in lingerie. Apparently this guy is hoping for a solid return on his investment. When it comes time to cast votes, all three celebs side with Dianah, as does Tom who thinks thereâ€™s nothing worse than a resentful, sulking pole dancer.
The two couples featured on tonightâ€™s episode of The Marriage Ref are excited to learn theyâ€™ll be walking away with something more than just a completely useless verdict in their crazy arguments. Theyâ€™re also going on a romantic second honeymoon. I’m praying for a follow-up episode where we see Kevin pack Fonzie in his carry-on luggage.
Tune in to watch new episodes of The Marriage Ref every Thursday night onÂ NBC at 10pm EST. Special celebrity guests this season include Larry David, Ricky Gervais, Eva Longoria, Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman, and the greatest marriage expert of our time, Madonna.
Photos Courtesy of NBC