Peacock baking competition series Baking It is back for season two right in time for the holidays — and this time with a familiar face stepping in as co-host.
After Maya Rudolph and Andy Samberg led the first season, Amy Poehler has replaced Samberg for the second go-around, teaming up with close friend and fellow SNL alum Rudolph. Samberg was off shooting a movie and unavailable to return for season two, Poehler tells The Hollywood Reporter, teasing, “He luckily and gratefully let me step into his sweaters.”
Poehler has previously hosted three seasons of crafting competition show Making It (which inspired Baking It) with former Parks and Recreation co-star Nick Offerman, so when she heard of Samberg’s scheduling conflicts, “I was thrilled. I knew from my experience on Making It how fun it is to do it with your buddy, because I got to do it with Nick, and I knew that what it meant was Maya and I were going to spend time together.”
“It’s a delight. It’s a dream job. You get to hang out with your buddy and watch people bake things, which is so soothing,” Rudolph says, as Poehler jokes, “I hope Andy never comes back from whatever country he’s in.”
Although the two have frequently worked together (and both serve as executive producers on the show), they had never hosted together, thought they say it was an easy transition.
“There was so much preparation when we did Saturday Night Live, and this is just showing up and being ourselves and having fun and having a good time and trying to host having a good time,” Rudolph explains. “It’s a joy to know that I’m going to come to work and see her and then we’re going to say things, which is going to make us both laugh, and then we’re gonna go home.” Poehler chimed in, “And we’re gonna say, ‘This is never gonna make the show,’ and then it does.”
Baking It follows teams of home bakers as they face off to create the biggest and best holiday-themed treats, which are then judged by a panel of grandmothers. The duo also lead a Baking It holiday special with celebrity friends like Fred Armisen, Kristen Bell, Nicole Richie and JB Smoove, who compete in a baking competition to raise money for their favorite charities.
“I thought it’d be a little goofy and silly, like they can’t really cook,” says Rudolph of their special guests, as Poehler teases, “Yeah, like, ‘This is the oven, this is how you turn it on.’ And everyone’s good! Everyone came to win.”
While there are plenty of cooking competition shows out there, Rudolph says theirs is “definitely the goofiest,” led by their judging panel of grannies.
“It originally came about when our producer Nicolle Yaron saw a video of a bunch of older women talking about a sweet potato pie, and it was so specific and funny about how they cared about the pie,” Poehler said of the concept’s origin. “The idea of a judge, it’s very hard; especially a cooking show because how do you know how something tastes? Grannies, they’re really sophisticated chefs and teachers and bloggers and personalities, so they have a ton of experience. They’re not just grandmothers off the street. They know their food, but they deliver their critiques in this way that always feels nice because they’ve lived a life and they know what’s important.”
“It’s a soft landing,” adds Rudolph. “You’re gonna question a granny, you’re gonna get punished if you do that.”
As for how this season compares to the first, Rudolph says, “We went even further past the holidays and into all of the places we could go, trying to find the fun and funny in the idea of baking and not just a baking show, but how much bigger and badder we could go.”
“We blow some stuff up,” says Poehler, as Rudolph confirms, “It was a long way of saying we blow stuff up.”
Baking It starts streaming Monday on Peacock, with the holiday special also airing Monday on NBC.