The world could use a heavy dose of comic relief right now and the tongue-in-cheek humor of “Martha & Snoop’s Dinner Party” may be the perfect remedy to post-election blues. The new show made its premiere on Nov. 7 and teams up legendary rapper Snoop Dogg with America’s domestic goddess Martha Stewart as they cook up a meal as well as some interesting conversation. We chatted with series creator SallyAnn Salsano about TV as cultural diplomacy, Martha and Snoop’s friendship and who’s the better cook.
First I’ve gotta ask: Are Martha and Snoop friends in real life?
It’s so crazy. Yes they are. The first time they connected — I think in 2007 or 2008 — was back on Martha’s cooking show. He came in to do a segment and they just like completely hit it off and have stayed in touch ever since. They both literally respect the hell out of each other and understand each other in a way that made our job so much easier.
How did the idea for the show come about?
I sat with Chris McCarthy and talked about doing a celebrity cooking show that was just different. I was like: ‘Look, I am such a pop culture nutjob, I love cooking, I love food, I love great conversation, I love new combinations of people.’ And, I’m like, you know, everyone cooks, everyone always thinks their stuff is better than this person’s stuff. There’s always a little bit of pride or competition. And he was like “Oh my god, let’s do it.” So, we started coming up with formats for the show. Then we were like: ‘Do you think they [Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg] would do it?’ And then we were like ‘Hell, let’s ask.’
In a time when our country is so divided, this show couldn’t have come at a better time.
Without realizing it, the show is a very powerful thing. Even during its development, there was so much hatred going on in our country. Then you come to our set — you could not have two people who appear to be so different on the outside just worshipping each other. If you look at their two dynamics and their brands side by side, they are so different but really are very much the same. They’re two people that came from, you know, very modest backgrounds that work their asses off to build empires, they are both perfectionists, they both love food, they love friends, they love entertaining, they love music.
Reality TV as diplomacy. Crazier things have happened…
We even talked about the set and how they divide it down the middle and Snoop was like: ‘This is my style, this is Martha’s style. With that being said, we’re not changing for each other but we love each other for it.’ And, I think if the country looks at it that way, there is a little bit of a message there. Sharing your entire heritage, your family, your life and your traditions. Martha learns just as much from Snoop as Snoop learns from Martha.
I have to say, I had no idea Snoop was so into cooking!
During commercial breaks I literally run up there and grab a bite. I’m like ‘Give me a bite, give me a bite.’ Because you’re sitting there and you’re dying to know. You always expect Martha to be good because it's so cliché. Like, Martha’s is going to be fabulous. On the first day I was like, can Snoop really cook? And I was like: ‘This is really good.’ And he was like: ‘I’m actually offended at how surprised you are!’ We all started laughing because it’s true. Again, it comes back to the fact that Martha is the cook and Snoop is the singer, you know. And in the end, they are both great cooks.
“Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party” airs on Monday nights at 10 p.m. on VH1.