On the Maya and Marty season finale, Sean Hayes went noir — but in a whole new way. Host Maya Rudolph played a classic dame in distress, in need of a detective to investigate her maybe-cheating husband, so she walks right into the office of "Burt Cassidy, Gay Detective," played by Hayes. And the Sean Hayes "gay detective" sketch on Maya and Marty totally subverted stereotypes about gay men. In the black and white sketch, Burt Cassidy tells it like it is, gives fashion advice, and gets brunch — but just like a noir detective and not like a Sex and the City character.
When Rudolph's dame ends up in Burt's office, he judges both her situation and her kitten heels, determining that her man is definitely cheating on her. But he realizes she needs a friend, so he lets her stick around and comforts her with a manly Comsopolitan quiz, along with a (narrated) allusion to the fact that his husband also cheated on him. In a vulnerable moment, the dame attempts to make out with Burt, who rejects her. "Honey, read the room," he says, showing a bit of sass in his deep, noir voice. She almost leaves, defeated, but Burt stops her and says that they're going out. He picks out a fedora from his fedora-filled closet and they head out for a night on the town.
Hayes' Burt Cassidy was a fun twist on the usual macho noir detective character, as well as the stereotyped "sassy gay friend" trope that has existed in a lot of books, TV shows, and movies in pop culture. It was a hilarious way to subvert the stereotypes and create a character that Twitter really wants to see do more.
Maya and Marty ended its six-episode first-season run on Tuesday night, but who knows — if the show returns, maybe Burt Cassidy will, too.
Image: Virginia Sherwood/NBC