If you're Canadian, you might have heard about Working the Engels, a Canadian-American sitcom, which is the first collaboration of its kind. Sure, there have been imports back and forth (Are You Afraid of the Dark?, anyone?) but Engels will in fact be the first true collaboration between the two countries that has successfully made it to air in both nations as well. While our Canuck brothers and sisters to the North have been able to enjoy the show since March on Global Television Network, we'll be getting a taste starting this week as part of NBC's summer schedule. If you aren't excited yet, you're not alone. Reception for the new sitcom has been lukewarm at best.
It's disappointing news, since the show is created by Katie Ford, who wrote Miss Congeniality. The new program's saving grace, however, is the mega-talent in front of the camera: Andrea Martin, who should be your new reason for living as she's the absolutely the best part of the show. The cheeky promos lead with the tagline "Andrea Martin is Not Dead," and boy, are we glad. Engels has Martin playing a widow trying to keep her dead husband's law firm afloat (even though her daughter is the only certified lawyer in the family).
If Martin's face looks familiar, it's because she's had quite the career already, both on stage and screen. Here are some of our favorite reasons to love the funny lady, and look forward to catching up with Engels all summer, if only for Martin's comedic genius.
1. She's Wanda the Word Fairy
If you grew up watching Sesame Street (and who didn't) you might recognize Martin as the payphone answering fairy who guided you through some vocab. Martin's little sketches were delightful, and something she was rather adept at, seeing as how she was a member of Second City, writing for and appearing on the improv company's televised sketch show SCTV.
2. She Bummed Liz Lemon Out
30 Rock fans can catch Martin in the episode "My Whole Life is Thunder" as the host of Lifetime's "80 Under 80" honors. Martin memorably totally interrupts Liz and Jenna's feud at the ceremony with some very depressing details about her newfound loneliness.
3. She's Hedwig's Agent
Post-Tony Awards, everyone's got Hedwig and the Angry Inch fever. Let's not forget that Martin originally played the titular protagonist's agent in the independent cinema incarnation of the musical.
4. She'll Make You A Part of the Family
...but also tell you all about her health problems and "bibopsy" as her character Aunt Voula from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
5. She Delights Theater Nerds
Martin is an accomplished Broadway star with roles in Young Frankenstein, and Pippin, for which she won a Tony.
While the jury is still out on whether Working the Engels will wow US audiences, one thing is for certain: Martin is a jewel.
Image: Anam Syed (GIF)