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Variety is the spice of 'SNL' alum Maya Rudolph's NBC musical-comedy special

This photo released by NBC shows, from left, Maya Rudolph, Craig Robinson, and Kristen Bell in a scene from

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This photo released by NBC shows, from left, Maya Rudolph, Craig Robinson, and Kristen Bell in a scene from "The Maya Rudolph Show." Rudolph's variety-series inspired special, "The Maya Rudolph Show," premieres Monday, May 19, 2014, at 10 p.m. EDT on NBC. (AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - There's no kitchen sink, but Maya Rudolph has thrown just about everything else into the opening number of her variety series inspired NBC special, "The Maya Rudolph Show."

"There's comedy and music and special guests and animals," the "Saturday Night Live" alum said in a recent interview. The show premieres Monday (10 p.m. EDT).

Animals?

"Well, there's only one, I'm not going to lie," Rudolph said with a smile. "There's one pony that just shows up. I just felt like it was important to have."

Also in the opener: guest stars Sean Hayes and fellow "SNL" alums Fred Armisen and Andy Samberg, as well as children and a plate spinner.

But that astronaut on stilts might have ended up on the cutting-room floor, she said.

Rudolph said she was inspired by "The Muppet Show" and "The Carol Burnett Show."

Burnett's show "touched me in the same way that 'Saturday Night Live' did," she said. "It was sort of this environment that was created that felt like this special place, and anything was possible. And people were just naturally giddy and happy when they came on."

Rudolph said she would love to do a weekly series.

"Are you kidding me? If I had the chance to continue to do this, I would be 'very psyched,' as the kids say."

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Online:

http://www.nbc.com/the-maya-rudolph-show

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Mike Cidoni Lennox at http://twitter.com/CidoniLennox

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