Maya Rudolph as Beyonce

SNL alumna, Maya Rudolph, is returning to prime-time television with a new variety show produced by SNL executive-producer, Lorne Michaels. Deadline is reporting that Rudolph’s variety pilot with begin as a special after the Winter Olympics.

During Rudolph’s 7 year stint on SNL, some of her most memorable impersonations included Beyoncé Knowles, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand as well as Oprah, Donnatella Versace and Michelle Obama.  After leaving SNL, Rudolph’s career included several movie roles, and even small musical concerts.

One of Rudolph’s most memorable screen appearances was on the  Unsung episode, dedicated to her mother, Minnie Riperton:

  • LN

    Okay, I love Maya Rudolph. She was my fav on SNL. Which is why I excitedly watched Bridesmaids and then Up All Night — a sitcom Lorne Michaels produced for her. And frankly, it was TERRIBLE. I think Lorne Michaels is one of the most overrated producers in television. Maya herself is very talented, relatable and beautiful. I really hope they create something that does her justice.

    Oh, and I loved her too in Away We Go. Great movie.

  • roslynholcomb

    Up All Night was not the right venue for her. Her character could’ve and should’ve been the star of the show. The other two characters were just weak. Loved Away We Go as well. She is just incredibly talented.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    is this our SNL black woman?

  • apple

    she was (and don’t tell me she’s not, shes minnie reppertons daughter and considers herself black).. but she left snl i think a year or two ago.

  • -A.

    she already was. many forgot that.

  • Bree

    I saw a documentary in which Maya said that she didn’t feel black. And you can just look at the people she surrounds herself with to figure that out.

  • Jaimuziq

    No wonder Maya wouldn’t make a comment about no black female cast members on SNL now, she knew Lorne was developing a show for her :/

  • Anthony

    Maya Rudolph is incredibly talented, and I am a fan. I know her background, but I don’t see as black because I don’t really think she sees herself as black which is cool with me. I don’t want anyone identifying as black out of some sense of obligation.

  • libby

    Did Minnie have immaculate conception?… Because as far as I know she has a WHITE DADDY.
    No she does not consider herself Black, she identifies as mixed. SMH. Black +White= Black? I don’t think so.

  • libby

    On RACE

    W&H: What are your thoughts on why we don’t see more films with African American women leads.

    MR: It’s certainly not for me to answer because I have nothing to do with why the world is as fucked up as it is. It has less to do with TV and movies and more to do with race and history and culture. It’s obviously a reflection of the world we live in. Although I still can’t believe we have a president who is MIXED LIKE ME. It’s one thing that we have a black president but for me it’s even crazier because HE’S MIXED. I feel like I come from a smaller off shoot of black people because I am mixed. PEOPLE SAY I’m African American BUT that doesn’t include the other half of me.

    I can’t believe I’m living in a time where I feel proud of my president where I feel like things are actually positive and people feel good about where our country can be.

    I don’t know the answer to your question and I don’t know if there is one. I plan to keep doing what I’m doing because RACE IS just NOT a part of the way I look at the world and the way I live my life. I think that was a minor, key thing in the way that Dave and Vendela wrote the script. Verona is MIXED and Burt is white but nobody talks about it. That felt realistic to me in my day to day life. People expect race to be an issue and I was raised in a house where it was never as issue. My parents were interested in having us feel like we were NORMAL whatever that is.

  • SayWhat

    NO, we realize that she is mixed race. The black men on SNL are not only black, but they are dark skin, but somehow society’s idea of a black woman is usually one who is light/mixed race. So again, NO, she is not SNL’s first black woman and I was actually disappointed that she was chosen to play the FLOTUS……and this is coming from a Maya fan.

  • omfg

    she is not black and i see no reason why black people should claim her as such.

    stop accepting mixed people as proxies for black people. they are merely acceptable replacements for whites. and, they don’t mind being in that position.

  • omfg

    i once told this white guy that i didn’t consider maya rudolph black.

    he looked at me like i committed some sorta sin and asked me if i knew who her mother was.

    at any rate, here’s my proof. and nobody who wants a black woman to be on snl should feel comforted and satisfied that lorne michaels is doing something for her.

  • simplyme

    I have no problem with the way she views herself… but talk about having your cake and eating it too.

  • RJ

    If she does not consider herself black then why did she always play the black characters?

    They are black but they are also white. They do not cease being black because they have white heritage. Black is just not all that they are.

    This is political thought she is espousing and not common sense. Of course she is black and she is white. This is not rocket science people.

    If her life was surrounded by a mixture of races than she would make more sense, but she has seemingly decided to place herself in a white world.

    Tracee Ellis Ross has the same story as she does. Both born to successful black female singers and both have white/Jewish fathers (as a matter of fact their fathers look alike).

    One embraced being black, the other only does for professional gain and as a pop culture reference.

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