The truth about Maya Rudolph and Kamala Harris

The announcement that Kamala Harris will be Joe Biden’s running mate in the 2020 election was met with excitement from plenty of Democrats on social media. While seemingly everyone had a hot take about whether she was the right choice, some people were thinking of another added benefit of having her on the ticket: It would mean a lot more of Maya Rudolph’s Harris impression on Saturday Night Live. And the comedian herself definitely took notice. 

Rudolph is no longer a regular cast member on SNL — she first appeared on the show in 2000 and her final episode was in 2007 — but she comes back when called to play certain characters, which is what happened with her Harris impression. The first time Rudolph broke out the impression was in September 2019 for a DNC Town Hall sketch. The sketch was full of star power: Alex Moffat played Beto O’Rourke, Bowen Yang played Andrew Yang,  Colin Jost was Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker portrayed by Chris Redd, Elizabeth Warren by Kate McKinnon, Marianne Williamson by Chloe Fineman, and Larry David returned to do his Bernie Sanders routine. Woody Harrelson, the host that evening, played Biden.

While all the impressions were pretty spot-on, Rudolph’s impression of Harris was so good that they kept bringing her back, especially as the California senator gained some momentum in the polls before dropping out of the race in December 2019. But it looks like there’s going to be a lot more of Rudolph now. 

Maya Rudolph is ready to keep playing Kamala Harris

On social media, many people were excited that Kamala Harris joining Joe Biden on the 2020 presidential Democratic ticket meant that Maya Rudolph would likely be returning to Saturday Night Live. Even Rudolph was moved. She told Entertainment Weekly, “I’m as surprised as you are, guys. That’s spicy. I don’t know that I’m ready to go right this minute, but it’s so nice to have this nomination be associated with the show because it’s my true love.”

Rudolph added that she wouldn’t even mind commuting to take on the gig week to week. She said, “I love going to the show. Any excuse I can get, I love. I just didn’t really anticipate traveling during a pandemic, but if there’s anyone that can work it out I’m sure Lorne [Michaels] has some sort of invisible helicopter that can get me there.”

Harris will likely continue to be pleased with the impression of herself, in which she’s often seen as chasing a viral moment or being bitter about having to drop out, which at least shows she has a sense of humor. After the first of the three appearances Rudolph made as Harris, the senator tweeted a GIF from the show and even made a little joke about her iconic response to Biden during a town hall: “That girl was me.” 

Maya Rudolph got nominated for an Emmy for playing Kamala Harris

Maya Rudolph’s take on Kamala Harris on Saturday Night Live wasn’t just good, it might win her an award. The comedian was nominated for three Emmys in 2020: one for her appearance on SNL as the California senator, another for her voice role on Big Mouth, and the other for her appearance on The Good Place. So the talent is there, as will be the material once the campaign and debates really get up and running.

There’s one catch, though. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Saturday Night Live is on an indefinite hiatus. The cast put on a remote episode in April 2020, per Vulture, but since then, there have been no new episodes. A rep for the show told The New York Times, “We will monitor the situation closely and make decisions about future shows on an ongoing basis as further information develops.”

Hopefully, something develops soon. Because the people want what the people want… and that’s Rudolph back on their TV screens.

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