If there's anyone looking forward to extra screen time on NBC's Saturday Night Live, it's Maya Rudolph. A cast member for eight seasons since 2000, the actress recurring appearances on the long-running variety series most recently as Sen. Kamala Harris. Rudolph appeared as the senator during the Democratic presidential debate segments during Harris' run in the primary. As the Democratic frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden picked the senator from California as his running mate for the upcoming 2020 presidential election on August 11th. Coincidentally, Rudolph spoke to Entertainment Weekly as part of their special on double Emmy-nominees providing her reaction when she just learned of the news during the interview from co-panelist Angela Bassett.
"Oh s***," Rudolph said upon learning of the news. "Somebody's gonna be very busy now," actress and comedienne Wanda Sykes quipped. "I love going to the show," Rudolph continued. "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. Ever since I was a kid, truly, I wanted to be on any kind of SCTV, Saturday Night Live, and I can't believe that I got to work there, and I can't believe that it's my family still. I'm so thrilled to even be associated with the show and that I got to go back. It's like the gift that keeps on giving. Honestly, it's my favorite place to play." The actress/comedienne is nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in her portrayal of Harris on SNL.
After the initial shock wore off, Rudolph was able to collect her thoughts. "I'm as surprised as you are, guys. That's spicy," she said. "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." NBC announced SNL will resume performing at their studios with precautions in place at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York when season 46 goes underway. Aside from playing Harris, Rudolph also played influential political figure former FLOTUS Michelle Obama.
One question emerging from this is who will play Biden in the upcoming season? Former cast member Jason Sudeikis was him in a recurring role and host Woody Harrelson played him on his episode. Michaels made the conscious decision to replace Darrell Hammond as Donald Trump with film star Alec Baldwin during the 2016 primary and became a regular ever since into his presidency. Will Rudolph regularly upstage her male counterparts similarly to when Tina Fey played former GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin in 2008?