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Maya Rudolph Tells David Spade Story About Meeting Kamala Harris After Her Viral SNL Impression

Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris on Saturday Night Live.
(Image credit: NBC)

From Donald Trump to Barak Obama all the way back to Gerald Ford, Saturday Night Live is well known for its political impressions. In the latest presidential administration, we’ve seen many do their Joe Biden impression (Jim Carrey, Woody Harrelson and James Austin Johnson to name a few), but Maya Rudolph has been the one always playing the first woman to be vice president, Kamala Harris.  

Over the years some of these comedians have met the political leaders they play. Rudolph thought she never would because she played Harris during the height of COVID. However, she recently got to meet the vice president, and spoke with David Spade and Dana Carvey about it on their podcast Fly on the Wall (opens in new tab).  

During the elections, everyone would come through the building so you would get to cross paths sometimes with the people you were playing but I never got to do that. And then I just thought ‘Well, I’ll never meet her, it’s covid.’ But, I did just get to meet her, and then at a dinner, someone was asking ‘How do you play her?’ and I had to say it in front of her.

Rudolph explained that her impression is based in joy and how much she admires Harris. You can tell this is true. She’s clearly having a blast up on stage, dancing with Lysol cans in her hands during a Vice Presidential debate sketch. Earlier in the year, she used her screen time during a Presidential debate sketch to “have fun and get some viral moments” out of her facial expressions because she is the “funt,” America’s fun aunt.

Spade and Carvey gushed over her impression during the interview. Carvey, who impersonated George H.W. Bush back in the day, told her that because he could tell how much fun she was having doing the impression, it made him want to watch her more. Maya Rudolph responded to that compliment by saying her impressions feel like playing dress-up when as a kid. 

In fact, she wants to play pretend as these people and embody their confidence, noting her Kamala Harris impression reminded her of her Beyoncé impression in this sense.  This admiration for these women is what fills her impersonations with joy, which Rudolph explained when she met the Vice President. 

It’s joyful, and I said that to her. I find her to be joyful. She’s a big smiler. She feels like she’s got a lot of joy in her. She’s laughing at things. When she has to be serious, tough, stern, she is. It’s powerful. She’s powerful. It’s exciting.

While Rudolph has said she wasn’t ready to return to SNL, it sure has paid off. Her impression of Harris has been popular among audiences. For example, in the cold open before the election she stole the show, getting tons of attention on social media for her portrayal of the VP. 

While we know SNL regulars like Kate McKinnon and Pete Davidson have decided to leave the show, hopefully, Maya Rudolph will return to Studio 8H to play the Vice President. It’s entirely possible considering Harris will be in office until 2024… and will likely be a part of the upcoming election season. But, for now, go enjoy all the goodness that is Rudolph’s TV shows and movies and be sure to check out the Fall 2022 TV schedule for updates on when Saturday Night Live will return for its 48th season. 

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.