black women

Maya Rudolph’s show on NBC is a Big Step for the Network’s poor racial history

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Reported By Liku Zelleke

NBC has set has set the date for Maya Rudolph’s new variety show. It will be aired at 22:00 on Monday, May 19th.

The pilot of “The Maya Rudolph Show” will have a cast of Andy Samberg, Kristen Bell, Fred Armisen, Chris Parnell, Craig Robinson, Sean Hayes and Janelle Monae.

In case you’re wondering what all the fuss is about and why the announcement, then you must have not heard about Maya Rudolph (highly improbable) or her comedy series “Up All Night” in which she co-starred with Christina Applegate and Will Arnett.

Well, apparently when the show didn’t go forward with a planned multi-camera revamp, Rudolph informed studios and networks that she wanted to do something different and go with a variety show.

The first studio that wanted to back her was NBC and they dealt on it, all the way to a pilot order. This time around, she will have the chance to again work with Lorne Michaels, who had produced “Up All Night“.

Rudolph is the daughter of soul singer, Minnie Riperton. Her father composer, songwriter and producer Richard Rudolph, is an Ashkenazi Jew, a unique combination which must have been a factor that contributed to her unique talent and character.

Rudolph was a star, and in a class of her own, on “Saturday Night Live“. She had been with SNL for over 7 years, during which she garnered a loyal fan following, created some of the most unforgettable original characters and was perfect in her unforgettable impersonations.

Apart from acting, Rudolph is known for her capability of throwing her voice around. On SNL she has entertained her viewers with performances impersonating stars like Beyoncé, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston and Barbra Streisand – a lineup that would make anyone wonder why she didn’t opt for a singing career instead of an acting one.

Rudolph receiving this opportunity as a black woman is also significant.  Just a few months ago, her former show, “Saturday Night Live,” was under fire for rarely hiring or promoting African American women.  So, this move is a symbolic one for NBC.

Anyone not looking forward to her pilot would sure be aiming to miss a treat.


  1. Bert C

    April 18, 2014 at 1:19 am

    In all due respect, I don’t see her as being black. When the issue of female black comedians came up recently Maya’s name was not mentioned in the articled I read.

    • Chris40

      April 18, 2014 at 3:10 am

      I don’t see Maya Rudolph as being Black either!!!! Also, I don’t trip ova Saturday Night Live for hiring sistas!!!

  2. Gene

    April 18, 2014 at 8:13 am

    She’s black,beautiful, and multi-talented and I love her. Good Luck Maya.

  3. keenah p

    April 18, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Good luck

  4. cheryl l.

    April 18, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Congratulations,Maya, and much more success. It does not matter what people think of you. Only you define who you are and as a side note, I truly was in awe of your mothers’ uniquely beautiful singing voice.

  5. SweetTweet

    April 18, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Say it again Cheryl I.!

  6. sandy reddic

    April 18, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Black people are not a monolith.I’ve heard Ms Rudolph state that she’s proud to be the daughter of Minnie Riperton and that she considers herself to be a woman of color.What more does she have to do to be “considered” black, negro, colored or african-american ?

  7. Pat

    April 18, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    I do not understand the fact that her father was an Ashkenazi Jew had to do with anything. Can anyone explain that

  8. Caryn G.

    April 18, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I Love this lady!! she is so….. Off the map Hilarious. and O.M.G. Mrs. Riperton is her Mommy Wow! R.I.P I’m STILL trying to hit that note in back down memory lane. 🙂 in the movies Brides maides, And Grown ups 1 and 2 she made your side Burn. SO….CONGRATULATIONS!!!! AND BLESSINGS!!!! to you. May God Continue to Bless you!! with your Beauty, CUZ BLACK, IS BEAUTIFUL Your career, & please never loose the Humor. DO A BRIDES MAIDES #2 Without Helen tho she just made me wanna puke! with her Rich As*** LOL

  9. Virginia Gentry

    April 19, 2014 at 1:02 am

    My goodness, this is why we can never go any further than we are. I think as black people we just hate each other. We don’t even have to blame other races. What difference does it make it she is black or not. Technically if she had a black mother, she is black. And if she wants to identify with blacks that is her choice. But at the end of the day, what her skin color looks like really does not matter because from dirth we come and dirth we will return to and it will be the soul that lives on and it has no color. So please people give this black and white issue a rest and worry more about where your soul will end up. God bless!

    • Jamie

      May 20, 2014 at 11:14 am

      Well said! 🙂

  10. Concerned

    June 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    African Americans come in all shades. That is what is so unique about us. Stop judging on looks and let people identify with who they are. It’s none of our business anyway. That’s up to the individual .

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