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The Hilarious Story About How Maya Rudolph Got Her Gig At ‘Saturday Night Live’ & Became One of the Funniest Comedians

Every successful celebrity had to start somewhere. Comedian Maya Rudolph is no exception. Before she appeared on the hit show ‘The Good Place’ and became a mainstay on ‘Saturday Night Live‘, the now 47-year-old entertainer was just among the many comics looking for their big break in the industry.

This is how she eventually found hers.

A Family of Entertainers

A young Rudolph with her father, Richard, mother Minnie and older brother, Marc.

Born to a music producer father and a singer mother, Rudolph can say that the talent for entertaining people runs in the family. She actually spent a part of her childhood on the road as they accompany her mom, Minnie Riperton, in her performances. The family, however, was struck with the death of Riperton when Rudolph was just seven years old. The singer perished from breast cancer at just 31.

Fortunately, the tragic event had silver linings for the impressionable Rudolph, who reportedly turned her sights on comedy in order to deal with the pain of the loss of her mother. Speaking in a 2018 interview with television personality Willie Geist, the comedian actually revealed that she was scared of being sad at the time.

Comedy Big Break

Rudolph worked on SNL from 2000 to 2007.

Sticking to comedy over the years, she eventually found her big break. Similar to other comedians, Rudolph first found success by getting on the long-running show ‘Saturday Night Live’. And the way she got her gig there is quite fitting of her hilarious public and on-screen persona.

According to the star, she sent in a tape of her work to the producers of the show and got a call for a meeting with SNL creator Lorne Michaels herself. In the meeting, Michaels reportedly asked the young comedian why she should work on the show. To this, Rudolph simply replied ‘because I love wearing wigs’.

Despite fearing that she blew her meeting, the comedian got a callback and was invited for a three-week-long trial run to appear on the show. What was supposed to be less than a month’s work stretched out to seven years as Rudolph became a mainstay on SNL. There, she got the chance to meet and work with future friends and collaborators such as Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Jimmy Fallon.

And while the pay was also good, she really hit the jackpot with SNL as she met her director husband, Paul Thomas Anderson, while working on the show. The couple now has four children together.

Movie Stardom

Rudolph (far right) in the comedy film ‘Bridesmaids’

After she left SNL, Rudolph began starring in various television shows and movies. But what really brought her widespread success is the Judd Apatow-produced film ‘Bridesmaids‘ in 2011. In the box-office hit, Rudolph played the character Lillian, a bride-to-be who’s best friends with the protagonist Annie, played by her real-life friend and fellow comedian Kristen Wiig. Since then, she’s also appeared in films like ‘The Emoji Movie’, ‘Grown Ups 2’ and ‘Big Hero 6’.

Her net worth is estimated to be around $10 million.

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