Maya Rudolph Says It’s Not Easy Doing Beyoncé Impression in Front of Beyoncé

Going face to face with the star? ‘So embarrassing’
Maya Rudolph Says It’s Not Easy Doing Beyoncé Impression in Front of Beyoncé

Maya Rudolph recently reprised her Beyoncé impression on Saturday Night Live, downing fiery wings in another Hot Ones parody that had the diva suffering every imaginable kind of gastric distress. “You need to listen to me,” she tells Mikey Day’s Sean Evans. “Beyoncé about to do something very human, so I need you to blur my face in three, two, one. (Monster belch.) Oh, they trying to make a bitch caca herself!”

“Does Beyoncé weigh in?” wondered Jimmy Kimmel during Rudolph’s appearance last week on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “Does she know about your impression?” 

“She knows about my impression,” Rudolph replied, confirming the knowledge with an emphatic, “Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. She knows about my impression.”

It would be hard for Beyoncé, a four-time musical guest on the show, to ignore SNL Rudolph has done the impression 14 times over the years, depending on who’s counting. It was inevitable that the two would end up on the same 30 Rock stage at some point. “Therevs been so many different times where she was there at the show,” says Rudolph. “I can’t remember if it was when she was still in Destiny’s Child. I think she was there as a solo artist. I can’t remember because I’m getting on in years.”

Maybe the goofy impression never would have happened if Beyoncé had agreed to play herself in a Prince Show sketch written by Fred Armisen. When she demurred, Rudolph stepped in with her mockery. “Beyoncé” became a Prince Show regular over the course of the next few seasons. 

One of those shows led to an awkward interaction, that moment at the end of the night when everyone from cast members to musical guests joins together to wave farewell to the audience. “At goodnights, you have to stand next to the person you just did an impression of,” Rudolph says. But what could have been a tense moment was diffused pretty quickly. “She was very sweet about it.” 

On stage, Rudolph apologized for the send-up but that moment is “so embarrassing,” she explains. “I mean, she knows that my impression is filled with love and how much I love her. But it’s still embarrassing to do anything in front of the person.”

Did it help when Beyoncé quietly told Rudolph, “No, it was good”? 

A little, though Rudolph implies that the singer was being more polite than complimentary.


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