Maya Rudolph’s 7 Most Memorable TV Roles From ‘Loot’ to ‘Saturday Night Live’

Maya Rudolph
Apple TV+

Maya Rudolph’s onscreen start wasn’t what you’d expect from the now-familiar comedic actress. Her first TV role was actually in the hospital drama Chicago Hope as nurse Leah Martine on several episodes between 1996 and 1997. Quickly afterward though, she joined Saturday Night Live, and ever since, she has been one of the funniest people to grace our televisions.

Her sarcastic wit, which often juggles between serious and silly, is seen in all of the characters that she has played. Whether Rudolph is guest starring, recurring, or the star of the show, she gives the audience a character to remember.

Below, take a look at our seven favorite roles from Rudolph so far.

Loot Season 1 Maya Rudolph
Apple TV+

Loot (Apple TV+)

Loot sees Rudolph as the leading character Molly Novak, a divorced billionaire who recently found out that her husband John Novak (Adam Scott) had an affair with his assistant, Hailey (Dylan Gelula). And after a bit of partying, Molly dives right into work at her charity… which she didn’t realized existed. As she had never truly done any of the work before, it is more of a challenge than she could’ve imagined.

With help from no-nonsense Sofia Salinas (Mj Rodriguez), Molly slowly begins the journey to becoming a better person. Rudolph’s chemistry with both Rodriguez and Joel Kim Booster, who plays her assistant, Nicholas, is extremely endearing on the hilarious recent comedy series.


Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Rudolph’s big break, of course, was as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Her first appearance as a featured player was in Season 25’s final three episodes, and she stayed on the sketch comedy until 2007. Since leaving, she has returned to host and to portray now Vice President Kamala Harris.


Throughout the years, Rudolph honed her comedic style, remaining one of SNL‘s more popular cast members. And during her run, she portrayed a wide arrange of celebrities: a name-dropping Oprah Winfrey, an Oscar-accepting Halle Berry, a prankster version of Maya Angelou, hip-hop era Christina Aguilera, a glammed-up Beyoncé, a Donatella Versace even the real one would endorse, and many more. But our favorite? Her spot-on Harris impersonation.

Maya Rudolph in Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Ray Mickshaw/Fox

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox/NBC)

When goofy cop Jake Peralta (Rudolph’s ex-SNL cast mate Andy Samberg) and Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) are in the Witness Protection Program they have to contend with U.S. Marshal Karen Haas (Rudolph). She is a stern government employee who often comes to check up on Jake and Holt, give them updates on the criminal they are in hiding from, Figgis (Eric Roberts), and quiz them on their aliases.

Although this was a rather small role in the hit series, which later moved from Fox to NBC, Rudolph left an impression in a show jam-packed with great comedic actors.


The Good Place (NBC)

Judge Gen — short for Hydrogen, the only element in existence when she was born — might have been one of the funniest characters on NBC’s The Good Place besides its main ensemble. The difficult Judge, who presides in the “Neutral Zone” is also the eternal being who is tasked with enforcing the rules of the not-so-modern Afterlife — and she does not like to bend those rules.

Her complete disregard for what human life truly means, though distressing for the characters, is hilarious for viewers. However, they do find a way in to her soul: TV. Gen is an avid fan of multiple series including NCIS, Deadwood and Justified. Hey, if you were eternal, you’d watch a lot of TV too!

Maya Rudolph - Documentary Now

Documentary Now! (IFC)

Documentary Now! was created by Saturday Night Live alums Fred ArmisenBill HaderSeth Meyers and Rhys Thomas, so, it was almost inevitable that Rudolph was going to show up in one of the fictional documentary’s funny episodes. “Final Transmission,” a Talking Heads-inspired tribute, takes place in the second season, and Rudolph’s Anita is a perfect rendition of what is supposed to be Tina Weymouth.

Rudolph uses her comedic chops in the best way possible to explain the ridiculousness of what their fictional band “Test Pattern,” gets up to. Although, it never feels too absurd thanks to the subtlety of Anita’s body language and little ticks, which make it all the more believable.

Prime Video

Forever (Prime Video)

Forever sees Rudolph team up again with former SNL costar Armisen. The two play a married couple, as they often did on SNL, who are steeped in their safe, but boring life. They unfortunately both die within a year of each other. Oscar Hoffman (Armisen) skis into a tree and his wife June (Rudolph) follows him into the afterlife by choking to death on a macadamia nut. In the afterlife, known here as Riverside, the two reconnect, but sadly enough, June realizes that she wasn’t very happy in her quiet marriage.


The simple but somehow still absurd premise of the show, which only lasted one season, uses the talents of both Armisen and Rudolph to their advantage, as they both hit all of their marks, even garnering laughs during the show’s more serious bits. 


Big Mouth (Netflix)

Rudolph voices several characters in Netflix’s hit animated series Big Mouth, but her female counterpart to Nick Kroll’s Hormone Monster Maury, Connie, is her standout role and also the one she voices the most. Connie is understanding, sensual, empathic, funny, and like all characters on the show… horny! Like all Hormone Monsters, Connie helps the pre-teens come to terms with their sexuality, and changing bodies and feelings. But in our opinion, she’s the best Hormone Monster on the show (Sorry, Maury!).

Connie is one of the best parts of Big Mouth and the voice role has won Rudolph two Emmys so far. Even in Netflix’s spinoff Human Resources Connie has a major part, and whenever she comes on screen, she steals the show.