'The Maya Rudolph Show' lets Rudolph's 'comedy spirit animal' out to play

maya-rudolph-show-logo-nbc.jpgHaving Maya Rudolph host a variety show is so obvious, it's surprising it hasn't been done before NBC's Monday, May 19, special, "The Maya Rudolph Show."

Rudolph's years on "Saturday Night Live" proved how perfect she is for a variety show, given that she can sing and is funny. For now, the network and Rudolph say this is a special, but she's hopeful it could turn into a series.

Running a few minutes late because she was taking care of her children -- four under 9 -- Rudolph considers how much she enjoys variety shows.

"I had a little epiphany watching 'The Carol Burnett Show' with my kids," she says. "I watched forever, and there are certain things you really can watch with your children, and once I realized I could watch that with them, I was excited to watch with them."

"I never as a kid said, 'And then when I am 41 years old, I will have my own variety show,'" she tells  Zap2it. "I think my comedy spirit animal lies within variety. The thing I miss more than anything about 'SNL,' after I left, was being with my friends, fooling around, laughing with the funniest people on Earth. Those moments where you are rehearsing and tired and waiting for the camera, those are the moments I miss and cherish."

She invited some of those friends to this special: Andy Samberg, Kristen Bell, Fred Armisen, Chris Parnell, Craig Robinson and Sean Hayes. Rudolph had just finished shooting all but one sketch.

"It was definitely the first time I got to show people what my real hair looks like without having a wig on top of it, and saying my name out loud," she says. "People know me for characters, and that is wonderful, but it was nice to be myself for a change."
Photo/Video credit: NBC