Maya Rudolph is a total ‘mother’ as SNL cast skips cold open to celebrate with their moms

In honour of Mother’s Day, the cast of Saturday Night Live paid tribute to their mothers with the help from host Maya Rudolph.

On Saturday 11 May, SNL ditched its typical cold open in favour of a special message from moms. Veteran SNL comedian Kenan Thompson opened the show with his mother, Ann, as several other cast members brought out their moms to offer sweet and amusing anecdotes.

SNL alum Maya Rudolph hosted this week’s show with musical guest Vampire Weekend. While the Bridesmaids star is a mother of four, Bowen Yang and Sarah Sherman aptly reminded Rudolph in her opening monologue that she is also “mother”.

Maya Rudolph is ‘mother’ as SNL cast celebrates Mother’s Day with their moms (YouTube / Saturday Night Live)
Maya Rudolph is ‘mother’ as SNL cast celebrates Mother’s Day with their moms (YouTube / Saturday Night Live)

“Maya, look, you’re not just a mom. You’re ‘mother,’” Yang joked.

“You’re a 30 Rock legend. You’ve had your foot on our necks since Y2K,” Sherman added, as the Las Culturistas host chimed in: “You were the first to slay the house down boots, queen!”

Rudolph’s opening monologue then turned into a ball, straight from the LGBTQ+ ballroom scene of the 20th century, as the 51-year-old comedian became “Mother of the House of Rockefeller”. Rudolph, who quickly changed into a black catsuit with shimmering accents, was surrounded by dancers as she began voguing and rapping about being a “mother”.

“It’s Mother’s Day, y’all,” Rudolph rapped. “Today we celebrate all kinds of mothers: step-mothers, godmothers, mothers from another brother, Dance Moms, Octomom…”

Her opening monologue took viewers backstage through 30 Rock’s Studio 8H, as Rudolph referenced some iconic SNL sketches like Coneheads and Molly Shannon’s Mary Katherine Gallagher.

“Giving gorgeous, serving pretty, they did it live from New York City. I’m your mother,” Rudolph ended.

Rudolph, who was a cast member on SNL from 2000 to 2007, previously hosted the show in 2012 and 2021. She’s made brief cameos over the years – returning as US Vice President Kamala Harris in 2020, and joining fellow alums Kate McKinnon and Kristen Wiig in an ABBA spoof last December.

The Loot star shares four children with director Paul Thomas Anderson. The couple have been together since 2001. Their first child, daughter Pearl, was born in 2005. Rudolph and Anderson later welcomed their daughter Lucille in 2009 and their son Jack in 2011. Their fourth child, daughter Minnie, was born in 2013. She is named after Rudolph’s late mother, the legendary singer Minnie Riperton.

During a recent appearance on Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert, Rudolph denied that her famous parents helped her comedy career. “They were musicians. They weren’t actors,” she said in April. “My trajectory was, I wanted to go to New York and I wanted to be on Saturday Night Live. I understand that drive to be somewhere else – forage in a new city and create my own path.”

“But that’s a huge undertaking. I wasn’t like, ‘Oh my dad writes songs, that’s gonna make me a comedian,’” she said, referencing her father, musician Richard Rudolph. “There was no direct line. I knew I had to get there myself.”