*Here’s a case of life imitating art.
Maya Rudolph wasn’t due to join her cast mates of NBC’s new sitcom “Up All Night” at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour on Monday, having given birth to her third child just five weeks ago. But she ended up taking the Beverly Hilton stage to promote the show after all – at least in the flesh.
“I just had a child and I’m in a bit of a fog. I’m not going to lie to you,” she told a reporter when asked if her character, a talk show host, would be discussing current headlines – like Mariah Carey’s bizarre behavior during a recent appearance on HSN.
“I pumped about a half-an-hour ago. So when you say ‘the headlines,’ I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said. “But I’m sure whatever Mariah Carey did was probably hilarious, and I wish her the best.”
Rudolph was operating under the same mental fog endured by the characters of her “Up All Night” co-stars Christina Applegate and Will Arnett, who play a hard-partying married couple who have an unplanned child. In the original pilot given to the press, Rudolph was mostly comic relief as the owner of a public relations agency that Applegate’s character helped run.
But “Up All Night” is currently being reworked to give co-star Rudolph more screen time. She’ll now play an Oprah Winfrey-like, inspirational talk-show host, with Applegate’s character portraying the show’s producer.
Executive producer Lorne Michaels, also on Monday’s panel, said changes to Rudolph and Applegate’s characters “won’t change the dynamic much.”
Show creator Emily Spivey explained that Rudolph’s Ava is “a little bit out of control backstage, but her on screen persona is very much of wanting to enlighten women and be very in control.” Spivey, a former writer for Michaels’ “Saturday Night Live,” said the changes were made primarily because Rudolph had done a memorable impersonation of Winfrey during her “SNL” run in skits written with Spivey.
In the bonus audio below, Maya talks about her Oprah skits, meeting the TV titan for the first time and Winfrey’s reaction to the impersonation.