Maya Rudolph’s SNL ‘Mother’ Song Evokes Beyonce, Madonna

Maya Rudolph opened the Mother’s Day episode of “Saturday Night Live” with a tribute to mothers — in every sense of the term.

Hosting the sketch show’s penultimate episode of the season, Rudolph began her monologue by noting she’s a four-time mom herself. “But Maya, look — you’re not just a mom,” cast member Bowen Yang reminded her. “You’re mother,” invoking the term’s use in queer slang to describe powerful, aspirational women. “You were the first to slay the house down boots, queen!”

“Who me, mother?” Rudolph asked, feigning shock. “You’re right!” The host then launched into a propulsive dance number, strutting through Studio 8H — also known as “House of Rockefeller” — in a reflective bodysuit while delivering lyrics like “Oops, I made you dance / Remember in that movie when I pooped my pants?” Other lines played on the many meanings of “mother”: “Who’s your favorite funtie / It’s me, come on hunty! / I will also turn this car around if you don’t stop hitting your sister.”

The monologue also featured appearances from cast members Sarah Sherman, Kenan Thompson, Chloe Fineman (and her dog), and Punkie Johnson, who stepped in to deliver “a message from the gays” that “the monologue is giving body-ody-ody.” The performance ended on the main stage, now decked out with disco balls, where Rudolph unfurled a fan in one of several nods to drag aesthetics, including Thompson’s MC Infinity Decor and a panel of judges delivering verdicts of “10” and “I’m gagged.” The song alluded to pop cultural touchstones like Madonna’s “Vogue” and Beyoncé’s “Renaissance: Part I,” which also drew on ballroom culture.

Rudolph currently stars in “Loot,” the sitcom currently airing its second season on Apple TV+. Rudolph plays Molly Wells, a woman whose divorce from a Jeff Bezos-like billionaire inspires her to channel her wealth into nonprofit work. She also appears as a voice actor in “If,” the movie written and directed by John Krasinski that enters wide release on May 17. 

As a cast member of “Saturday Night Live” from 2000 to 2007, Rudolph co-starred in recurring sketches such as “Bronx Beat,” with Amy Poehler, and “The Art Dealers,” with Fred Armisen. She also crafted impressions of celebrities and public figures like Beyoncé, Maya Angelou and Donatella Versace.

Rudolph is hosting “Saturday Night Live” for the third time since departing the show. She first MCed in 2012 with musical guest Sleigh Bells, and again in 2021 with musical guest Jack Harlow. Rudolph has also made several cameos over the years, including as Vice President Kamala Harris.

Next week’s episode of “Saturday Night Live” will be Seasn 49 finale, featuring host Jake Gyllenhaal and musical guest Sabrina Carpenter.

Watch the sketch below:

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