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Sunday, February 28, 2021

BARF: Maya Rudolph Says Playing VP Harris on ‘SNL’ Like Wearing a ‘Superhero Cape’

Now that Saturday Night Live has a presidential administration it’s allowed to love and support with its weekly broadcast, Maya Rudolph has been gushing about her gig as the sketch series’ version of the cool “power boss” Vice President Kamala Harris. As opposed to when SNL hounded the last administration with grotesque and mean-spirited caricatures, the SNL alum and Bridesmaid actress likened her role as the new VP to donning a “superhero cape.” 

It’s really gross.

The pleasure was all Rudolph’s, as she discussed the excitement of playing Kamala Harris on the NBC comedy show with Entertainment Weekly. After all they’re both bi-racial, and they’re both avid Democrats. You could really tell the pair’s similar political alignment from Rudolph’s sheer giddiness at pursuing a flattering and “joyful” portrayal of a woman she feels she has “resembled.”

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Imagine, for a moment, what Rudolf would sound like in an interview about playing, say, a GOP congresswoman …. 

In a puff piece from February 22, the outlet teed up the Rudolf’s Harris hero worship, framing her comedy sketch depiction within the grand historical moment that is a Kamala Harris Vice Presidency. EW wrote, “But the historical significance of her latest role is hardly lost on the little girl who grew up biracial with so few models in public life to look to.” Oh man, imagine if the power hungry, heavy-handed CA prosecutor – with a history of questionable means of acquiring political promotions – was actually a role model. How much more effusive would EW be?

Perhaps Rudolph should be allowed to have a do-over after telling the outlet, “Knowing that there was a candidate that I resembled so much was so cool in and of itself.” Does she really see a lot of herself in the deeply unpopular female candidate who came to her office with a track record of incarcerating minorities for minor offenses, hounding religious people with her power as CA Attorney General and being one of Willie Brown’s “closest” confidants? Well if she’s sure, she’s sure. 

And despite Harris being joke fodder as much as any over-the-top corrupt politician, her SNL counterpart signaled the series’ interest in painting Harris in a good light. Rudolph reflected on the pleasant and “joyful” portrayal of the current VP. “I also just felt really lucky that we figured out a way to have fun with her early on and make her a joyful character,” she admitted. Oh yes. Harris is erudite and scandal free. Everywhere she goes she leaves behind the scent of roses, too. 

Rudolph didn’t even flinch or express any internal conflict when claiming, “There’ve been times when you’re asked to play up someone’s flaws or characteristics that are annoying or frustrating or embarrassing. This one feels like a superhero cape I get to don.” Talk about literal hero worship, though the only thing Harris has in common with superheroes is her superhuman aptitude for putting people behind bars. 

The real point of contention is just how obvious Rudolph and SNL’s bias really is. Even if Kamala is a terrible leader (and she is), she is a Democrat vice president. What’s good for her is good for SNL. The minute a Dem is in power, SNL goes back to being a little lamb towards that administration.

It was so obvious even in the first episode of SNL since the Biden inauguration. They didn’t even make one joke at President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ expense. Think about how Vice President Pence, for example, had many good qualities and was hounded by the show for the last few years. Now that Kamala’s in, they flat out admit they’re protecting her.

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