Maya Rudolph Says She Was Humiliated By David Letterman

Maya Rudolph was mortified years ago when she appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and he didn't know how to pronounce her name.

By Matthew Creith | Published

There are a few actors and comedians that can be called upon to present an award at the Emmys or Golden Globes that can instantly light the room up with a smile and snide remark. Maya Rudolph tends to do just that whenever she has taken the stage at an awards show, mostly due to her collective training while working on the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. Recently, Maya Rudolph was interviewed by WSJ. Magazine (via Yahoo! Entertainment) and she discussed how Late Show with David Letterman talk show host David Letterman humiliated her in 2009 by calling her the wrong name, instantly making her feel uncomfortable in front of millions of viewers when she didn’t have a quick comeback to take the awkwardness out of the moment.

Further along in her interview with WSJ. Magazine, Maya Rudolph explains that she wasn’t pleased with her appearance on Late Show with David Letterman back in 2009, mostly because she was enamored with Letterman since she was younger, and hoped to make a better impression with the legendary talk show host. Detailing that Letterman broke her heart by not knowing her name at first, Rudolph went on to say that she couldn’t reply with something funny in the moment because her “public persona muscle wasn’t strong yet.” It should be noted that Letterman did in fact apologize to the Bridesmaids actor later in the show, noting his failure to pronounce her name correctly and calling himself a “boob” for his mistake.

Maya Rudolph
Maya Rudolph on Saturday Night Live

Since then, Maya Rudolph has cultivated more of a stand-off approach when walking red carpets and attending large events where she has to constantly be in front of cameras as a celebrity. Over time, the well-trained actor and comedian has chosen to use her funny side when she feels uncomfortable, particularly in interviews on late night talk shows and when presenting at an awards gala that is televised. Leaning on her experience working with fellow Saturday Night Live alums Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Rudolph can often be seen as part of the trio whenever any of these actors are called upon to present something to the entertainment industry.

Maya Rudolph is currently starring as Molly Novak in the Apple TV+ television comedy series Loot, where she plays a newly divorced billionaire who reconnects with her charitable foundation, akin to real-life scenarios that have seen ex-wives MacKenzie Scott and Melinda Gates in the spotlight after their divorces from high-profile billionaires. The series was renewed for a second season on the subscription streaming platform and costars Pose actor Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Fire Island writer and star Joel Kim Booster, comedian Ron Funches, Nat Faxon, Olivier Martinez, Severance performer Adam Scott, and cameos from real-life celebrities like Seal and restaurateur David Chang. Rudolph will next be featured as part of the ensemble cast of Disenchanted, the sequel to the 2007 Disney film Enchanted, which is due to be released for streaming on November 18 on Disney+, and costars Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Idina Menzel.