UPDATE: No, Maya’s not leaving SNL after all, so just look at the pretty picture in this post and ignore the rest!
She’s in. She’s out. She’s coming back. No, she’s not. The rumors have been floating around for a while now, but EW.com insists that Maya Rudolph has resigned from, rather than re-signed with, Saturday Night Live. There’s no official statement yet, but some blogs cite personal and family reasons rather than money or screen time. SNL returns this coming Saturday; this would have been Rudolph’s eighth season.
The worst thing about this, other than the fact that we’ll no longer get to see Maya’s side-splitting impressions of Whitney Houston, Oprah Winfrey or Donatella Versace — or see her "translate" for Fred Armisen’s kooky Prince or play Nooni to his Nuni — is that her departure leaves only two female cast members on SNL, Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig. And although each of those women possesses more talent than any three of the male cast members put together, that’s a ridiculously low percentage — even for a show that has a crappy track record of giving women their due.
I’ll miss you, Maya, but I wish you a happy life and a movie career that’s more like Molly Shannon‘s than Victoria Jackson‘s. Hold on tight to the Shrek stuff!