Maya Rudolph Recalls Publicly Quitting SNL—Only to Unquit Days Later

Lorne Michaels has a reputation for not accepting SNL cast resignations until they’ve had a few months to think about it. It would seem it’s not without good reason.

In a new interview with The New York Times, Maya Rudolph recalled quitting the show after her seventh season, only to change her mind.

“I wasn’t ready to leave when I [first] left,” she told the Times. “I kind of left twice, I said goodbye, and I was like, Oh, I’m back for one more.”

One can be forgiven for not remembering, but Rudolph did all of this quite publicly. 

With just five days to go before the show’s Season 33 premiere, she told NBC that she was stepping down. (The network announced her departure the next day, saying “we wish Maya nothing but the best.’)

A day later, NBC made another announcement—that Rudolph had changed her mind. ”It was an agonizing decision,” she was quoted saying in the announcement. “But ultimately, I feel I made the best choice both as a mother and as an actress. I couldn’t be happier to be returning to SNL.”

As it happened, her eighth and final season would be short-lived. After the fourth episode, production was suspended due to the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike. Rudolph did not return to the cast after the strike ended in late February 2008.

She has, however, made many appearances on the show in the years since. In addition to hosting twice (in  2012 and 2021), she’s made a whopping 24 cameo appearances.

Years ago, in an interview with Jimmy Fallon, she noted “I’m sort of like the ghost of 8H. I won’t leave. I have a little studio apartment in [then SNL announcer’s] Don Pardo’s booth. I love that place so much.” 

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