Yesterday, NBC announced that The Maya Rudolph Show, a new variety show special from the comedic actress of the same name, will premiere on May 19th. The Lorne Michaels-produced one-off special, which features guests like Craig Robinson, Andy Samberg, and Janelle Monáe, will serve as a pilot for a Rudolph-fronted variety show for the network.
Rudolph hosting a variety show is no surprise as she’s had dual passions for music and comedy for decades now. The daughter of soul singer Minnie Ripperton, Rudolph worked as a keyboardist and backup singer for the band The Rentals before landing at SNL. On SNL and Up All Night, Rudolph sang frequently, goofing on talented pop stars and horrendously untalented singers with equal precision. In 2012, she launched a female Prince cover band called Princess with friend Gretchen Lieberum, a college friend who’s an LA-based jazz singer-songwriter, and the group has found acclaim online.
To give you an idea of what to expect from The Maya Rudolph Show’s musical segments, here’s a collection of her best musical moments, both comedic and sincere:
Maya Rudolph performing a cover of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Home” with Paul F. Tompkins at his live Largo show, The Paul F. Tompkins Show.
A music video from Up All Night, in which Rudolph and The Lonely Island’s Jorma Taccone, as their characters Ava and B-ro, sing a cheesy ‘90s R&B song called “Basically.”
The recurring SNL sketch “Prince Show,” in which Rudolph, as Beyoncé, sings the theme song alongside Fred Armisen’s Prince.
The SNL sketch “Bossa Nova” featuring Rudolph and Armisen as a bossa nova band and host Alec Baldwin as a sleazebag.
An SNL sketch in which Rudolph plays winner of an MLB National Anthem contest, Pamela Bell.
A TRL parody for SNL featuring the Destiny’s Child parody band, Gemini’s Twin (Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer, and guest third member Gwyneth Paltrow).
Rudolph singing the theme song to recurring SNL sketch “Gays in Space.”
Playing Christina Aguilera on “Weekend Update.”
Maya Rudolph does a ton of impressions in this Ellen clip, including impressions of a bunch of singers in the back half.
Rudolph performing a cover of Tegan and Sara’s “Not Tonight” with Matt Sharp, frontman for The Rentals.
Doing her “national anthem” bit at Tenacious D’s Haiti benefit.
And, of course, three videos of Princess, Maya Rudolph’s Prince cover band with Gretchen Lieberum: