WASHINGTON: American actor and comedian Maya Rudolph won her second Emmy in the Best Comedy Guest Actress category thanks in part to her impersonation of US Vice President Kamala Harris in ‘Saturday Night Live’ (SNL).
Rudolph’s submission for ‘SNL’ was ‘Host: Maya Rudolph’, which aired on March 27 on NBC as the 15th episode of Season 46.
As per Variety, by taking home the trophy during Sunday’s 2021 Creative Arts Emmy ceremony, Rudolph became the first person in 20 years to repeat in the category.
Jean Smart was the last person to accomplish the feat in 2000 and 2001. In the two decades since, Cloris Leachman, Kathryn Joosten and Tina Fey all won twice in this category, but non-consecutively.
This year, Rudolph’s co-nominees were Jane Adams, Yvette Nicole Brown, Bernadette Peters, Issa Rae and Kristen Wiig. Rudolph also recently won her second voice-over Emmy for ‘Big Mouth’.
With these wins, Rudolph also becomes only the second woman of colour and the fourth person of colour overall to pick up back-to-back acting wins in the same category from the Television Academy.
Bill Cosby was the first to achieve this, with consecutive lead drama actor wins for ‘I Spy’ in 1966, 1967 and 1968. Charles S. Dutton became the second, winning a guest drama actor statue in 2002 for ‘The Practice’ and then the same race in 2003 for ‘Without A Trace’.
Regina King was the first woman to do this, winning the supporting limited series/TV movie actress race first in 2015 and then again in 2016, both times for ‘American Crime’.
“I feel really honoured to be a part of something like that,” Rudolph told reporters via Zoom backstage on Sunday.
“I feel really honoured that I’m part of a legacy. … It’s wild to be part of any group of anybody or anything, and I think it’s especially sweet for somebody like me, who just really feels like I am very much my own person and my own thing. I’m just doing only what I know how to do, so it feels really good to be acknowledged in that way,” she added.
In 2020, Rudolph won guest comedy actress for appearing as then-Sen. Kamala Harris in the Eddie Murphy-hosted episode of NBC’s late-night sketch comedy series.