Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Maya Rudolph rates the SNL women in the event of black widow bite

Jimmy Kimmel, Maya Rudolph
Jimmy Kimmel, Maya Rudolph
Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live

It’s good to have friends. It’s even better to have some of the funniest people on the planet for friends, especially, according to Maya Rudolph, when one of the deadliest creatures on the planet decides to take a big, whomping bite out of you. That’s the lesson the Saturday Night Live legend and current robot fighter imparted to Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday, anyway, as she shared details from the eventful weekend that went on to inspire the Amy Poehler-directed movie Wine Country.

Advertisement

There to chit-chat about her role in the animated, widely praised family-versus-the-robot-apocalypse movie The Mitchells Vs. The Machines, Rudolph spent most of her airtime keeping Kimmel on the edge of his seat with the unexpectedly perilous details of the SNL pals’ supposedly relaxing trip to—you guessed it—wine country. In Wine Country’s pleasantly funny paean to the real-life friendship among some of SNL’s all-star female talents, if you recall, Rudolph’s character is bitten by a poisonous snake, because all fictional bonding adventures need a little comically heightened peril. Except, as Rudolph told Kimmel, it wasn’t, in fact, a snake but a very venomous black widow spider that sank its fangs into Rudolph at the Palm Springs spa the group had chosen to celebrate Ana Gasteyer’s birthday. Oh, and Rudolph was naked at the time, since she’d been given the ancient massage room where, apparently, at least one member of the genus Latrodectus was pretty peeved about being disturbed.

Again, it’s good to have friends, and Rudolph shared which of the kick-ass comedy women in attendance snapped into action to help. Amy Poehler? She’s the one who takes charge and firmly tells the panicky staff that, no, they’re not going to the emergency room, thanks. (The unlucky—and presumably tasty—Maya explained that her blood was already coursing with antibiotics from a bee sting the day before.) Tina Fey went into the other room to freak out to husband Jeff, before returning to deliver some calming mom-voice reassurance. Paula Pell went into full mothering mode, stroking Rudolph’s hair and telling her everything’s going to be all right. (Which sounds genuinely comforting, honestly.) SNL and Wine Country writer and costar Emily Spivey hit the bar—hard. And, as for Rachel Dratch? Well, as Rudolph stated, Dratch exiting and hitting the showers (literally) was probably helpful, somehow.

Moving on from an talk of creature rebellions and robot apocalypses, Rudolph and Kimmel then reminisced about the enduring prescience of Mike Judge’s Idiocracy, where Maya, of course, played time-frozen prostitute-turned-First-Lady Rita in a land ruled by the vapid and ridiculous. Kimmel noted the similarities between Idiocracy America’s blustering and over-his-head former pro wrestler President Camacho (Terry Crews), and the fact that America eventually and actually elected a member of the WWE Hall Of Fame to lead it, something Rudolph could only acknowledge in solemn appreciation of Judge’s prognostications. (Plus, Crocs. Dumb plastic shoes that “make[s] your foot look like Barney Rubble”? Sure. But Rudolph admits she has many, many pairs at home.) As Rudolph put it, a movie about “dumb-dumbs in the future” played to her kids in the 2016-2020 present like a documentary. At least the giant spiders haven’t arrived yet.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.