Maya Rudolph reflected on her first appearance on “The Late Show” with David Letterman in 2009 and claims he ‘humiliated’ her. Rudolph did not look back on the moment in her career fondly, during an interview with WSJ Magazine recently.
She told the outlet outright in fact: “I did not have a good time.” “He said my name wrong, and I just sat there, like, I grew up my whole life in love with you,” said Rudolph. “And now my heart is broken. And I’m sitting here embarrassed and humiliated. I didn’t know how to handle it. I didn’t know how to come up with something funny to say. My public persona muscle wasn’t strong yet,” she added. She acknowledged, however, that since the incident, which was 13 years ago, she’s “gotten much better,” adding, “When I’m uncomfortable, I try to be funny.”
A representative of Letterman said: “We must respectfully decline comment.” The incident happened when Letterman appeared to pronounce her name with an “a” at the beginning, as can be heard in a clip from her 2009 appearance. During the appearance, he apologized later for flubbing her name.
Rudolph spoke to the outlet at the top of the interview about how she struggled with all of the public-facing aspects early in her career, all of which stunted her comedy. “It would always feel like someone was stealing my soul,” said Rudolph. “That’s where, over the years, I created a persona to protect myself,” she added, according to the report.
She then went on in the interview to reflect on how sketch comedy had eventually become tiring for her. “Believe me, I am not a Pollyanna who’s like, I smile all day, every day,” explained Rudolph. “I get stressed out, I get pissed off, but I learned I could make a choice for myself, and it’s liberating. Maybe people who’ve worked as long as I have make other choices and have nicer cars. I don’t know, but it’s so important for me to [try to] have that balance,” she concluded.