Widely known for her outstanding roles in movies like Bridesmaids and Licorice Pizza, Maya Rudolph’s television career is equally impressive. The new AppleTV+ series Booty, which debuted on June 24, not only stars Maya Rudolph, but she also produced it. She’s a multi-talented actress who manages to convey a relatable humanity through her characters, whether in comedy or drama, voiceover or live action.
The wide variety of fictional characters she’s played are featured in some very high-profile series, according to reviews from Rotten Tomatoes. Although the Molly Kovak character from Booty only managed an honorable mention at number 11, the top 10 includes recognizable recurring characters like Disney+’s Aunt Cass in the new series Baymax! which began on June 29.
ten Bless the deer (2019-2021) 82%
Everyone loves a good dysfunctional family cartoon. The Harts are a southern family struggling to make ends meet but laughing along the way. The series follows matriarch Betty, her daughter Jenny, Jenny Violet and Wayne’s daughter.
In the series bless the deer, Maya plays Beatrice Jean (Betty) Hart who is the loving, albeit sassy, mother of Jenny Hart, voiced by Kristen Wiig. And while she might be a feisty woman, as her last name suggests, she really shows heart for those close to her. Maya brings an adorable quality to this character who, while vindictive and ruthless at times, has just the guts the show needs.
9 The Simpsons (2007) 85%
With its debut in 1989, The simpsons is the longest running American animated series and with 728 episodes, as of the end of season 33, it is also the longest running American primetime scripted television series. Most everyone knows Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, but there were a few notable performances.
In the episode, “The Homer of Seville”, Homer is mobbed by fans after becoming an overnight sensation for his operatic role in “The Barber of Seville”. Julia, voiced by Maya Rudolph, comes to the rescue but with ulterior motives. Due to the variety of character portrayals of Maya, she is able to capture this character’s duplicity very well.
8 I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman (2018) 93%
With only one season to speak of before being canceled by Hulu, I love you, America featured plenty of guests, but not the kind featured on most late-night talk shows. Sarah Silverman used the familiar format of pre-recorded monologues, interviews and scripted excerpts to explore different points of view on this specific moment. She covers serious issues without taking herself, or the show, too seriously.
As the life-size Lady Liberty, Maya has a conversation with Sarah on Ellis Island about the immigration experience. Sarah is distraught, and Maya’s flippant portrayal of the symbol of freedom and hope that America once stood for was a strange solace and quiet reminder between silly jokes and vaping. She tries to make Sarah laugh in every way and displays a decent French accent.
seven Human resources (2022) 95%
A spin-off of the series Big mouth, Human ressources features some of the show’s main characters, like Maury and Connie, in the office. These hormonal monsters are responsible for showing up to people during emotional times. And the monsters themselves have to deal with their own ups and downs.
Connie is the hormone freak who shows up at puberty. Maya is able to roam the entire map with this lively monster that goes from excitement to tears in the blink of an eye. His Southern sled makes for a comedic take on such a brash yet likable character.
6 Forever (2018-2021) 95%
This Amazon Prime Video comedy-drama set in predictable and tiresome Riverside, California, follows a couple through the drudgery of their daily existence. Oscar, who thrives on the routine of the familiar, fails to notice the consequences of this rut on his wife, June. She suggests a ski trip to change things up, but the change they get is a little more than expected.
June is going through a transition after the couple’s ski trip, which helps showcase Maya’s talent. For starters, she plays June’s displeasure perfectly, then transitions to wavering hope with such nuance. As one of the main characters, it’s her curiosity and uncertainty that pulls the viewer along for the ride.
5 Brooklyn nine-nine (2016) 95%
Running for eight seasons, this crime comedy revolved around a team of NYPD detectives to critical acclaim. The first season won a Golden Globe. Although canceled by Fox after the fifth season, it was picked up for three more seasons by NBC.
Karen Haas was the U.S. Marshal who oversaw witness protection for Larry and Greg. Maya played this character as an insane authority figure who takes herself very seriously. His interactions with Andy Samberg’s character are hilarious and condescending.
4 Angie Tribeca (2016) 96%
Steve and Nancy Carell created this TBS comedy starring Rashida Jones. It’s a police parody that follows a different criminal investigation conducted by the LAPD in each episode. The show ran for four seasons.
Maya guest stars as Jackie Wilder, in the episode “Organ Trail”. She’s a novelist called in to help the LAPD with her case. She hysterically describes the stories she has fabricated for each of the officers as they wince at the ridiculous details. It’s Maya’s grandiose delivery that conjures up the laughs.
3 The Good Place (2018-2020) 97%
When Eleanor Shellstrop is mistakenly welcomed into the Good Place after her death, she is determined to keep her place there by hiding her current flaws and past mistakes. The show challenges ethics and philosophy while remaining lighthearted. This NBC fantasy comedy series ran for four seasons and garnered critical acclaim and multiple Emmy nominations.
As Judge Gen in two episodes of The right place, Maya accepts a challenge from four humans, for entertainment. She comes across as authoritative but is still great fun with her colorful banter. The Judge still conveys a sense of threat, as she controls where they spend their afterlife, while maintaining an evil spirit and making sometimes devastating decisions.
2 Big Mouth (2017-2021) 99%
Although this is a coming-of-age series, Big mouth is much more an animation for adults. This puberty sitcom has won critical acclaim for its messages of acceptance. It was renewed for a seventh season in April 2022 by Netflix.
Diane is the mother of Judd, Leah and Nick. Maya gives this character real frustration with a cartoonish version of rage. Instead of just pulling her son’s phone away, she hits it with a poker and somehow makes viewers laugh, without cowering.
1 Baymax! (2022) 100%
This Disney+ series follows Baymax apart from his team of heroic friends from the feature film Big Hero 6. He was created to be a robot that showed up when people needed him. This series is no different, focusing on specific people who are physically in need of his medical help rather than general peril.
Aunt Cass is as charismatic and full of spunk as ever. And there’s no other actress who could represent her better than Maya Rudolph. Much like her role as Aunt Cass in the film, her enthusiastic and charming personality really contributes to the tone of the series. Since this series focuses on the Hamada family, there is a lot more Aunt Cass in the series than there was in the movie.
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