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What Maya Rudolph says is the key to her Kamala Harris impression

The comedian, who has won an Emmy for her portrayal of the vice president, pulls back the curtain on how she does it.
/ Source: TODAY

Maya Rudolph continues to make quite the impression.

The funny lady, who has wowed fans with her dead-on impression of Vice President Kamala Harris on “Saturday Night Live,” says there’s one key to doing it right.

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The key to pulling off her Kamala Harris impression? It's all about the wig and blazer, Maya Rudolph says.NBC

“It's the wig,” she said while laughing during an interview with Savannah Guthrie that aired Friday on TODAY. “It's a great blazer, and then I think just a little ... you know, maybe just a little bit of, like, the way she talks in the back of her throat. But what I notice about her — she's so smiley.”

“Saturday Night Live” has a storied tradition of performers portraying our national leaders, dating back to Chevy Chase playing Gerald Ford in the 1970s. Rudolph, who can be seen in the new animated comedy “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” on Netflix, says it’s amazing to think she’s part of this club.

“It's still not real to me,” she shared. “I watched a lot of people at the show playing the president or the vice president, and all the political characters, and there really wasn't anybody that resembled me. I wasn't really part of that, but it's such a legacy and such a rite of passage, particularly at that show, as well.”

Rudolph, 48, who was a cast member on the iconic late-night show from 2000 to 2007, has done the impression so well that it netted her an Emmy Award last year for outstanding guest actress in a comedy series, a category in which she was also nominated for her work on “The Good Place.” She also scored another Emmy win in 2020 for outstanding character voice-over performance for Netflix's “Big Mouth.”

Maya Rudolph as Vice President Kamala Harris alongside Jim Carrey as President Joe Biden on “Saturday Night Live.”NBC

Rudolph has also made her presence felt on the big screen. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the release of the 2011 comedy “Bridesmaids,” and she says she’s blown away by how fans continue to embrace the film.

“I'm always surprised when good things triumph,” she told Savannah. “You know, we were having so much fun when we made it, and we knew it was funny, but we were just enjoying it. And I think that fun was palpable. I think that was a big part of it.

“But I was also kind of coming from a place of, like, I don't expect anything from this. We weren't planning for a blockbuster takeover thing. But the fact that it's been 10 years is kind of crazy.”

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So will there ever be a sequel? Co-star Kristen Wiig has said it won’t happen, but as for Rudolph — well, she’s up for it.

“Listen, if they want to do it, they know — I mean, I told you, anybody that knows me well, if they want me to, I'll be there,” she said. “It would be kind of funny, though, if we did it when we're all super old.”

“I'm here for that,” Savannah replied. “I was going to ask you, how would it be — what would the 2021 version be of it?”

“I don't know,” Rudolph said. “Well, we'd have to get real old, so we're going wait a little while. I've still got a bounce in my step, so maybe, you know, give it a good, like, 40 more years.”