During her seven seasons on the show, Rudolph built a wide repertoire of characters, from Wake Up Wakefield's awkwardly hormonal teen host Megan to Bronx Beat's irritable housewife Jodi. Of course, we'll miss her gift for sublime celebrity impersonations the most. So Beyonce, Whitney, Oprah, Donatella — sleep easy tonight. As for the rest of us, we'll always have reruns.
In a statement released to NBC, the fickle comedianne tells her now completely flummoxed — but no doubt relieved — fans: ''It was an agonizing decision, but ultimately, I feel I made the best choice both as a mother and as an actress. I couldn’t be happier to be returning to SNL.''
It can’t be! But it is: EW has learned that contrary to published reports, Maya Rudolph is not returning to Saturday Night Live for an eighth season. NBC was told of Rudolph's departure on Sept. 24, just five days before the show’s season premiere. While no official reason was given for her exit, a spokesperson for NBC says, ''We wish Maya nothing but the best.'' (This means SNL is down to two funny women: Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig. No word yet on whether any new cast members will be added later in the season, but the rest of the '06-'07 cast will be returning.)