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Maya Rudolph is a comedian and actor who became a household name via her Saturday Night Live tenure, which ran from 2000 to 2007.
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Her first daughter with director Paul Thomas Anderson, Pearl Minnie, was born in October 2005, and Lucille and Jack followed in 2009 and 2011, respectively.
Upon her return, Rudolph kept busy with Saturday Night Live and with several film projects. She scored a leading role in the quirky independent film Idiocracy in 2006, and the following year Rudolph lent her vocal skills to the animated hit Shrek the Third, the same year she brought her SNL tenure to a close (marking her final season with an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series).
Once off the SNL set for good, Rudolph appeared on the NBC version of the Australian hit show Kath & Kim and took the lead in the thoughtful independent film Away We Go in 2009. She also reprised her voiceover role in Shrek Forever After (2010), the fourth installment in the Shrek franchise, and appeared in several high-profile comedies, including Grown-ups (2010), The Zookeeper (2011), and the international smash hit Bridesmaids (2011).
With guest spots on SNL, the lead in TV's Up All Night (2011-2012), and film roles always keeping her onscreen, Maya Rudolph has thrived in her post-SNL landscape.
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From the early comedy of Nipsey Russell, Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby to the contemporary routines of Steve Harvey, Mo'Nique, Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes and Dave Chappelle, black comedians have often used their wit to become the voice and face of the African-American experience. These legendary comedians have also set a very high bar—not only for African Americans, but for all comics trying to make it in show business. Learn more about these famous jokesters, from their early days to their comic beginnings, to their side-splitting performances and more.
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