Maya Rudolph Firmly Denies Comparisons Between Her 'Up All Night' Character and Oprah Winfrey

The actress, who once played Oprah on "Saturday Night Live," wants to be very clear that she’s not playing the talk show queen on the NBC comedy.
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Maya Rudolph wants to be clear that her Up All Night character, daytime TV talk show host Ava, has nothing to do with Oprah Winfrey. Despite the similarities.

In a Chicago Tribune story, writer Christopher Borelli saw a distinct parallel between the character in the NBC comedy also starring Christina Applegate and Will Arnett and one of Chicago's most powerful entertainment players. So he contacted Up All Night creator Emily Spivey and Rudolph herself, who also played Oprah on Saturday Night Live.

While Spivey denied the comparisons in a calm manner, Rudolph's denials were so adamant that Borelli partially transcribed his interview with the actress to capture the sheer force of her answers.

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When Borelli asks, "So you see her existing on the same plane of existence as Oprah, in the same talk show world?"

Rudolph replies, "No. I hope you didn't get that (from my answer). Maybe you misunderstood me — completely, actually. I'll start over. I thought I was being clear."

Later in the exchange, after Borelli has pointed out the similarities between Ava's show's font and Oprah's show's font, she says, "Listen, maybe I'm the wrong person to interview about this. I'm getting the impression that you want to do an article on my character being like Oprah. I don't have anything to do with the font they use on the show. But everybody always asks me if I'm doing Oprah, and I'm not. I did Oprah on "SNL." I have yet to see the similarities between my character and Oprah. But people want a story, so they want to hear me saying, 'I'm doing (Oprah).'"

When Borelli apologizes for creating confusion, she replies, "You didn't confuse me. I think you were confused. I wasn't confused. It just worries me that you made an effort to make clear that you heard something else."

So, to be clear. Ava on Up All Night has nothing whatsoever to do with Oprah.