Maya Rudolph ‘Humiliated’ When David Letterman Mispronounced Her Name



  • Maya Rudolph said she was “humiliated” when David Letterman mispronounced her name on his show in 2009.
  • The actress told WSJ. Magazine that she “did not have a good time” during her appearance.
  • Letterman later apologized during the show by calling himself “a boob,” according to People.

Maya Rudolph said she felt “embarrassed and humiliated” after David Letterman mispronounced her name on his show more than a decade ago.

In an interview published Friday with WSJ. Magazine’s Clover Hope, the comedian looked back at her first appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” in May 2009. She said she “did not have a good time” because she admired and looked up to the late-night host.

“He said my name wrong, and I just sat there, like, ‘I grew up my whole life in love with you. And now my heart is broken. And I’m sitting here embarrassed and humiliated,’” she told WSJ. Magazine. “I didn’t know how to handle it. I didn’t know how to come up with something funny to say. My public persona muscle wasn’t strong yet.”

People reports that Letterman later apologized on air, calling himself “a boob” and adding that there was “no excuse for it.”

A representative for Letterman declined to comment when contacted for comment on this story but shared a clip of the host’s apology via The Daily Beast.

Maya Rudolph in a pink dress and pink shoes in front of a pile of money

Maya Rudolph at the premiere of “Loot” on June 15, 2022.

Amy Sussman/Getty Images



Rudolph also said she struggled with developing a public persona for red-carpet interviews and talk shows. She added that the experiences felt “like someone was stealing my soul” and that she created a public-facing identity to “protect” herself.

The former “Saturday Night Live” star told the outlet that she’s improved regarding late-night appearances as she’s gotten older. She also said she’s better at prioritizing rest, especially when she’s under pressure.

“Believe me, I am not a Pollyanna who’s like, I smile all day, every day. I get stressed out, I get pissed off, but I learned I could make a choice for myself, and it’s liberating,” she said. “Maybe people who’ve worked as long as I have make other choices and have nicer cars. I don’t know, but it’s so important for me to [try to] have that balance.”



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