Maya Rudolph hosted Saturday Night Live last night, marking her first time on the show as the host rather than a cast member, and the fifth female cast member to come back and host. Although you may be most familiar with her from her role in the Oscar-nominated Bridesmaids or on the NBC sitcom Up All Night, she had eight full years worth of just as memorable performances on Saturday Night Live. Over those years, she had over fifty spot-on celebrity impersonations which included Justin Guarini and the late Whitney Houston, as well as a handful of original reoccurring characters as well.

I truly believe that Maya Rudolph is one of the greatest talents that SNL has ever produced, and that’s among both the women and the men. She is, at the very least, one of the most versatile. I mean, what other cast members can you think of who’ve played characters both female and male, black, white, Asian, and Latina, young and old, glamorous and grotesque. Oh, and thanks to her genes (‘Loving You’ singer Minnie Riperton is Maya’s mother), she can also belt a serious tune.

I love Maya, and so to celebrate her SNL hosting debut, I’m dedicating today’s gallery to some of Maya’s best Saturday Night Live characters. If you missed last night’s episode, you can watch it online at NBC.com and Hulu.com, as well as other SNL sketches featuring the ever-talented Maya Rudolph.

*All screen caps from me! (Except for the Wake Up Wakefield one which I found on jimmyfallon-.tumblr.com because seriously, those sketches cannot be found ANYWHERE online. They live only in our hearts now…)

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