Chicago Journo Refuses to Take ‘No’ for an Oprah Answer

Everyone seems to think the character played by Maya Rudolph on NBC’s new sitcom Up All Night is based on Oprah Winfrey. Everyone, that is, except Rudolph and her SNL pal Emily Spivey, who created the show.

In a playful article headlined “Ava, Oprah. Oprah, Ava,” Chicago Tribune reporter Christopher Borrelli begs to differ. Evidently, Rudolph is tired of the comparisons, because her transcribed answer to his re-stated Question #2 is anything but sitcom-funny:

“Maybe you misunderstood me–completely, actually. I’ll start over. I thought I was being clear… I don’t see her on the same plane [as Oprah]. She is someone more self-consumed. Someone who is trying a new career path. She had one pop hit in the ’90s, and she is not Oprah at all…”

“The original concept was the character was in a workplace. It was a public relations firm… But when we found out the pilot was greenlit, Lorne (Michaels, executive producer) said, ‘She’s going to do daytime talk,’ and I said ‘OK.'”

Despite the Harpo-to-the-hipbone denial, Borrelli keeps at it, prompting an even more exasperated final response from the actress. Time to put this guy on a more serious investigative beat than the Peacock.