Maya Rudolph credits Jack Black for getting her into improv in 8th grade

The two actors went to the same high school

We might not have the gift of Maya Rudolph's comedic stylings if it weren't for Jack Black.

While appearing on The Drew Barrymore Show, Rudolph talked about Black, who she went to high school with, and how he was responsible for getting her interested in improv comedy (a skill that helped set her on a path to career on Saturday Night Live and beyond).

"He was 2 years older than me, and he transferred in the 10th grade, and I was in 8th," Rudolph shared. ""My drama teacher put us together, and he was my improv coach for an improv competition we did, and he got me into the improv class, and he took me to my first Groundlings show, which is where I ended up."

<p>Allen Berezovsky/Getty</p> Maya Rudolph and Jack Black

Allen Berezovsky/Getty

Maya Rudolph and Jack Black

Rudolph was only 14 when Black took her to see the Groundlings. "He is the most inspiring," she added. "First of all, you have to understand something about Jack. Jack has been the same person since the day I met him. The exact same person. He's just that guy. He's just special."

When Barrymore pointed out that we can "thank Jack Black for Maya Rudolph," the actress agreed, saying, "I mean, honestly, yeah."

Rudolph and Black both attended the Crossroads School in Santa Monica, CA. After she graduated from college, she joined the Groundlings troupe, where she met future fellow SNL cast member, Will Forte.

She joined SNL in the final three episodes of the 1999-2000 season and she remained with the show through 2007 (and has since returned for several guest appearances over the years).

After leaving SNL, Rudolph has gone on to a varied career in film and television, including starring in 2011 comedy hit Bridesmaids. She is about to launch the second season of her Apple TV+ series, Loot.

"Molly is really embracing her new reality and focusing on being a boss, being in charge of her own life, and immersing herself in these relationships at her foundation and creating a family with them,” Rudolph told Entertainment Weekly. “You see so much of her personality that she's discovering through them.”

The show, which follows Rudolph’s billionaire Molly Wells as she reconnects with the real world and her charitable Wells Foundation after a messy divorce from a tech billionaire, returns April 3.

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