Maya Rudolph was bitten by a black widow spider during a massage session

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Maya Rudolph was on Jimmy Kimmel promoting her animated movie The Mitchells vs. the Machines on Netflix. It’s getting incredible reviews and is at 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. She told a really crazy story about how she got bit by a black widow spider during a girls trip with her SNL buddies for Ana Gasteyer’s 50th birthday. (Ana is 53 now so this was pre-pandemic and was the inspiration for their Netflix movie, Wine Country.) Maya had gotten a bad bee sting the day before coincidentally, and since she was allergic the doctor put her on antibiotics. So she thinks the treatment she was on for that saved her life after she got the black widow bite. Here’s what she told Jimmy:

On how she got a spider bite and how her friends reacted
I got up [after a massage] and I was like ‘Wow my leg’s really killing me. What’s that black spider on the bed?’

The guy was like ‘oh that’s a black widow.’

They call the paramedics. The minute something like that happens everyone goes into panic mode and it really reflects their personalities. Amy [Poehler told the paramedic] ‘no need to go to the emergency room.’ Tina Fey was like ‘I’m just going to call my husband,’ very gently, [then] panicked on the phone in the other room. Rachel Dratch just got in the shower. Paula Pell was stroking me gently. Anna Gasteyer was being full mother ‘you’re going to be fine.’ Emily Spivey just started drinking champagne.

On social media and being stuck to our phones
Social media has been such an amazing part of all of our lives. As a parent we have to use our phones to keep up with things and check our email. The same time we’re telling our children to get off their devices we’re on ours and we just look like complete hypocrites.

On how her movie ‘Idiocracy’ wasn’t funny once it came true
I showed the movie to my kids during the last election when you-know-who was elected. We were just kind of thinking ‘isn’t this funny’ and then it just wasn’t funny [when] he got elected, it was a little too real.

[From Jimmy Kimmel Live on YouTube]

I really liked what Maya said about how her friends reacted to the emergency. She said that people’s true personalities come out during a crisis and that’s so true. I am definitely the Amy Poehler in that situation, I try to control everything. When my mom was admitted to the hospital I brought a laptop, made an outline on google docs with notes and plans and tried talking to everyone caring for her. It ended up being more about me learning how the hospital operates, but it felt like I was doing the right thing at the time.

Maya said they didn’t end up having to go to the hospital, which was thanks to Amy Poehler taking over like that. I thought this interview was a lot of fun and I came away with more appreciation for her deadpan sense of humor. I’m glad everything turned out ok for her with that spider bite! It easily could have gone the other way.

Also, I watched Idiocracy for the first time early in Trump’s presidency. She’s right that it was too real and wasn’t as funny at that point. If you haven’t seen it yet I recommend it, especially now that we’re hopefully out of that dark phase in history. *knocks all the wood*

Here’s that interview!



Photos credit: Colleen Hayes for Netflix, Getty and via Instagram

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22 Responses to “Maya Rudolph was bitten by a black widow spider during a massage session”

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  1. Christa says:

    She looks cute with a center part.

  2. (The OG) Jan90067 says:

    Spider bites are no joke. Happened to me years ago. Next morning when I woke up my shin was the size of a football and I couldn’t walk on it. Went to the ER, got IV antibiotics and was sent home with pills. Six wks later it was STILL swollen and sore. Ended up IN the hospital for ONE WEEK on a 24 hr. IV antibiotic drip.

    I have ALWAYS been deathly afraid of spiders; can’t even look at a pic of one… and now….it freaks me out even more, to this day. UGH!!!!!

    • Betsy says:

      I live in an area with no venomous spiders (but we’ll see what global warming does about that) so I’ve always been able to regard them as the friendlies they are. Your fear seems legit though. That’s an intense experience.

  3. Jellybean says:

    One of the nice things about living in the UK is that these is very little in terms of wildlife or weather that can harm you. I grew up loving spiders and until recently thought nothing of picking one up. I am a little more cautious now, simply because of the amount of imported goods and the possibility of foreign nasties catching a lift.

  4. Beech says:

    Not to discount black widow spiders, it’s the brown spider bites you that are dangerous. Eats up the skin.

    • cer says:

      Yes. My former boss was bitten on the ankle by a brown recluse spider. The wound nectrotized and took years to heal.

    • LaUnicaAngelina says:

      One of my friends was bitten by a brown recluse and it was like a bullet wound and took a long time to heal. *shudders*

    • H says:

      My brother gotten bitten by a brown recluse and wound up in the hospital. I live in an area where they are known to inhabit. So, the Orkin exterminator is now my best friend. I despise spiders. Despise. I love snakes though. I’m Indiana Jones in reverse.

  5. Midnight@theOasis says:

    I’ve always been afraid of spiders or anything else that crawls. I love Maya. She is so funny and such an amazing artist. I love the photos she did emulating her mom’s (Minnie Riperton) classic album covers.

  6. Soupie says:

    WTH?? I was a massage therapist for years. How in the hell does a spider land on a table without the therapist noticing? I mean really? Not sure from Maya’s narrative what the guy actually said and did but damn I wouldn’t have been that nonchalant. The table must have been set up overnight or for hours for that to happen. Some people are blase about black widow spiders, not me.

    When I was in my 20′s I moved into a shared house. I slept on the floor on a mattress and it wasn’t until 2 months later that the two housemates told me there was a black widow spider living in the doorjam/entryway of my bedroom. Gee thanks for telling me.

    • Stacy Dresden says:

      California is very spidery

    • K says:

      Last week a friend of mine in suburban San Diego let her dog out in their small, contained yard to pee until she yelped and ran back inside “looking drunk.” Turns out the dog got bitten by a rattlesnake in their own yard! Probably a baby snake, because the dog is recovering well after they figured out what it was and gave her the correct antivenin. Scary, but on the other hand, for 13 years I regularly hiked around in the mountains of SoCal and only knowingly came close to a venomous snake once (other people ahead spotted it and it was captured by park rangers.) In most states you could encounter spiders, ticks, stinging insects, poisonous mushrooms or plants. It’s good to keep an eye out and be aware, for example, that spiders like a black widow can be very life-threatening, so you can seek immediate help. Creepy creatures gonna creep!

      • MaryContrary says:

        Yeah-we live in San Diego and we make sure our dog is up to date with her rattlesnake vaccine because you never know. And my husband did get bitten by a black widow in our garage and ended up on antibiotics. We have a pest service come through quarterly to spray. Shudder.

  7. Bettyrose says:

    Well there’s something new for me to worry about now that I can get massages again. 😳

  8. Alarmjaguar says:

    My worst nightmare is a spider in my bedsheets (where my parents live there are definitely black widows), so I clicked on this story with trepidation….shudder. But yeah, I love her description of how everyone reacted. Also, my husband keeps wanting to show our kids Idiocracy, but I’m like, why, we just lived through it and it isn’t funny at all in real life (though Terry Crews was pretty fantastic in it)

  9. amiloo says:

    I’ve only seen black widows outside my home, but I can’t tell you how many brown recluses I’ve caught inside my house.

    No bites so far — not even when my partner had one down his pants! We were on the couch watching TV, and he felt something in his jeans. He jumped up, ripped them off, and we saw that the offender was a brown recluse.

  10. SpankyB says:

    My husband was bit on the toe by a black widow. He said it was the most pain he’s ever been in, and he’s had multiple knee surgeries. After a couple of weeks the skin just pulled of like a sock, it was pretty gross. It’s been about 5 years and it still hurts him.

    Black widows are gorgeous spiders. Once I get past the freak out of seeing one, that’s always next thought. So black and glossy. Then they must die.

    • Lua says:

      I love the ending to your comment! I grew up in LA and when I first spotted one in houston I was momentarily struck by how pretty they are, then told my husband to burn the backyard to the ground. We spray around my kid’s playhouse now because the two times I’ve seen one it’s been there 😳

  11. TheRickestRick says:

    She is totally incredible as Connie the Hormone Monster in Big Mouth!

  12. K says:

    Okay that is the beginning of one of my worst nightmares.

  13. jferber says:

    This is my question, in two weeks, after my second vaccine yesterday, can I get a massage at my spa? It is, of course, indoors. How can I make this happen safely? It’s all I’ve wanted to do for over a year. Thanks, Celebitches.

  14. Heather says:

    The Mitchells vs the Machines is AWESOME! So so funny, I would recommend to everyone.