Get ready to laugh, Class of 2015! The graduates at Tulane University got an extra special treat on Saturday, May 16, when Saturday Night Live alum Maya Rudolph gave the college’s commencement speech — and an impromptu rendition of the “National Anthem” during the graduation in New Orleans’ Super Dome.
“I stand here humbled, gracious, and completely naked under this robe,” Rudolph, 42, quipped. “It really is a true honor to be with all of you as you begin this new phase of your life, as you embark on this exciting and challenging journey of being sober during the day.”
The Bridesmaids actress didn’t attend Tulane herself, but her father Richard Rudolph graduated from the school in 1968, and her cousin Sabrina Rudolph was amongst the graduates in the crowd.
“I am so, so proud of you,” she told her cousin. “Now please don’t sully the family name.”
Rudolph went on to joke about her own college experience at the University of California.
“I majored in not washing my feet and advanced Zig-Zag rolling,” she said. “I didn’t know who I was or what I was going to do with my life when I finished college. I wore Birkenstocks and I smelled like a patchouli fart.”
She also noted that it was her dad who inspired her to take her future seriously.
“During senior year, my father asked me what I planned to do after I graduated, and I told him ‘I want to be on Saturday Night Live,’” she said. “I never wanted to admit that being on SNL was my dream. I never wanted to admit that I was a thespian. And this was back in the day before people were talking about being thespians. It was before thespians could marry.”
Rudolph later worked in her spot-on Oprah Winfrey impersonation, telling the grads, “And you get a diploma and you, and you!”
To cap off the speech, the improv master asked everyone in the stadium to rise for her rendition of the “National Anthem” complete with a series of funny voices. She somehow transitioned into Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.”.
Watch the clip now to see Rudolph’s entire speech!
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