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Maya Rudolph is heading to Fox’s next live musical, “A Christmas Story.”
College graduation is equal parts thrilling and scary. Good thing commencement speakers are there to give grads some much-needed advice.
When you invite Maya Rudolph to be your commencement speaker, you can’t expect just a typical speech. Rudolph brought it out at Tulane University’s commencement on Saturday, giving a hysterically inspiring address before doing her own unique interpretation of the National Anthem.
“It really is a true honor to be with all of you as you begin this new phase of your life,” Rudolph told graduates, “as you embark on this exciting and challenging journey of being sober during the day.”
It was the first of many jokes throughout the speech, which included an Oprah imitation (“YOU get a diploma!”) and an extended explanation of her alleged procrastination to write the speech.
Rudolph talked about her telling her father — a Tulane grad — that she wanted to be on Saturday Night Live when she graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She went through improv classes and learned the classic rule: to any situation, say “yes, and.”
“Say yes, and,” Rudolph said as advice to the graduates. “Create your own destiny. Hold onto your old friends. Kiss your mama. Admit what your dreams are. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t know what you’re gonna do tomorrow, but work hard and don’t be lazy. And put away your damn iPhone once in a while.”
To end her speech, she asked graduates to stand. Taking advantage of her time on a mic in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, she sang a ridiculous national anthem — with a bit of Beyonce mixed in.
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There was once a great czar in Russia named Rudolph the Red. He stood looking out the windows of is palace one day while his wife, the Czarina
Katerina, sat nearby knitting. He turned to her and said, “Look my dear, it has begun to rain!” Without even looking up from her knitting she replied,
“It’s too cold to rain. It must be sleeting.”
The Czar shook his head and said, “I am the Czar of all the Russias, and Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear!”