Maya Rudolph Speech: Say Yes

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Maya Rudolph Speech: Say Yes

Learn English with Maya Rudolph. Maya Rudolph delivers a keynote speech at Tulane’s 2015 commencement. For a stadium full of graduates at Tulane University in New Orleans, Maya Rudolph presented their departing pep talk. Maya Khabira Rudolph is an American actress, comedian, and singer. She first gained prominence in the 1990s as a member of the alternative rock band The Rentals, then joined the Groundlings improv troupe later in the decade. In this speech, she also quotes: “Hold on to your old friends. Kiss your Mama. Admit what your dreams are. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t know what you’re going to do tomorrow. But work hard and don’t be lazy. And put away your damn phone once in a while.” – Watch with big English subtitles.

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Maya Rudolph Quote:

Maya Rudolph Quote: Work hard and put away your damn phone once in a while.

“Work hard and put away your damn phone once in a while.” Maya Rudolph


“Wow. I was not expecting that green envy. You just blew my mind. I am so honored. You can make me cry and I’m supposed to be funny. This is just going to be interesting. Well, well, well, here we are. Get all these beautiful faces and iPhones.

Thank you so much President Fitts, the board of Tulane members and today’s honorary degree recipients.

Good morning graduates, families and friends of graduates — mothers, fathers, brothers, brothers from other mothers, sisters, roommates, “roommates,” grandmas, grandpas, Meemaws and Papaws, Bubbies, Nanas and Boppas, Nany Gigi’s and their special friend Herb, Aunt Ronnies, Uncle Garys and people who met on Tinder this morning.

I thank you for having me here to join you on this special day in this incredible city. I stand here humbled, gracious and completely naked under this robe. 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. It’s going to be interesting.

I applaud you for being here today because it means not only have you earned a college degree, but you have found this arena despite still having a blood alcohol level of 9. I’m looking at you School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. You don’t fool me.

From this day forward the world is filled with endless possibilities. You’re young, you’re in your twenties. This is a great, great day for you. Except for those of you leaving college with any student loan debt. I don’t know what to say to you. I’m sorry. I hope you win the lottery. I don’t know what to tell you about that.

Back in January when the University asked me to make today’s commencement speech I was delighted. So when I started writing it this morning back at the hotel, the first thing I did was go online and look up other commencement speeches. And then I got tired, so I took a nap. I woke up, cried a little bit. Ordered some Huevos Rancheros from Room Service. Then I cried a little bit more. And then I picked myself up by the bootstraps and decided to go back to sleep. And after I hit that snooze button four or five times, I got up again and I did what all of you probably did while you were pushing through finals week. I made sure all the apps on my phone were updated, because that felt like the most important thing. And then I checked Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. I Periscoped my breakfast, I took 4 quizzes on Buzzfeed and I watched Game of Thrones.

And as I finished writing the speech on the car ride over here this morning, I thought about just how deep my Tulane roots are. I’m proud to say that my father, Richard Rudolph graduated class of 1968. And today my cousin Sabrina Rudolph is graduating with all of you. Sabrina, I’d like to embarrass you by asking you to please stand up and wave at everyone in the Superdome. There she is. I’m so, so proud of you. Now please don’t sully the family name. It’s very, very easy to do that.

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