Maya Rudolph broke out her Beyoncé impression for her hit commencement address at Tulane University graduation on Saturday, May 16.

Maya Rudolph Sings Beyonce

“I stand her humbled, and gracious, and completely naked under this robe,” Rudolph began, winking to the crowd.

Rudolph delivered this year’s commencement address for Tulane University’s Class of 2015. Rudolph has a few personal connections to the University: her father attended the college and her cousin was a member of this year’s graduating class.

“Say yes. Say ‘yes and.’ And create your own destiny. So hold on to your old friends, kiss your mom, 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 iPhone once in a while. And also be nice to jerks because we still don’t know the criteria for getting into heaven yet,” Rudolph told the new graduates.


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While Rudolph’s speech was full of funny quips, she also took a break from her comedic persona to give out a few life lessons and say deliver some tough truths. “This is a 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,” she said.

Rudolph also brought out a few of her fan favorite Saturday Night Live impressions to deliver her inspirational advice to the graduating class of 2015, including Oprah and Beyoncé.

“Look under your seats because you are all leaving here tonight with a college diplomaaaaa! You get a diploma, you get a diploma, you get a diploma…we’re all getting diplomaaaaas!” she said, doing her best ‘Oraph at graduation.’

But the highlight of Rudolph’s funny speech was her epic conclusion: a rendition of The National Anthem with a little bit of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” and “Drunk In Love” mixed in. “Since we are in the Superdome, would you mind rising one more time for The National Anthem? Come on, it’s my turn,” Rudolph said before launching into a dramatic – and hilarious – performance.

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