Ellen addressed the 2,000 members of Tulane’s “Katrina Class,” students who were freshmen when the hurricane devastated New Orleans and closed the school. She also made a brief surprise appearance at the Tulane commencement ceremonies in 2006, the first graduation after the horrific storm hit. This time around she joined honorary degree recipient Harry Connick Jr. as the honored celebrity guests at the event. Ellen’s talk was equal parts funny, serious, touching and memorable.
Oh, where to start? From her first greeting to the robe-clad graduate (“Look at you. Usually when you're wearing a robe at 10 in the morning, it means you've given up.”) to recounting of the bittersweet story behind her the famous “phone call to God” joke that landed her on The Tonight Show (“Why is she suddenly gone and there are fleas here?”) and jokes about being gay (“When you’re older, most of you will be gay.”) it was all priceless.