Updated May 18, 2014 at 3:05 p.m.
Rising to the podium as Sunday’s Commencement speaker, celebrity chef José Andrés began by poking fun at his selection.
University President Steven Knapp insisted the chef was his first call, Andrés said, recounting the moment he was asked to keynote the graduation ceremony. Andrés directed the audience’s attention to the giant screens on the sides of the stage, where the “true” story of his selection played out.
“Oh, President Knapp. Good to hear from you,” Craig Ferguson, host of “The Late Late Show,” says from his set. “Oh, the GW Commencement? When is it? May the 18th, hold on I’ll have a look…Oh, I’m sorry I’m watching television that evening.”
The just over two-minute-long video features stars from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to “Law & Order” veteran Sam Waterston and even actor Morgan Freeman. University spokeswoman Lorraine Voles said the University was not involved in producing the video and directed all questions to Andrés’s office.
“Gee sir, I’m very sorry I just cannot – I just don’t have the time,” Freeman says.
Posted in front of a green screen and sitting on a bike in a cowboy outfit, Owen Wilson says he can’t make it because he’ll be filming. So will Actor Matt Dillon.
Gwyneth Paltrow is simply “not available” while Al Roker of “The Today Show,” who is typically based in New York, insists he’ll be “out of town.”
Instead, the famous personalities suggest Andrés – or as Roker calls him, his “good buddy José Andrés.”
Meanwhile, a martini-sipping Jesse Tyler Ferguson says he’s “really busy that day.”
But Ferguson, famous for his role on ABC’s “Modern Family,” suggests “Jose Andréas.”
“He’ll do anything,” Ferguson says. “His email address is email@example.com.”