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352nd Harvard Commencement_ Will Ferrell

352nd Harvard Commencement_ Will Ferrell

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Published by Ninong Elmal
Will Ferrell in Harvard
Will Ferrell in Harvard

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: Ninong Elmal on Jun 28, 2010
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08/27/2010

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352nd Harvard Commencement
 Thursday, June 5, 2003
 
Class Day speechJune 4, 2003
Will Ferrell
This is not the Worcester, Mass Boat Show, is it? I am sorry. I have made a terriblemistake. Ever since I left "Saturday Night Live," I mostly do public speaking now.And I must have made an error in the little Palm Pilot. Boy. Don't worry. I got it onme. I got the speech on me. Let's see. Ah, yes. Here we go.You know, when Bill Gates first called me to speak to you today, I was honored. Butwhen he wanted me to be one of the Roxbury guys, I -- Sorry, that's Microsoft. I'msorry about that. Star Trek Convention. No. NRA. NAACP. Dow Chemical. No. Butthat is a good one. That is a good speech. The University of Michigan Law. JohnsHopkins Medical School. I'm sorry. Are you sure this is not the boat show? No, I haveit. I do have it on me. I do. It's here. Thank you.Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Faculty, Administrators, Friends and Familyand, of course, the graduating Class of 2003, I wish to say hello and thank you for  bestowing this honor upon me as your Class Day speaker. After months of secretnegotiations, several hundred secret ballots, and a weekend retreat with VicePresident Dick Cheney in his secret mountain bunker, a Class Day speaker waschosen, and it was me. You obviously have made a grave error. But it's too late now.So let's just go with it.Today's speech is going to be a little different, a little unorthodox. Some of you mayfind it to be shocking. I'm not going to stand up here and try to be funny. Becauseeven though I am a professional comedian of the highest caliber, I've decided to doone thing that a lot of people are probably afraid to do, and that's give it to youstraight.As most of you are probably aware, I didn't graduate from Harvard. In fact, I never even got a call back from Admissions. Damn you, Harvard! Damn you! I told myself I would not get emotional today. But damn it, I'm here, and sometimes it's just good tocry.I'm not one of you. Okay? I can't relate to who you are and what you've been through.I graduated from the University of Life. All right? I received a degree from the Schoolof Hard Knocks. And our colors were black and blue, baby. I had office hours withthe Dean of Bloody Noses. All right? I borrowed my class notes from Professor Knuckle Sandwich and his Teaching Assistant, Ms. Fat Lip Thon Nyun. That's thekind of school I went to for real, okay?So my gift to you, Class of 2003, is to tell you about the real world through my eyes,through my experiences. And I'm sorry, but I refuse to sugarcoat it. I ain't gonna do it.
 
And I probably shouldn't use the word "ain't" during this day in which we celebrateeducation. But that's just the way I play it, Homes.Graduates, if you will indulge me for a moment, let me paint a picture of what it's likeout there. The last four or, for some of you, five years you've been living in afantasyland, running around, talking about Hemingway, or Clancy, or, I don't know, Imean whatever you read here at Harvard. The Novelization of the Matrix, I don'tknow. I don't know what you do here.But I do know this. You're about to enter into a world filled with hypocrisy anddoublespeak, a world in which your limo to the airport is often a half-hour late. Inaddition to not even being a limo at all; often times it's a Lincoln Towncar. You'reabout to enter a world where you ask your new assistant, Jamie, to bring you a tall,non-fat latte. And he comes back with a short soy cappuccino. Guess what, Jamie?You're fired. Not too hard to get right, my friend.A world where your acting coach, Bob Leslie-Duncan -- yes, the Bob Leslie-Duncan -- tells you time and time again that you will never, ever be considered as a dramaticactor because you don't play things real, and are too over the top. Amazing! Simplyamazing!I'm sorry, graduates. But this is a world where you aren't allowed to use your cell phone in airplanes, during live theater, at the movies, at funerals, or even during your own elective surgery. Apparently, the Berlin Wall went back up because we now livein Russia. I mean just try lighting up a cigar in a movie theater or paying for a dinner for 20 friends with an autograph. It ain't that easy. Strong words, I know. Tough talk.But more like tough love. Because this is where my faith in you guys comes into play,Harvard University's graduating Class of 2003, without a doubt, the finest, mosttalented group of sexual beings this great land has to offer. Now I know I blew some of your minds with my depiction of what it's really like outthere. But if anyone can handle the ups and downs of this crazy blue marble we callPlanet Earth, it's you guys. As I stare out into this vast sea of shining faces, I see the best and brightest. Some of you will be captains of industry and business. Others of you will go on to great careers in medicine, law and public service. Four of you -- andI'm not at liberty to say which four -- will go on to magnificent careers in the pornoindustry. I'm not trying to be funny. That's just a statistical fact.One of you, specifically John Lee, will spend most of your time just hanging out inyour car eating nachos. You will all come back from time to time to this beautifulcampus for reunions, and ask the question, "Does anyone ever know what happenedto John Lee?" At that point, he will invariably pop out from the bushes and yell,"Nachos anyone?!" At first, it will scare the crap out of you. But then you'll share alaugh with your classmates and ultimately look forward to John jumping out of the bushes as a yearly event.I'd like to change gears here, if I could. Talk a little bit about "Saturday Night Live." Now, during my 18-year stint on the show, I had the chance to play or impersonatesome very interesting people, none more interesting than our current President, Mr.George W. Bush. Now in some cases, you actually have contact with some of the
 
 people you play. As a byproduct of this former situation, the President and myself have become quite good friends. In fact, I might even call him a father figure of sorts,granted a dim-witted father figure who likes to take a lot of naps and start wars, but afather figure nonetheless.When I told the President that I'd be speaking here today, he wondered if I wouldexpress some sentiments to you. And I said I'd do my best. So, if you don't mind, I'dlike to read this message from the President of the United States.Students, Faculty, Families and Distinguished Guests, I just want to take time tocongratulate you on your outstanding achievement as graduates of the Class of 2002.The great thing about being the Class of 2002 is that you can always remember whatyear you graduated because 2002 is a palindrome which, of course, is a word or number that is the same read backwards or forwards. I'll bet you're surprised I knowthat word, but I do. So you can suck on it.Make no mistake, Harvard University is one of the finest in the land. And itsgraduates are that fine as well. You're young men and women whose exuberanceexude a confident confidence of a bygone era. I believe it was Shakespeare who saidit best when he said, "Look yonder into the darkness for knowledge onto which I saygo onto that which thou possess into thy night for thee have come with only a singlesword and vanquished thee into darkness."I'm going to be honest with you, I just made that up. But I don't know how to delete itfrom the computer. Tomorrow's graduation day speaker is former President of MexicoErnesto Zedillo. Ernie's a good man, a deeply religious man, and one of the originalmembers of the Latino boy band Menudo. So listen up to Ernie. He was at the beginning of the whole boy band explosion.As you set off into the world, don't be afraid to question your leaders. But don't ask too many questions at one time or that are too hard because your leaders get tiredand/or cranky. All of you sitting here have the brightest of futures ahead. Many of youwill go on to stellar careers and various pursuits. And four of you -- and I'm not atliberty to say which four -- will go on to star in the porno industry.One of the challenges you will be faced with is finding a job in our depressedeconomy. In fact, the chances of landing a decent job are about as good as findingweapons of mass destruction in the Iraqi desert. Slim and none. And Slim just left the building. In fact, the closest thing I found to looking like a weapon of massdestruction is the turd that Dick Cheney left in the Oval Office toilet about an hour ago. Man, that thing is a WMD if I've ever seen one. On that note, God bless andhappy graduation.You know, I sincerely hope you enjoy this next chapter of your life because it's reallygoing to be great, as long as you pay your taxes. And don't just take a year off becauseyou think Uncle Sam is snoozing at the wheel because he will descend upon you likea hawk from hell. Let's just put it this way. After some past indiscretions with the IRS,my take-home pay last year was $9,000.

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