Conan O'Brien delivers Dartmouth commencement address to Class of 2011
If you're a parent trying to convince your teenager to work hard in high school, remind them that Ivy League kids get people like Conan O'Brien to speak at their graduation ceremonies. Everyone else pretty much gets some boring CEO of some boring company that the grads will have forgotten about by the time they do their first post-grad keg stand that night.
O'Brien delivered the commencement address to the Dartmouth College Class of 2011 on Sunday morning. Before he began his speech, he pointed out that former President George Bush was sitting behind him on the platform.
"Before I begin, I must point out that behind me sits a highly admired President of the United States and decorated war hero while I, a cable television talk show host, has been chosen to stand here and impart wisdom," he sighed. "I pray I never witness a more damning example of what is wrong with America today."
He won the Dartmouth grads' favor right away by making a good-natured dig at one of their Ivy rivals as he told them that with their degrees, they'd have an advantage over dropout "losers" like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg. "Incidentally, speaking of Mr. Zuckerberg," he said, "Only at Harvard would somebody have to invent a massive social network just to talk with someone in the next room."
As commencement speakers are supposed to do, he did impart some adult wisdom on the grads, reminding them, basically, that life sucks after college. "Adult acne lasts longer than you think," he says. "I almost cancelled 2 days ago because I had a zit on my eye."
A few more of our favorite Conan quotes from the speech:
"Though some of you may see me as a celebrity, you should know that I once sat where you sit. Literally. Late last night I snuck out here and sat in every seat. I did it to prove a point ---- I am not bright and I have a lot of free time."
"When I got the call 2 months ago to be your speaker, I decided to prepare with the same intensity many of you have devoted to an important term paper. So late last night, I began. I drank two cans of Red Bull, snorted some Adderall, played a few hours of Call of Duty, and then opened my browser. I think Wikipedia put it best when they said "Dartmouth college is a private Ivy League University in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States." Thank you and good luck. "
"Because if Harvard, Yale, and Princeton are your self-involved, vain, name-dropping older brothers, you are the cool, sexually confident, Lacrosse playing younger sibling who knows how to throw a party and looks good in a down vest. Brown, of course, is your lesbian sister who never leaves her room. And Penn, Columbia, and Cornell .....well, frankly, who gives a sh**."
Watch the full speech below -- there's a lot more where that came from. And congratulations to your hypothetical kid sister on a hypothetical awesome four years. Hypothetically.