23 May 2012, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Students, faculty, grandparents, uncles that weren’t invited but showed up anyway, handsome young janitors who are secretly math geniuses and the homeless guy, my name is Andy Samberg and I am as honored to be here today as I am unqualified.
There’s a history of incredible Class Day speakers here Harvard, Nobel Prize laureate Mother Teresa, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and now me, the fake rap wiener songs guy.
Class of 2012, You are graduating from college that means this is the first day of the last day of your life. No, that’s wrong. This is the last day of the first day of school. Nope that’s worse. This is a day.
I too turned to Webster’s dictionary and it defined Harvard as a season for gathering crops. Admittedly that’s actually a definition of ‘harvest’ but it was the closest word I could find to Harvard that wasn’t a proper noun. In the end isn’t that what Harvard is really about though? It’s about planting the seeds of knowledge that eventually produce crops, A.K.A money in order to satisfy the farmers, your parents, who pay like 45 thousand crops a year to send you to harvest so you could major in women’s agriculture.
Before I move on, the world outside of Harvard has asked me to make a quick announcement. The following majors are apparently useless as of tomorrow: history, literature, all things related to art, social studies, East Asian studies, pretty much anything that ends with studies, romance languages and finally, folklore and mythology.
Anyhow all those majors are now useless unless you can somehow turn them into an iPhone app. Math and science majors you guys are cool, finally.
2012 is a great time to be graduated from college. Sure the job market is a little slow. Sure our health care and social security systems are going to evaporate in five years. Sure you will have to work until you’re 80 to support your 110 year old parents who live forever because of nanotechnology. Sure the concept of love will soon disappear leaving us all lonely robots ready to kill our best friend for a lukewarm cup microchip soup but that doesn’t matter because tomorrow you graduate from harvest.
I’m sure a lot of you’re looking up here and thinking “What makes this guy so special? What has he accomplished? He didn’t even go to Harvard.” To you I say this; I didn’t even apply to Harvard because I knew I wouldn’t get in. I don’t accept you, esteemed college.I break up first and you see me with my hot new girlfriend. She’s riding shotgun in my convertible,the one that Harvard was always begging me to rent to drive up the coast. I’m just laughing and Harvard is all like, “Have you been going to the gym?”
“No, just eating right and making positive choices.”
Harvard remains iconic in our culture. One thing that sticks out of my mind is the central role this campus played in one of the most important films ever made about social connections and how we communicate. I’m referring of course to 1986 whimsical movie, Soul Man, starring C.Thomas Howell as a white student posing as an African-American in order to exploit affirmative action. He was at Harvard law in that movie and that movie exists.
Most of you don’t know this yet, but Harvard is one of the few schools you can attend that can also eventually become your workplace nickname. “Whose edamame is that in the break room? Probably Harvard’s. Whose Vespa is in my parking spot? I’m going with Harvard’s.”In fact once a graduate you can never wear your Harvard sweatshirt in public again without looking like a world-class asshole. I think that you should sell University of Michigan t-shirts that you can wear just to blend in once you’re out of here.
Speaking of fame Harvard has many famous alumni, Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates,just a few ex-students that started successful businesses after dropping out which means if you’re here in this crowd today and graduating you’re destined to be a massive failure.
Sorry those are just the facts. Also a fact, Class Day is a terrible name for a day when you don’t have to go to class ever again. It’s pretty much like calling New Year’s Eve ‘Sobriety Night.’
On a more literary note I’d like to read a poem by the great W.B. Yeats. It’s a truly beautiful and poignant passage from the 1929 collection,The Winding Stair and other Poems and I think it’s especially applicable to today’s ceremonies. It goes like this,
[singing in a gruff voice]
This is how we do it
This is how we do it
It’s Friday night and I feel alright
Hit the shore because I’m faded
Honeys in the streets say money, yeah I made it
There’s more but you get it, classic Yeats, an important poet.
While I am really excited to be here today I’ll be honest, at 33 years of age I haven’t endured or lived that much more than you guys so in order to give you a broader scope of what’s to come, I reached out and asked for some words of wisdom from some people that I thought were relevant to your experience here.
The aforementioned Mark Zuckerberg, who was a Harvard student, was kind enough to send me some remarks that I will relay to you now.
I just wanted to give a quick ‘congrats’ to you all but really more of a ‘congrats’ to me. You know since I left things have gone so good you guys. Like a six-year-old’s fantasy of the future good.In fact I recently completed the Harvard trifecta. Start your own company,have a movie be made about you and marry an Asian doctor. Trifecta! So everyone out there be sure to upgrade to timeline and lay off the Pinocchio’s pizza. Haha, I went to Harvard.
I also asked, for the local experience, Massachusetts native Mark Wahlberg to send over some thoughts for you guys. Here’s what he had to say.
Hey Harvard, how’s it going? So you guys are graduating huh?I think that’s great. Hey we should do a film together. What do you think? You guys are super smart right? I used a prosthetic penis as boogie nights. Just think about it. Say hi to your mother for me okay.
He asked me to say that to you guys. Then finally I asked the lot blockbuster superstar Nick Cage for some remarks. I realize he didn’t go to Harvard and he’s not from Boston but he has a special connection to the place that I’ll let him explain. Here’s what he wrote.
[imitating Nick Cage]
Good afternoon. As I write to you I’m currently digging a tunnel into the bowels of Harvard’s library. When I finally breach its mighty walls I will steal the legendary Gutenberg Bible and return it to its rightful owner, Steve Gutenberg. You know I’ve seen some weird stuff in my day. In Istanbul I saw a small child swallow a pelican whole. In the Sahara desert I saw a herd of oxen fly into a portal and disappear from our world forever but no matter what I’ve seen there’s been one thing I’ve held to be true. Love is the most powerful force this universe has to offer and we should show kindness to all around us with the exception of Dean Hammonds. That, my friends, is the true meaning of Hanukah. I’d love to keep writing but now the time is come to ride on to my next adventure. ”What’s that?” you ask. Simple. I’m going to have sex with the statue of John Harvard.
Those are my three impressions. Late night television led me straight here. Now we’ve been paying a lot of attention to the students here today but I want to take a moment and acknowledge all the parents. In particular I want to give a shout out to all the moms in the house.Give it up. Our moms put up with so much and they ask for so little and as I look out at all the beautiful mothers here today I can’t help but be filled with an overwhelming sense of horniness. To all the moms, open invitation, nobody has to know about it.
Before all the dads get upset, I don’t mean any disrespect. You’ve got to be something special if you’ve got such fine ladies on your arms.In fact, as I look at all these strong loyal men I can’t help but be filled with an overwhelming sense of horniness. I see a lot of silver foxes out there today, and Harvard isn’t cheap. Where are my sugar daddies at? Open invitation gentlemen, nobody has to know.
Now I’d like to get a little serious. As you move forward in the world there will be obstacles but every challenge is a chance for success. I’m sorry;I had a whole inspirational section to this prepared but now it feels so phony. So I’m going to scrap this and just speak from the heart.
The things I’m about to say to you aren’t to make any friends. They’re not for some cheap applause. It’s real talk and it comes from my soul, so listen up. Yale sucks balls! Am I right? They’re the worst. Yale asked me to speak at their Class Day, but I couldn’t make it to the stage because I kept slipping in all of the drool. It’s like a second-tier safety school in the worst city in America. I’m kidding, New Haven is nicer now…than Rwanda.
A little known fact about Yale, it was built on top of an ancient Native American toilet. Really it’s no wonder they’re called the bulldogs they’re a bunch of big headed inbreeds with breathing problems. That comes with my apologies to any inbreeds here today. Don’t let anyone compare you to a Yale guy. This all might sound harsh but in truth Yale is basically a sewer filled with mold people, only replace the word people with stinky dried up dog turds that hate laughter and puppies That’s my heart stuff you guys, from my soul.
For some of you it might have been hard to hear but I felt it was my duty to give it to you straight. Also, quick confession, I know literally nothing about Yale but I will say this, Dartmouth can burn in hell!
It’s hard to know where life will take you from here, what adventures you’ll have, which sitcoms you’ll write for, but my advice to you is simple. Relax;
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you just finished college at Harvard. You worked so hard. Trust me; you’re going to kill it. I went to Santa Cruz and then I transferred to film school and I’m rich and I don’t mean spiritually rich or any hippie crap like that.I’m talking about racks on racks. Believe it. I might be a little hyperbolic about this to seem cool but I am up against Mother Teresa on this day today. Have you guys Youtubed her Class Day speech? She was like ‘crumping’ and throwing bags of money into the crowd. I’m going to take some liberties.
In the days ahead a lot of people will tell you to trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to take chances. I’m definitely one of those people but I would also say this. Don’t rush into the next phase of your life whether it’s grad school at Harvard or grad school at MIT or massively disappointing your parents by exploring your art made out of garbage thing. Whatever it is you try, make sure it’s what you really want to do because the only person who knows what that is, is you. If all else fails just remember these beautiful words from the film Dead Poet’s Society, “Neil is dead! My boy!” which now that I’ve said out loud did not quite drive home my point as much as I had hoped.
In fact I’m realizing that only like seven percent of what I’ve said today has been at all helpful or even passable as English but in the end I feel I’m only truly qualified to give you three simple tips on how to succeed in life.
So thank you graduates, Godspeed, and congratulations!