A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

The 10 Funniest Lines Ever from Celebrity Commencement Speeches

When celebs address a graduating class, you can expect some LOL moments. These golden nuggets of humor were as appreciated as the pearls of wisdom.

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Great opening

“Friends, Romans, countrymen: Lend me your beers.” —Amy Poehler at Harvard University, 2011.

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Funny because it’s true

“You are graduating from college. That means that 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.” —Andy Samberg at Harvard University, 2012. You can find more funny true stories here.

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Good advice for the talkative

“You’re a good kid, but you need to learn when to stop talking.” —John Green on the best advice ever given to him, at the Kenyon College, 2016. Thank you, John Green, for making us laugh, instead of cry this time!

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Good advice, but only if it applies

“Now I usually try not to give advice. Information, yes, advice, no. But, what has worked for me may not work for you. Well, take for instance what has worked for me. Wigs. Tight clothes. Push-up bras.” —Dolly Parton at the University of Tennessee, 2009.

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Good advice if you trust your source

“Celebrities give too much advice, and people listen to it too much. In Hollywood, we all think we’re these wise advice givers, and most of us have no education whatsoever.” —Mindy Kaling at Harvard Law School, 2014.

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Don’t try this at home, kids

“To those of you who received honors, awards, and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you too, can be president of the United States.” —George W. Bush at Southern Methodist University 2015.

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Make your parents proud

“No doubt some of you will turn out to be crooks! But white-collar stuff—Wall Street, ya’ know, that type of thing—crimes committed by people with self-esteem! Stuff a parent can still be proud of in a weird way.” —Jim Carrey at Maharishi University of Management, 2014. Of course, Jim Carrey’s not only funny, but inspirational too.

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Learn to multitask

“Now before we get started, I just want a little bit of business, ah, out of courtesy. If anyone here has a cell phone, please take a moment to make sure it’s turned on. I wouldn’t want anyone to miss a text or a tweet while I’m giving my speech.” —Stephen Colbert at the University of Virginia, 2013.

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Tell the truth ’til it hurts

“As… my mother used to say, ‘You know I’ll always love you but there are times when I certainly won’t like you.'” —Hillary Rodham Clinton at Wellesley College, 1969

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Tell the truth ’til it’s funny

“That’s the whole ballgame. Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. And here there is Liberty.” —President Donald J. Trump at Liberty College, 2017

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York–based writer whose work has appeared regularly on Reader's Digest and in a variety of other publications since 2008. She covers life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. Lauren is also an author of crime fiction, and her first full-length manuscript, "The Trust Game," was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.