Entries tagged with “commencement address”.


Scene from a well respected educational joint that teaches how to speak Shakespeare.

Scene from a well-respected educational joint that teaches ordinary joes and janes how to speak Shakespeare.

Recently, I had the distinct honor and privilege of being asked to give the commencement address to graduates of the prestigious Ye Olde University of Shakespearean Thespian Talents. Located in Stratford-upon-Avon-Lady, England, this establishment is renowned worldwide for training the finest Shakespearean actors in the biz, many of whom go on to careers in fetching plates of food for hungry people. What follows is the entire transcription of my inspiring speech.

(THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE FOLLOWING THE DEAN’S INTRODUCTION OF THE COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER)

P. SCULLIN: Thank you. Thank you very much. Please, thank you. You’re too kind, really. Okay, then, please be seated. (LAUGHS) Come on, please, enough. Kindly stop your applause and be seated. Seriously. You’re too kind. I mean it. Oh, no, please–– I don’t deserve a wave. (LAUGHS) But there you go. (LAUGHS) Beautiful. That was a world class wave. Now, please be seated. I mean it. You’re very kind. Too kind really. I don’t deserve this. Oh, not again–– another wave! (LAUGHS) Okay, now stop! Quit the applause and be seated. I mean it.

Finally, thank you for your warm welcome. Now, I’d like to give you some valuable life advice.

Um, yes. Right. Um. Hmmm.

Advice.

(AWKWARD SIXTEEN MINUTES OF SILENCE)

Line!

(THE DISTINGUISHED SPEAKER THEN WET HIMSELF AND RAN OFF STAGE SCREAMING)

(AND… SCENE)

You could hear a pin drop if you had really good hearing.

You could hear a pin drop if you had really good hearing and I was clumsy with pins.

The following is my commencement address to the Princeton University Class of 2015.

Good afternoon. Sit, please. Enough applause already, please sit. Thanks.

That was a lovely rendition of “Pomp & Circumference”–– let’s it hear it for the PU band! You guys rock.

As I look out on all those fancy robes, colorful sashes, Mortar Board skull caps and big foam fingers with “We’re #1” printed on them waving madly, I feel your sense of pride, accomplishment and excitement.

Your investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars has finally come to an end, unless you re-up for another hit of higher education in the ol’ academia incubator.

Either way, if you have piles of student debt and need some relief, or, you need a little loan, my friend Sal is in the parking lot. He’s the husky guy sitting in a gold Buick Riveria with a two-day beard and a Lucky Strike in his mouth. Sal has some exceptional terms. And if you act today, he’ll throw in a pair of Isotoner gloves when you pay your loan back, providing you still have all your digits. Take a sit down with Sal and let your troubles float away.

So, what about life? What are the keys to success? How can you find your true purpose, your happiness?

To quote a great philosopher, the answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind. And if you can’t find answers there, remember the idea that drove Fox Mulder in “The X-Files”–– THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE.

Find it, graduates. Find the truth. How? Try The internet, that thing has damn near everything you ever need to know and it’s all true. Believe it!

Thanks. Now please commence with the thunderous applause, foot stomping and lighters in the air, and I may come back out for an encore.

Rock on, Princeton, I love you!

A student is stimulated by my inspiring words.

A student is stimulated by my inspiring words.

It’s a school that charges $34,600 tuition for the education of brilliant preschoolers, and I was privileged to deliver the commencement address to Le Creme de Elite Superior Gifted Children Academy in Belvedere, California.

Here is the text of my speech.

Good morning boys and girls, proud parents and esteemed teachers. What a beautiful day we have with Mr. Sun in all his gold circular glory and Miss Blue Sky presenting a canvas of peaceful tranquility! Thank you, God–– in the deity of your choice. Or, for the more scientific among you, props to the big bang theory!

As I look out on your happy and innocent faces, I know that our country is in great shape because I see the future of America! And I am absolutely confident that somewhere in this room is a child who will grow up and find a solution to Earth’s changing climate problem. One of you will have to, kiddies, or the ice caps will melt and oceans will rise so that we’ll all be underwater and soon eaten by hungry killer sharks.

Gee, that doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?

And someone in your class will have to come up with a solution to the problem of war. If not, we’ll all be burned by horrific nuclear explosions melting our skins and flesh right off our faces. Ouchie, that’s going to hurt!!!

Then there’s disease, my young friends. Who has the big brains to figure out how to protect all of humanity from the millions of deadly germs and bacterias out there waiting to ravage our bodies and wrestle us into ugly and very painful deaths?! Who will protect us?

How about you, sweetie, in the front row? You look smart. Oh, now don’t cry, you don’t have to solve that problem. Let someone else do it.

There’s an ice cream sandwich to whoever figures it out!

Look, kids, it is a dangerous world but all the grown-ups here have complete confidence that you will fix all the problems we’re leaving behind for you. Think of it as a game and play whack-a-mole with all the troubles in this kooky world. It’ll be fun!!!

It’s like you’ve always been told–– you are very, very special. And that’s why the adults are counting on you to clean up the problems we’re leaving behind. All it takes is an expensive education with lots of crushing student debt because of rising tuitions and paying the vig on student loans to the government!

Now then, who’s ready for some cake and ice cream?!

I have prepared this inspirational talk in case I am asked to give the commencement address to the 2010 graduating class of Harvard University…

When I was your age, I thought the world was mine for the taking.

I was going to go forth and seize the day, seize the week, the month, the year. I was going to blaze new trails, scale new heights and live life to its absolute fullest. I was going to to throttle this puny planet.

Then, something remarkable happened. I discovered daytime TV.

I discovered the joys of game shows and sitcom reruns, juicy soaps and incredibly fascinating talk shows. I discovered a universe of entertainment and enjoyment. And for the next 12 years, I sat transfixed by this magical box. My appointment book was TV Guide.

You just can't watch enough television! It can't be done!

From time to time a friend or relative would come by and spray me down with a garden hose to minimize my stench, but for the most part, I was unencumbered by the pressures of the real world. I’d dream of having dream jobs like being deputy to Andy in Mayberry, or living in Hooterville with Arnold Ziffle and Lisa Douglas, or being a brain surgeon on General Hospital, or a brainiac contestant on Jeopardy answering my way to wealth. My life was great and I was unbelievably happy.

Then, unforeseen tragedy struck–– the TV broke and its screen went blank. It took me a week or two before I realized what had happened. At first I thought that the blank screen might just be a new daytime TV concept show, perhaps a minimalist soap with some deep, dark existential message. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. My lifeline had been severed and reality came kicking down the door.

So, I hoisted myself from my couch indentation and took the world’s longest bathroom break. I sheared my knee-length beard, showered with a high pressure garden hose, updated my resume and went looking for a J-O-B.

I got hired, hired, fired, hired, hired, hired, hired, hired, hired, fired, hired, fired and then did my own thing. Eventually I met a couple of other guys and we did our own thing. We’re still doing that thing, along with a lot of other things, with a bunch of other people.

And when I’m deep in the muck, working my way through the mire, doing what needs to be done in a heroic fashion with all the strength and intelligence I can muster, I think one simple thought–– I wonder what’s on TV right now?

So my simple message to you is this: be willing to explore and discover new channels you’ve never seen before. Don’t be afraid to bravely channel surf where you’ve never channel surfed before. Just remember this sage advice: keep a garden hose handy. It’s a good idea.

Class of 2010, this puny planet is yours, ready to be throttled. Enjoy, and thank you.

Time to grow up, kiddies!

Angels Must Earn Their Wings

     Recently I was asked to give the commencement address to “The Cherished Sweet Angels Pre-K” graduating class. Here’s my speech in its entirety with editorial comments:

    Good morning, Cherished Sweet Angels, and congratulations on receiving a sheepskin for doing little more than poking straws into juice boxes and for rarely mistaking glue sticks for ChapSticks. (TITTERS OF NERVOUS LAUGHTER FROM PARENTS AND CHILDREN.) For these incredible accomplishments we are gathered to honor and blow smoke up your graduation gowns. (ANGRY STARES FROM PARENTS. CHILDREN LOOK BORED.)

    Let me tell you about what awaits you so you’ll be prepared to face the challenges ahead. It will be an exciting time, one that will test you and make you graduate from Cherished Sweet Angels to legitimate saints, wings optional. (TEACHERS ARE ATTENTIVE. CHILDREN YAWN.)

    Your first challenge is paying down the debt all the grown-ups and the government have taken on. As of today, every man, woman and child owes $33,468 to help pay this debt. So, Angels, each of you owes $33,468. (CONFUSION ON CHILDREN’S FACES, ANGER ON PARENT AND TEACHER FACES.)

    A lot of this money we borrowed from China to pay for things we couldn’t afford, including a big financial mess caused by financial people who hired slick lobbyists to schmooze politicians and change the laws so that no one would watch them. Then these finance wizards gambled with our money and lost it. Silly Wall Street fat cats! Now they need more money so that they can have big bonuses. Hoo-ray! (PARENTS IN FINANCIAL SERVICES LOOK LIVID, CHILDREN ARE ANXIOUS.) 

    The $33,468 you owe means you might want to ask mommy and daddy for a raise in allowance, or, maybe open a lemonade stand where you can sell a glass for $1,000 or so. One way or another, you’re going to have to pay the piper! (SOME CHILDREN BEGIN CRYING, PARENTS MOVE TO COMFORT THE WEAK.)

    But debt is only part of the challenges ahead. You also have the threat of nuclear war! Yes, all sorts of kooky people want to make bombs that will kill tens of thousands of us and strip the flesh from our bones. Ouch! (MANY MORE CHILDREN BEGIN CRYING, SOME WAIL IN ANGUISH.)

    Who are these kooky people who want us dead? Oh, there’s all sorts of them. It’s like playing ‘Whack-A-Mole’ trying to keep all these nuts in check. Grab a mallet, kiddies, and let’s get to work!

    Then there’s food. Did you know just about everything you eat can kill you? Fast food, snacks, sweets, meats, sodas, bio-engineered fruits and vegetables dripping with evil pesticides… why just about anything you can think of is out to get you once it’s inside of you! Yow-wee ka-zowee! (MANY CHILDREN SCREAM AND RUN FOR THEIR PARENTS. THE TEACHERS TRY THEIR BEST TO COMFORT THE CHILDREN WHO REMAIN SEATED.)

    But we’re just getting started. The news tells us there are many, many things to fear on the horizon. Immigrants taking all our jobs, social security running dry, swine flu and all sorts of nasty germs that are sure to kill us, increasing violence, a war on terror and a war on drugs and flavors of nastiness you wouldn’t believe! (SOME CHILDREN DROP TO THE FLOOR, LIE ON THEIR BACKS AND WAIL AS STREAMS OF TEARS COLLECT IN PUDDLES.)

    Oh, I’ve just scratched the surface, my Cherished Sweet Angels. I haven’t even warned you about reality TV yet! (AN ANGRY MOB OF PARENTS RUSH THE PODIUM, THEY BEAT ME, SWEAR AT ME AND TRY TO RESTRAIN ME FROM GIVING MY LAST WORD OF ADVICE, BUT I SHOUT IT LOUDLY FOR ALL TO HEAR ABOVE THE DIN OF CRYING.)

    Never give up your right to vote for your “American Idol”, kiddies. It’s your right as an American to be involved with the political process!

    (EVERYTHING GOES BLACK.)