Conan Imparts His Unique Wisdom on Dartmouth Grads

12 Jun

“Nietzsche said whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. What he failed to mention is that it almost kills you.”

This Sunday, Conan O’Brien delivered the Commencement Speech at the school that “graduated more fictitious characters than any other Ivy League College”. The flow was that of a usual graduation speech: some touches on the College’s traditions, stabs about philosophy degrees and capped off with heartfelt advice. However, Conan’s delivery was smarter, more original and much, much funnier. It was like watching an episode of 30 Rock, where every line was rich with a witty joke. “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 shit.”

After 17 minutes of comedy, Conan brought it home. He truthfully recounted his painful split with NBC and how he turned “facing his worst nightmare” into an opportunity for reinvention and the most exciting and gratifying year of his professional career. He told the new graduates that whatever you think your dream is now, it will change, and that’s okay. Conan wrapped it up with a quote by none other than himself: “Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.”

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