Conan O'Brien

Conan O’Brien

The 10 Best Celebrity College Commencement Speeches

Graduation memories are unfolding for college students at campuses across the country. Some are lucky enough to have speeches presented by the foremost thinkers of our time. Don’t discount them because of their celebrity. They’re bright, interesting, see the world from a different angle, and often leave otherwise stodgy commencement speeches feeling a little lighter.

We’ve rounded up the commencement speeches given by actors, actresses, and even tech giants that left us inspired, humbled, and in stitches.

In 2006, Stephen Colbert gave the commencement speech at Knox College, a private liberal arts school in Galesburg, IL. His opening remarks played on his thinly veiled real life/television persona. “I play someone on television named Stephen Colbert. He looks like me and talks like me, but with a straight face, says things he doesn’t mean. I’m not sure which one of us you invited here today.”

It didn’t take long to figure out which Stephen Colbert showed up. In his trademark farcical, news anchor style, he was light on the wisdom and heavy on “truthiness.” He somehow pulled off a law student/beer pong/Dred Scott joke, and claimed to have attended Knox College. “It doesn’t get reported much, partly because the press doesn’t do proper research, and partly because it’s not true,” he said.

It only took him 18 minutes, but he finally squeezed in some genuine remarks. He talked about his experience with improvisational comedy troupes, and how the spontaneity imitated life. “You’re about to start the greatest improv of all. You’ll have no script, no idea…and you are not in control. So say yes, and if you are lucky, people will say yes back,” he said. “Saying yes begins things, saying yes is how things grow. Yes is for young people, and that’s the word.” Read the rest of this entry »



Comedians With Ivy League Degrees Prove Smart and Funny Go Hand-in-Hand

Hollywood is ripe with eclectic celebrities, a majority of whom reach stardom before they ever think about entering college. Perhaps to them, the fame and fortune is greater than a college degree. But there are some celebrities who go to college before diving head first into acting careers, including a surprising number of big name comedians.

Conan O’Brien received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1985, majoring in history and literature. He even graduated with honors and wrote for the Harvard Lampoon – a humor magazine at the university. Conan’s writing skills came in handy when he became a staff writer at Saturday Night Live, where he would occasionally appear on skits. Eventually, he started hosting his own television show, ‘Late Night With Conan O’Brien,’ which he’s most well known for now. Taking a look at Conan’s resume, it’s not hard to see that this funny man is a smart one, too.

John Krasinski, known for his witty character on NBC’s sitcom “The Office,” attendedĀ Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. During his time there, Krasinski studied theatre arts where he was also part of a sketch comedy group. Around that time he landed an internship with the above-mentioned funny man on ‘Late Night With Conan O’Brien.’ In addition to an Ivy League college education, Krasinski also taught English in Costa Rica before attending school, which proves he has much more to offer than just his funny quips and good looks. Read the rest of this entry »



Conan O’Brien Education Background

conanConan O’Brien was born April 18, 1963 in Boston to Thomas and Ruth O’Brien, the third of six children. He is descended from Irish-Catholic, pre-Civil War immigrants. His high school years were spent at Brookline High School, where he excelled at academics, was editor of his school newspaper and graduated valedictorian.

Following graduation, he enrolled at Harvard University, where he majored in journalism. While at Harvard, he wrote for the illustrious Harvard Lampoon, and he graduated magna cum laude. While at Harvard, he met Jeff Zucker, who would later become his boss at NBC. Read the rest of this entry »





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