Sunday, May 19, 2013

My commencement speech to the Class of '13

June is the graduation time of year. I guess a hundred years ago those commencement speakers were inspiring and offered thoughts and insights that were new and fresh. But now, Jesus! Be your own person. Never give up. You have a responsibility to society. Success comes from within. Show courage. You can make a difference. Set aside time to smell the roses. Let faith be your guide. Blablablablabla.

I’ve never been asked to be a commencement speaker and that’s probably a good thing because here’s some of the advice I might give:

Live at home with your parents as long as you can. Otherwise you’ll have to find a job. Rents are high. And then there’s laundry, food, and the family big screen.

Know that the music you think is so cool now will be laughed at by future generations.

Same with clothes.

Don’t follow your current favorite group around the country for the next thirty years. That becomes sad year one.

If you are going to honor your dear departed kitty Fluffy with a tattoo make sure all your subsequent pets are also named Fluffy.

Eat bad foods. You’re at an age when you can get away with it. And eat them at midnight. There’s plenty of time in the future for watching your carbs, eating your vegetables, avoiding red meat, and laying off the Yodels and Ring Dings. Soon enough you won’t be able to eat a bite after 8:00 without spending the night in the porcelain canyon . Do you want fries with that? Damn right you do!

Don’t buy SUV’s.

Practice safe and frequent sex. Have many romances and then fall in love when you’re 30.

Go back and study the history of your chosen field. Things actually happened before 1995.

Don’t blame your parents for everything. Your peers screwed you up just as much.

Sleep. It’s better for you than Red Bull.

You can no longer take an "incomplete".

Prepare yourselves. There will come a day – in your lifetime – that they will stop making original episodes of THE SIMPSONS. I know you don't believe me but it's true.

There’s a special bond having shared the school experience together. Stay in touch with your classmates. Even the ones you’ve slept with.

Don’t invest money in video stores.

Read novels that aren’t graphic.

Join communities that aren't virtual.

Save your journal or private diary. In twenty years you’re going to get such laughs.

Dream big but always have contingency plans. And then have contingency plans for your contingency plans.

Keep your student ID card. Use it to get into movies cheaper.

Guys, don’t wear hats. You’ll have plenty of time for that later once you’ve lost your hair.

Never take comedy traffic school.

Buy your alcoholic beverages by the glass or bottle, not the keg.

And finally -- Don’t sweat it if you don’t know what you’re going to do with your life. There’s a good chance the job you'll eventually want hasn’t been invented yet.

Congratulations to the class of '13. Now get out there and don’t fuck up my Social Security.


Thomas said...

It worries me a little that the Simpsons is older than me, but was losing its touch before this century began.

Dango Forth said...

Really great! Can you also add...

Do something good for someone you don't know - and don't tweet about it. Learn that you knowing about it is all the congratulation you need.

Watch movies in the theater just for the sheer thrill of the story. Let yourself be drawn into its world. Honor the experience. You can deconstruct it later when it comes out on DVD or when you go a second time.

Anytime you see the government pass new regulations "for the good of you good citizens", feel free to laugh and shake your head in wonder. Then, next time, actually VOTE on your legislators.

Learn the difference between it's and its.

gottacook said...

There’s a good chance the job you'll eventually want hasn’t been invented yet.

The other side of this coin, unfortunately, is that the kind of job you're best suited for may already be on its way out. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Have multiple and diverse interests, and be interested enough in them to get really good at them over time.

Victor Velasco said...

Funny, serious, bittersweet and common sense. Thanks for your work.

sanford said...

You should make a video of that speech and put it on you tube. Bet it would get a lot of hits. You might even be asked to give that speech in person

jcs said...

My advice:

If you have the money and the opportunity, get a passport and travel abroad frequently.

Try to improve things. May it be at work or elsewhere.

Ronald said...

Friday Question-

I just heard Marc Maron's WTF podcast with Sam Simon. And what an incredible story. Taxi showrunner at 23, co-created The Simpsons, and retired at 35 because he says he was never technically fired from The Simpsons and kept all the points a creator gets with a show like that. He's now been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He said he worked on Cheers and I'm guessing you guys know eachother. I was wondering if the trajectory of his career would ever happen today and perhaps you have a good story about him.

Mike in Seattle said...

Coolest commencement this year, bar none, goes to Tulane. Dr. John and Allen Touissaint got honorary degrees. The Dalai Lama was the speaker.

John said...

What? No concluding line that says, "...and if you reach the pinnacle of success in your chosen career remember -- Kickstarter is for people who need the money and can't raise it any other way." Then duck as the Zach Braff fans among the grads hurl their mortar boards at you.

Breadbaker said...

I doubt they remember what a video store was.

Julie Goes to Hollywood said...

Ken, I would like to see you rap this. You would definitely go viral, at least with me.

Julie Ann Sipos said...

Ken, I would like to see you rap this. You would definitely go viral, at least with me.

i could be a bob said...

Jimmy Kimmel took your advice.

Kimmel also offered some advice to the new graduates:

“Don’t go into the world,” he said. “The world is no place to go into. There are no jobs.”

Mike said...

>Practice safe and frequent sex. Have many romances and then fall in love when you’re 30.

>'13. Now get out there and don’t fuck up my Social Security.

There's a contradiction there. It also contradicts a bit with
Don’t buy SUV’s.

That is horrible advice, especially for women. Better to have kids when you still have the energy, and are less likely to need medical intervention.