The tradition of giving inspiring commencement speeches at college graduations is nothing new, but thanks to things like YouTube, anyone can now experience them. Plus, the advent of having notable celebrities perform these speeches makes them even more enjoyable. It’s especially pleasant for viewers at home, who get to watch without the pain of having to dress up or sit through hundreds of names being called waiting to cheer for just one. Still, Tufts University’s graduating class of 2016 really lucked out when they were treated to a speech by voice acting legend, and Tufts alumnus, Hank Azaria.
The full speech, which can be watched here, is a delight, but where it really shines is in the last few minutes when he treats the audience to some advice from his characters on The Simpsons. Chief Wiggum,Moe Szyslak, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon (thanks for the spellcheck, Google), Horatio “Old Sea Captain” McCallister, and Jeffrey “Comic Book Guy” Albertson all give a bit of advice in their own way to the graduating class. Through his voices, Azaria even manages to make a few jokes at the expense of another Boston area college, Tufts mascot, and the town home to the university.
Each bit actually served to prove the overarching message he wished to impart: trusting your instincts and being true to yourself. Azaria explained that it’s imperative to go through life embracing the person you are, how you think, and how you feel.
In what might be the best way ever to close out a speech, Azaria brought out his character Agador Spartacus from The Birdcage with some phenomenal closing words. “Keeds, just please be jourselves, and if choo can’t be jourself, please be Judy Garland from that movie Meet Me in St. Louis.”
What are some of your favorite commencement speeches? Charlie Day’s was pretty awesome too! Let’s discuss in the comments below!
Image: Tufts University