Mindy Kaling delivered a string of jokes at her audience’s expense on Wednesday. But she was addressing a group that had plenty to feel good about: Harvard Law School graduates on their Class Day.
The “Mindy Project” creator and star mixed in plenty of self-deprecating comparisons between herself and the accomplished crowd and speakers. The speech was a hit in one way: almost no lines in her 16-minute remarks fell flat. But there’s no word yet on the success of her romantic solicitations of Harvard professor Noah Feldman and the most handsome member of the graduating class.
It’s worth watching the entire speech, but here’s a sampling of some crowd-pleasing lines:
On her alma mater, Dartmouth:
I graduated in 2001 from Dartmouth College… where, when you arrive, you are given a flask of moonshine and a box of fireworks and told simply to “Go to town.” Except there is no town. There is only a forest and a row of fraternity houses that smell like urine.
On the graduates’ accomplishments:
This group before me is bristling with ambitious young people, many of whom have already started charities and philanthropic organizations. And now, with this diploma in hand, most of you will go on to the noblest of pursuits. Like helping a cable company acquire a telecom company. You will defend B.P. from birds. You will spend hours arguing that the well water was poisoned before the fracking occurred!
On the Harvard-Yale rivalry:
I know that you have a chip on your shoulder. Yale Law is always No. 1. You are always No. 2. Sometimes, Stanford sneaks in there and bumps you down to No. 3. But let me tell you something: From where I stand, from an outsider’s perspective, you are all nerds. All of you. The only difference is you are the nerds that are going to make some serious bank.
On celebrity “experts”:
In Hollywood, we all think we are wise advice-givers, and most of us have no education whatsoever. Actresses can be come nutritionists, experts in baby care and environmental policy. Actors can become governors, pundits, or even high-ranking officials in religions made up a mere 60 years ago. For two years, I have played an obstetrician and gynecologist on a network TV show, and damned if I don’t think I can deliver a baby.