It’s celebrity commencement season, that wonderful time of year when famous speakers attempt to give college seniors advice about what to expect from the post-graduation world. In that spirit, Tom Hanks will speak Sunday to the graduating masses at Yale University’s Class Day, the event held the day before commencement.
Other celebrity graduation speakers include Amy Poehler, who will speak Wednesday at Harvard’s Class Day; Conan O’Brien, slated to speak at Dartmouth’s commencement June 12; and Stephen Colbert, who addresses Northwestern grads on June 17.
Presumably Hanks and his fellow famous orators have prepared appropriately stirring speeches. But really, why should they? Simply by piecing together dialogue from their movies, TV shows and past public appearances, they could easily compose an inspiring addresses filled with sound advice.
On the off chance that Mr. Hanks is still struggling to find the words to share with Yale grads, I’ve taken the liberty of creating a commencement address using that formula below.
After reading that speech, it’s your turn. Using the interactive speech-builders below, choose the quotes from the movies/shows/appearances you would feature in each of the speeches and voila! You too can write commencement addresses for Hanks, Poehler, O’Brien and Colbert.
Sample Tom Hanks speech:
Good afternoon, Yale seniors
My momma always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. 1
Despite the unpredictability of life, every now and again — not often, but occasionally — you get to be a part of justice being done. That really is quite a thrill when that happens.2
Now it’s time for you to join the real world. Or, to put it another way: Attention, passengers, we are now leaving Nun Central and are beginning our journey to hell and beyond. The captain has turned off the “no smoking” sign, and you may now move about the cabin freely. 3
As you begin your journey, don’t forget that we live and we die by time. And we must not commit the sin of losing our track on time. 4
And always remember that what really matters is what you believe. 5
Reach for the sky! 6
So, in conclusion, there’s no crying in baseball. 7
Oh, and also, shimmy, shimmy, cocoa pop. Shimmy, shimmy, rock. 8
Thank you. Congratulations. Now if you’ll excuse me — I have to get to a library . . . fast! 9
1: “Forrest Gump”
3: “Bachelor Party”
4: “Cast Away”
5: “The DaVinci Code”
6: “Toy Story”
7: “A League of Their Own:
9: Also, “The DaVinci Code”
Now try your hand at another Tom Hanks address.
And one for Amy Poehler:
And Conan O’Brien: