next graduation speech

Lewis Black

Comedian and Playwright
Thurgood Marshall College of UCSD, June 2013

Commencement Speech Excerpts

Comedian Lewis Black reminded students that a sense of humor will be their “life preserver in what could definitely be a veil of tears.”

“Relish it. Cultivate it. It will keep you sane in the midst of the madness you will encounter nearly every day of your life. It is vital to your existence.”

 Pursue whatever it is that you want to do with your life. It is the only secret to happiness that I know except for maybe true love, that and maybe having the amazing health insurance plan that our congressmen have.

 “Before I forget, I just want to say, I am really sorry you might not get the social security checks you might have spent when you get old. Our parents passed it on to our generation, but no one ever said to us that we were supposed to pass it on to the next generation. So we spent it.”

 “Pursuing your dream, I believe that is the path you should follow; that is why you have the dream to be on the road that you should be on. If you follow that road, you might not end up at your dream, but you will end up doing something that gives you immense satisfaction.”

 “Just because you get old, it doesn’t mean you have to let go of your youthful inquisitiveness. Just because you get old, it doesn’t mean you have to let go of the beliefs you have now. You have them for a reason. It’s generally called idealism, and there is nothing wrong with being idealistic.”

 “You are already years ahead of us socially. You have all the information that mankind has gathered right in your pocket in your phone. Now use that information to find the facts to make a better world than the one we have today … You matter. You are important. Get the job done and remember to take care of each other.”

 “You are now entering a world filled to the brim with idiots,” “Since there are so many idiots out there, you may actually start to think you’re crazy. You are not. They are idiots.”

 “Whatever you do, don’t tell the idiot that they are an idiot. There may come a day when you may need that idiot.

“Idiots may be idiots, but they do have a memory.”

 “rules that are stupid are made to be broken.”

He said everyone has a funny story to tell from their collegiate years—“except [Facebook founder] Mark Zuckerberg  He apparently spent his college career designing a program to locate friends who didn’t want to be found.”

 “Remember, when you make the world a better place for everyone, you’ve [made it] a better place for yourself.

“A lot of people don’t agree with that. They,” he said with a pause, “are idiots.”


Posted on: 10/02/13

Bookmark and Share

Top 10 Speeches
Best Speeches by Year
Graduation Advice
Speech Writing Help
Archive: All Speeches


Best Quotes
Top 15 Themes
Funny Quotes
2014 Graduation
Graduation Sketchnotes