Lexington High School 2009 Commencement Speech

I was asked to give the commencement speech at my former high school’s graduation this year. I was honored and delighted to be asked. Here’s my speech, followed by a video of me delivering the speech. Relax, everyone, I only mention heroin once:

Graduation speech for LHS Class of 2009

Hello, little dragons. Congratulations! You are now free from your 12 years of Knowledge-Prison. Today you begin the next phase of your life — whether it’s college, a job, or a program abroad — where you build a schoolhouse for underprivileged children, while hooking up with each other.

The main difference for you, between life yesterday and life tomorrow, is you can go to the bathroom whenever you want. It’s a pretty big responsibility, but you’ve earned it. A few more things: you can vote, start a family, go to war, even buy a beer. Just kidding, you’re only mature enough to shoot our enemies in the face.

Your parents are proud of you, but they’re nervous — 2009 is very different from when they grew up — most of them still remember exactly where they were when Lincoln was shot.

But here we are today — amidst several wars, with history’s largest deficit, in the worst recession since families gathered around radios to learn about evolution. On behalf of the generations who came before you, we’re really, really sorry. We made some oopsyies.

I won’t lie to you, there is an asteroid heading for the earth and you only have four days to live. I’m sorry, where was I?

Oh yeah, it will be up to you to lead America into the future. And I don’t mean your generation. I mean the 326 of you. You alone must fix the whole world. Tonight — relax, celebrate — have some Manischewitz. Tomorrow, start fixing.

Good news! This is the point in the graduation speech where I tell you a personal anecdote about perseverance and then quote a song. What’s the worst grade you’ve ever gotten? A D? An F? When I was in eighth grade at Diamond Middle school, on a homework assignment, I once got a -8. I did my assignment worse than not doing it. But did I let getting a grade lower than the lowest possible grade stop me? No. I was put into Recourse Room (Special Education) and turned my F into a D.

So, you see, sometimes you can fail, then barely pass, and then become a comedian. Also, I recommend being on television occasionally, because people treat you nicely.

Lastly, some tips for life  —

  1. Don’t forget to follow your dreams — unless your dreams are stupid — like eating all the cake in Arlington.
  2. Be kind to people.
  3. Don’t get too excited when you read the Fountainhead.
  4. In this time of recession, it is the time for invention. Did you know both the telephone and the automobile were invented during recessions? So was “talking dirty.”
  5. Things can kill you. So just keep that in mind, you fearless-know-it-alls.

Good luck with everything and don’t become addicted to heroin, unless you want to be a great songwriter.

And now, as promised, I’ll quote a song. Garden Party by Rick Nelson. It’s about him getting booed off stage at Madison Square Garden in 1971:

“it’s all right now, I learned my lesson well.
You see, ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself
lott-in-dah-dah-dah, lot-in-dah-dah-dah”



  1. LeAnna says:

    This is the best graduation speech ever. All mine were boring as hell. I definitely want you for my Bachelor’s graduation ceremony.

    June 8th, 2009 at 9:37 am (#)

  2. Benxpx says:

    My brain mouth was just raped by his mind penis.

    June 8th, 2009 at 10:25 am (#)

  3. sdb says:

    so excellent

    June 8th, 2009 at 12:45 pm (#)

  4. jkwon says:

    hey man i’m LHS class of 05′ and i was at my brother’s graduation this past sunday. your speech was hilarious and even had my mom laughing pretty hard. thanks for the being the best part of graduation and making it somewhat entertaining

    June 8th, 2009 at 1:34 pm (#)

  5. Jen says:

    Tip #3 on that list is funny ’cause it’s so true!

    June 8th, 2009 at 3:19 pm (#)

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    June 8th, 2009 at 6:18 pm (#)

  7. Christen says:

    I love this speech. And you. Well done.

    June 8th, 2009 at 8:30 pm (#)

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  10. Jason Hunter says:

    I’m incredibly jealous I didn’t have this kind of a speech when I was in high school. it’s was a great way to show a little respect to your old high school, while getting a great chance at making sure that these kids on their high horse and put down to reality a little bit and know they’re not the shit they think they are yet. great stuff man

    June 21st, 2009 at 11:57 pm (#)

  11. Nayan says:

    Could have used your advice about The Fountainhead back when I graduated high school. Please build a time machine and give this same speech at Woodbridge High School in Woodbridge, NJ in 1997. Don’t bother changing the name of the high school or year in the speech. We weren’t very bright and probably won’t notice. Fulfilling this request could save me a lot of trouble and I might lead to my life sucking a bit less. Also, you’d get a time machine, which I would imagine would be pretty sweet. Thanks in advance.

    March 16th, 2011 at 10:25 pm (#)

  12. eldridge72 says:

    I was asked to give the commencement speech at my former high school

    June 1st, 2011 at 6:00 am (#)

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