Mental Floss

Fred Armisen's Touching, Funny Graduation Speech

Chris Higgins

About a week ago, Saturday Night Live and Portlandia star Fred Armisen gave the commencement address at Oregon Episcopal High School. You might think it would be just a pure joke-fest, but no -- this is a sincere, personal, thoughtful speech...with some jokes. Interestingly, Armisen discusses how something that seemed like a great failure to him at the time -- not going to NYC's film school -- ended up working out very well for him. I find this interesting because I also failed to go to NYC film school...and fifteen years later, I'm so glad I didn't go. If I had gone to NYU, there's basically no chance I'd be writing today. So -- I was touched by his speech. Have a look and enjoy Armisen's advice for teens.

Sample quote: "When I was asked by OES to speak, my answer was: 'Only if I could do it from a podium that looks like I'm riding on an eagle.'" All right, here's a better one: "Okay, so here's some real advice that I have for you: avoid people who tell you that something you want to do is not possible. You can all be male models. Every single one of you, even the girls. Remember that there's no one way of doing things."