Steven Colbert’s memorable commencement address


I had seen clips from Steven Colbert‘s commencement address at the University of Virginia (“You Owe The Previous Generation Nothing”) but only recently watched his entire address. Before you watch the video — if you haven’t as yet and plan to — here are some comments by Tyler Kingkade in a Huffington Post.

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Comedian Stephen Colbert thanked the University of Virginia during his speech Saturday at its 2013 valedictory exercises for inviting him to be the keynote speaker, which he took to mean he had been awarded an additional honor.

“I believe that means I am this year’s valedictorian, and I am as shocked as you are because I didn’t make it to many classes this year,” Colbert said. “You guys must’ve really tanked your finals, thank you for that.”

Colbert addressed the graduating students and their parents at the event, which is meant to pay tribute to students’ time at the university. Graduates will walk across the stage and receive diplomas Sunday at a separate commencement.

Colbert noted U.Va.’s top rankings in U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review, as well as Playboy‘s ranking of top party schools, which placed the Wahoos first.

Colbert clarified, “I only read Playboy for the rankings.”

He made light of the controversy in June 2012 when the U.Va. board of visitors ousted Teresa Sullivan as president. The board later reinstated Sullivan after an intense backlash from students, faculty and alumni.

“I want to thank president Teresa Sullivan. You are way better than that last president, Teresa Sullivan, she was terrible,” Colbert said to plenty of laughter and applause. “I am so glad they cut her loose. Good riddance, I say! No, you are clearly the woman for this job.”

The famed satirist and host of television show “The Colbert Report” then turned his attention to the university’s governing board. Colbert suggested it was named the board of visitors because Thomas Jefferson, the school’s founder, was trying to put the local Native Americans at ease. “Just visiting, should be going home any century now,” he joked.

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The read all of Kingkade’s remarks, please click here.

To watch the video of Colbert’s address, please click here.

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