Stephen Colbert had graduates from the University of Virginia grabbing their stomachs for most of his 17-minute commencement address yesterday. The satirist, who did not attend the university (his application to attend there as a transfer student was rejected) but whose wife, Evelyn, did, put on a show worthy of any Colbert Report. Even the mandatory "advice" part on the end, where he makes fun of Millennials for be self-absorbed and beholden to their social media gods, is hysterical. But seriously, is this guy never not funny? He could breath and we'd laugh.
Here are 9 of his most brilliant quips from the speech:
1. "If anyone here has a cell phone, please take a moment to make sure it's turned on. I wouldn't want anyone to miss a text or a tweet while I'm giving my speech."
2. In referring to all the school's rankings ... "As has been stated before, the most impressive ranking of all has once again has to be Playboy naming you the number one party school in America. Now to be clear, I only read Playboy for the rankings."
3. "You know this is an impressive institution because it rejected my application."
4. My favorite thing about UVA has always been it's secret societies. That's sexy. You got the Zs, you got I think the Illuminati, the Masons, and Shield ... but of course the most secret of all is the Sevens Society. Nobody knows who's in it. I'm not going to say I'm a Seven. I'm not going to say I'm not a Seven ... I'm just going to say eviganblumencroft ... benedictcomberbachen [while making hand-flapping motion on face]. Now I have to have all of you killed!"
5. Referring to UVA's founder, Thomas Jefferson ... "In Jefferson's public life as a founding father, we often see him as the embodiment of the white male patriarchy. But in his private life, he was known for shall we say embracing diversity. Very affirmative, am I right? I'm right, they did the DNA tests on that one."
6. "I'm not going to say anymore on that, you've head too much about that in the past, instead I'll just tweet it."
7. In referring to the recent Time magazine cover calling the Millennials the "Me Me Me Generation," Colbert says:
"So self obsessed -- tweeting your Vines, hashtagging your Spotifys and Snapchatting your YOLOs -- your generation needs everything to be about you. And that's very upsetting to us baby boomers because self-absorption is kind of our thing. We're the original 'me' generation, we made the last 50 years all about us."
8. "While traditional paths may seem harder to find, that also means that you will learn the hard lesson sooner than most generations that you must always make the path for yourself. There is no secret society out there that will tap you on the shoulder one night and show you the way. Your life will not e defined by the society that we have left you."
9. "If you must find your own path, and we have left you no easy path, then decide now to choose the hard path that lead to the life and world that you want. And don't worry if we don't approve of your choice. In our benign self-absorption, I believe we have given you a gift. A particular form of independence because you don't own the previous generation anything. Thanks to us you owe it to the Chinese."
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It's worth a watch for yourself if you have 17 minutes to spare:
Image and video via University of Virginia/YouTube