Celebrity commencement addresses: Steve Carell, Jane Lynch, and more

Steve Carell refrained from “That’s what she said” comments, well, almost, (check out 14:10) but the funnyman managed to be both funny and earnest in his remarks to Princeton University grads as their Class Day Speaker yesterday. 

His speech focused on the differences between when he went to college and now, and talked about how much harder he had it, including talking to girls without being able to text them. Instead, he had the pleasure of getting rejected face-to-face. “The point is, I suffered, and you should have to suffer too,” he explained to laughs.

Carell also gave some insight into what social media was back in the day: “We didn’t have Twitter, we used good old-fashioned gossip. If you wanted to talk about someone you could do it face-to-face, right behind their back.”

Check out video of Carell’s remarks, as well as some of our other favorite 2012 celebrity commencement speeches –such as Jane Lynch and James Franco–after the jump.

If you haven’t gotten your fill of celebrity advice, check out  this video of Jane Lynch’s address to Smith College from a few weeks ago. Heremarks were both hilarious — “ If life gives you lemons, grab it by the horns and drive — and yes, I just mixed three metaphors. Remember, I was a C student” — and heartfelt: “My advice to you: Live in the moment…. Life is just a big extended improvisation.” She shared her own graduation struggles, and also gave a shout-out to her wife, a Smith graduate.

Watch Jane Lynch’s entire speech below:

But Carell and Lynch wasn’t the only one spending time in a quad recently. James Franco took some time out of his very busy schedule of attending multiple colleges to speak at yet another. He visited UT Arlington and joked about his love of higher education: “I’m getting a contact high just being here.”  The movie star also made fun of his dreamy looks: ““I hope you realize how lucky you are to be here, looking up onstage to a man with deep brown eyes, and a flawless head of hair;  Chiseled good looks staring right back at you (audience cheers) — and I’m just talking about UT Arlington President Spaniolo.”

Franco also gave a shout-out to Seth Rogan, whom he says assisted him with his remarks. “For it is the fool who puts all his eggs in one basket. I say, spread your eggs around… Some of them might crack, or break along the way, but many will stay intact. Probably more than you think. You don’t like eggs? Too bad. That’s the analogy Seth wrote for me.”

Watch Franco’s speech below:

This graduation season has grabbed its fair share of headlines. Last month, Aaron Sorkin got into hot water for plagiarizing himself with his speech to Syracuse grads. Katie Couric has given us the one-liner to beat when she explained leaving CBS to University of Virginia students: “Some said I lacked ‘gravitas,’ which I’ve since decided is Latin for ‘testicles.'” Brian Williams, Bob Woodruff, Tom Brokaw, and David Gregory all also spoke or will be speaking soon to this year’s grads.  Oprah shared the wisdom of being Oprah to Spelman University graduates. And not to be outdone, President Obama delivered the commencement address to the women of Barnard College.

What are some of your favorite pop culture commencement speeches from years past? Jon Stewart? J.K. Rowling? Rory Gilmore?

Read more:
Aaron Sorkin recycles old Syracuse speech in new Syracuse speech — VIDEO  
Steve Jobs in 2005: ‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.’
Conan O’Brien’s Dartmouth commencement address: Watch!


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