charlie day commencement speech text

Charlie Day Gives ‘Epic’ Commencement Speech At His Alma Mater

Charlie Day‘s commencement speech at Merrimack College, the star’s alma mater, is doing the viral rounds — because it’s pretty funny.

If you’re a fan of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, you might have already seen Charlie’s speech. The 20-minute talk has some pretty funny quotables, in which Day, at the start, joked:

“I do however have some qualifications, some insight, because I, like you are becoming today, am a Merrimack College Graduate. I know what it took to get here. I was in this very room. I sat in those uncomfortable chairs. I dressed like some sort of medieval pastry chef and I too desperately hoped my hangover would wear off. If you can just make it to brunch you should be alright.”

Words to live by. Day also admitted some college shenanigans, explaining:

“I befriended a guy named Ed with a similar penchant for mischievousness. And late that evening Ed and I went to the third floor community bathrooms and cut all their shower curtains at waist high. Leaving the third floor boys with a diabolical option the next morning. Pass on a shower or take the most embarrassing shower of your life. My apologies for the destruction of school property. I’ll donate two shower curtains.”

Actually, that’s Charlie Day, PhD — the actor was awarded an honorary doctorate, which he also laughed about during his address, adding:

“And although I join the ranks of fellow prestigious Honorary Doctors like Mike Tyson and Kermit The Frog and although I fully acknowledge that Dr. Charlie Day sounds like some kind of club DJ, I assure you all that I intend to go by this title from here on out. And as a doctor I plan to start writing my own prescriptions immediately.”

At this point, he segues into the meaning of a degree and college graduation, opining that the achievement is somewhat meaningless, not unlike an honorary PhD:

“You can’t exchange your degree for cash. You can’t have a degree audition or interview for you. You can not eat it. Please don’t make love to it. You can maybe smoke it but I wouldn’t advise it. A college degree collects dust. It does nothing. It does however mean something. It represents something, to yourself and your community. It tells your community. ‘I have expanded my mind and destroyed my liver but I didn’t give up. I pushed through. I made it, man.’ And although 44 of you today took more than 4 years to achieve that goal, nobody has to know that. Think of the plus side, you gave your parents a couple more years of nobody living in their basement.”

After three anecdotes about what may have appeared to be bad decisions at the time, the star explains how they all come together, concluding:

“But my lesson is this. I don’t give a s***. You can not let a fear of failure or a fear of comparison a fear of judgement stop you from doing the things that will make you great. You can not succeed without the risk of failure. You can not have a voice without the risk of criticism. You can not love without the risk of loss. You must take these risks.”

You can read the full text of Charlie Day’s commencement speech at Merrimack College here [PDF], and watch the clip, above.

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