Entertainment news for the week of June 9, 2000 | EW.com

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Entertainment news for the week of June 9, 2000

Entertainment news for the week of June 9, 2000 -- Graduation speeches from stars including Bill Murray, Billy Joel, and Oprah Winfrey

It’s the season for pomp and circumstance — not to mention celebs scooping up honorary doctorates. But do the stars’ recent commencement speeches make the grade?

BILL MURRAY
Columbia University’s School of the Arts, New York City
Pearls of wisdom: ”I thought to myself, ‘Why should I spend more time on your college graduation than I spent on my own?’ I have a degree, from high school, but I’m a f—ing millionaire.”
Report card: In a disjointed, mostly ad-libbed rant, Murray threatens the faculty, boasts about his academic ineptitude, and accuses certain grads of having ”multiple reproductive organs.” (Don’t ask.) C for coherence; A for comic value

TOM SELLECK
Pepperdine University, Malibu, Calif.
”I stare at the empty lines on my little yellow pad…while I ponder, ‘How can I possibly talk about this stuff without sounding like I’m pontificating?”’
Too late, Tommy. Selleck’s address is earnest, preachy, and weighed down by bone-dry statistics on shoplifting and ethics. Should have hired those Friends writers. C-

JOHN MELLENCAMP
Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind.
”So you might wonder, ‘How in the hell did this goofball Mellencamp last so long?’ Well, he’s an okay songwriter. His shows are a little bit above average. Damn good-looking fellow, though!”
Disconcerting third-person references aside, the longtime Hoosier booster’s little ditty about staying honest and never ”kissing ass” provides some solid Midwestern motivation. B+

OPRAH WINFREY
Salem College, Winston-Salem, N.C.
”As a 22-year-old anchorwoman, [I] had the misfortune of having a bad perm and losing all of my hair. And if you want to know who you really are, find yourself as a black, bald anchorwoman.”
Who hasn’t been there, sister? The media queen also plugs her book club, her magazine, and her TV show, but she’s so damn charming about it, she gets a pass. B

BILLY JOEL
Southampton College, Southampton, N.Y.
”Good luck and good timing are probably just as important as a good education — although owning some nice waterfront property didn’t hurt. I’m sorry, but since I sold my house to Jerry [Seinfeld], it’s going to be more expensive than ever to live out here.”
The middle-aged rocker makes an impassioned plea to save Long Island’s scallops, oysters, and lobsters before closing with an original tune about seafood. Of all the shellfish-themed orations, one of the best. B

DREW CAREY
Cleveland State University, Cleveland
”I’ve always wanted to walk up to women and go, ‘Hey, baby, trust me — I’m a doctor.’ Now I can.” Also advises grads to ”get a new identity so the student-loan guy can’t find you.”
More beer-chugging, strip-club-frequenting college dropouts should give commencement speeches. A