Though it’s been just one week since the finale aired, your friends at EW are already officially suffering from Parks and Recreation withdrawal. So the following video – in which P&R star Amy Poehler delivers a very funny, surprisingly touching speech to Harvard’s graduating class – hit the internet just in time. As a bonus, Poehler’s address is almost 15 minutes long, which makes it just seven minutes shorter than the average episode of Parks and Rec. (Yes, we are obsessed enough to know these things.)
The speech itself is smart and frequently quoteworthy, if not quite as LOL-inducing as some of Poehler’s best work (“The Fight” FTW!). In it, the lady behind Leslie Knope talks a little about her own background – she went to Boston College, “which some call the Harvard of Boston” – and gives the graduates advice both as a Bostonian (“Just because you’re wicked smaht doesn’t mean you’re better than me”) and as a New Yorker (“Excuse me, m’am, could you move, please?”) before revealing that the true secret to happiness is living your life by the rules of improv comedy.
She recommends that the grads take these tips to heart, whether they’re trying to be better people or trying to entertain a drunk audience at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater: “Listen. Say yes. Live in the moment. Make sure you play with people who have your back. Make big choices early and often. Don’t start a scene where two people are talking about jumping out of a plane – start the scene having already jumped.”
Watch the whole thing for yourself below. It’s not quite NBC Thursday… but it’s good enough for now.
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