Conan O'Brien's Dartmouth commencement address: Watch! | EW.com

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Conan O'Brien's Dartmouth commencement address: Watch!

Conan O’Brien delivered the commencement address at Dartmouth College on Sunday, and you can watch the full 24-minute speech (and 4-minute highlight reel) below. Not surprisingly, O’Brien was self-deprecating: “My first job as your commencement speaker is to illustrate that life is not fair,” he said. “For instance, you have worked tirelessly for four years to earn the diploma you’ll be receiving this weekend. And Dartmouth is giving me the same degree for interviewing the fourth lead in Twilight. Deal with it.” That doesn’t mean he didn’t prepare for the moment. “But don’t get me wrong, I take my task today very seriously,” he said. “When I got the call two months ago to be your speaker, I decided to prepare with the same intensity many of you have devoted to an important term paper. So late last night, I began.” 

As a Harvard alum, O’Brien knew how to get laughs with Ivy League humor: “You must stand tall, raise your heads high, and feel proud. Because if Harvard, Yale, and Princeton are your self-involved, vain, name-dropping older brothers, you are the cool, sexually confident, lacrosse-playing younger sibling who knows how to throw a party and looks good in a down vest,” he said. “Brown, of course, is your lesbian sister who never leaves her room. And Penn, Columbia, and Cornell, well, frankly, who gives a s—.” As someone who saw the dream he pursued for 25 years – hosting The Tonight Show – implode, he also had something important to say: “Like many people, I thought that achieving that goal would define me as successful. But that is not true. No specific job or career goal defines me, and it should not define you,” he said. “In 2000, I told graduates to not be afraid to fail, and I still believe that. But today, I tell you that whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.”

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