Little known fact: If a speaker name-checks “the documentary” about Elle Woods while talking to Harvard Law School’s graduating class, you know her remarks are going to be good.
That’s exactly the kind of pop-culture-tinged humor that Mindy Kaling — a woman reminded in the opening moments of her speech that, despite playing an OBGYN on television and getting an honorary degree from Harvard Law, she isn’t actually a doctor of any kind — used in her speech at Harvard Law’s Class Day ceremony this past week.
“I know what you’re probably thinking: Mindy Kaling? Why did they ask her?” Kaling remarked. “She’s just a pretty Hollywood starlet. What does that quadruple threat know about the law? Sure, she seems really down-to-earth, and pretty but in a totally accessible way, and yeah, she was on People magazine’s Most Beautiful list this year and also in 2008, but what intelligent remarks could she possibly make about the law? She’s probably too busy doing shampoo commercials! But I’m not too busy. In fact, I would kill to do a shampoo commercial. So if anyone from L’Oreal is out there, please Snapchat me after this.”
Elsewhere in her speech, Kaling spoke about her own education at Dartmouth, how celebrities give too much advice, and “noted drunk driver Justin Bieber.”
She concluded her 17-minute long speech with a nod to Breaking Bad and Mad Men: “A lot of you will become the quiet heroes of our country. However, those of you who go on to work for Big Pharma or Philip Morris — you will be the loud antiheroes, and someone is certain to make an AMC series glamorizing you. So congratulations. But basically, either way, you can’t go wrong.”
Watch her full remarks below, courtesy of Vulture: