I’ve watched a lot of commencement addresses, and I think this is my new favorite. The It’s Always Sunny star, an unorthodox speaker and graduate of Merrimack College, approaches the commencement address the way he’s approached his wildly successful comedy career. Relatable, wise, charismatic, and humble, Day weaves three compelling stories together in a speech that’s as powerful as it is entertaining.
After spending the first 8 or so minutes cracking jokes and telling stories of his prank-filled college years, Day gets into the real meat of the speech. Among the major takeaways are to (a. fail, but fail on your own terms, (b. achieve success the way you achieve success, and (c. to never let fear of failure or comparison to others get in the way of shooting greatness. As one YouTube commenter put it (in a nice callback to one of the lines in Day’s speech), “Not bad for someone who got famous by eating cat food.”