With graduation bearing down on us, that can only mean one thing. (Actually, it can mean a lot of things, but for the purposes of this blog it has to mean only one thing.) The scramble for commencement keynote speakers is on. Oh sure, every college or university wants the most popular celebs speaking at their graduation ceremonies, but honestly, can we sit through another address given by Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs, or Condeleeaza Rice (which, by the way, her name always sounds like a Cajun main course dish to me) on how hard work and perseverance will take you to the moon (or where ever it is you want to go)?

I say it’s time we buck tradition. Instead of going with inspirational speakers, it’s time we make a left turn and enlist commencement speakers that might actually be entertaining enough to keep all 6-gazillion University of California graduates awake during commencement. So without further adieu, I give you 8 college graduation speakers we’d like to hear (performing at an institution of higher learning near you soon).

  1. Ozzy Osbourne
  2. Former Rock Star and Reality Show Geek
    An odd choice, you might say, because when he speaks it’s like the “Where’s Waldo?” of words. But precisely for that reason he’d be a great orator. Everyone would be so busy trying to decipher what he said that no one would notice how hot and tired they were sitting in a sea of sweaty graduates who just want to get to the after parties. P.S. Ozzy would also be fun at the after parties.

  3. Ricky Gervais
  4. Actor and Comedian
    The comedic behavior he exhibited as the host of the Emmys would liven up what traditionally has always been a “crap shoot” portion of graduation ceremonies. No one’s ever sure if the speaker is any good until after the speech is over (and by then it’s too late to book someone else). On the plus side for Ricky, anyone who uses Mel Gibson and Jews in the same joke is sure to get people’s attention at graduation.

  5. Scott Walker
  6. Wisconsin Governor (R)
    It would be fun to watch Gov. Walker explain to a huge crowd of liberal arts grads his thinking on why teachers’ salaries need to be cut (and their collective bargaining rights taken away) so he can balance his state’s budget at the expense of public education. Call it new math.

  7. Anthony Weiner and Megyn Kelly
  8. New York’s 9th District Representative (D) and Anchor for Fox News, respectively
    This goofy (yet heated) exchange between them (over estate tax) came to a point that whenever he opened his mouth to speak her voice came out. Hire them both for a college commencement address and you’ve got the perfect makings of a Jane Curtain/Dan Akroyd Point-Counterpoint vintage SNL Weekend Update debate skit.

  9. Amy Chua
  10. Author of “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”
    Ms. Chua’s memoir on the Chinese way of raising children. Her advice? Inspire kids to do well through criticism and threats—the perfect commencement speaker for business graduates planning to work on Wall Street or in banking.

  11. Bill Hader
  12. Actor From SNL in Character as WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange
    It’d just be cool to hear Mr. Hader do his slimy Julian Assange impersonation (while swilling scotch on the rocks) as he was giving a commencement speech on business ethics. He gets a bonus if he can explain why the firewall on my computer blocks the PTA newsletter from my kids’ school, yet can’t keep out the thousands of e-mails floating around out there about Viagra.

  13. Daniel Tosh
  14. Host of Tosh.0 (Comedy Central)
    Because it’d just be nice to hear someone, like Daniel Tosh, saying all the things we really think—especially when public honestly has taken a back seat to reality TV, which is about as real as Naugahyde.

  15. Donald Trump
  16. Entrepreneur, Real Estate Mogul
    He’d be an interesting speaker, but only if he agreed to talk about anything other than himself or President Obama’s birth certificate. (It’d be a short speech.)

And then there’s me. Famous for being “not famous.” You can book my speaking services on the website WhoTheHeckIsThat.com. I’ll be the one in the back of your commencement venue wearing a shirt that says “No, really, I’m Your Speaker Today.”

Who would you like to see as an “outside-the-box” commencement speaker? The more quirky the better. Share your thoughts with us, and if you make us laugh, all the better.

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2 comments on “8 Commencement Speakers We Would Like to Hear

  • I’d love to hear the lead singer from Kiss, Gene Simmons. If anyone knows how to brand, market and sell himself, that guy sure does!

  • You’re right, Suzanne, Gene Simmons would be great! Someone emailed me and also suggested Jimmy McMillian, the “The Rent’s Too Damn High” guy who ran for mayor in NYC. I received Snookie as a suggestion, as well. And then I thought of the “The Most Interesting Man” from the Dos XX Beer commercials wouid be good, too. Looks like I might have to write a Part 2 version of this article! (Keep the suggestions coming!)

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