With graduation ceremonies moved to the computer screen this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many schools, it seems, have been able to secure some higher profile celebrities. Kalamazoo College did just that, with Class of 2001 grad Jordan Klepper delivering the commencement address at his alma mater, in his hometown

(Kalamazoo College via YouTube)

Klepper opens his remarks with congratulations to the graduates, on their new profession "watching Netflix at your parents' house. They said you couldn't do it, and you proved them wrong."

Klepper, who after leaving Kalamazoo moved to Chicago and became a member of Second City before going to The Daily Show and then hosting his own satire, The Opposition, goes on to mentions looking to the great writers and thinkers like Proust and Joyce, finally settling on Princess Leia's words in Star Wars, "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobe. You're my only hope."

He then takes a turn to the serious saying "you need to help us. The world is on fire," explaining the graduates are Obi-Wan armed with knowledge, and the rest of us are a hologram on a planet in turmoil.

Klepper address some current topics head on, saying "systemic issues with race and class are bubbling to the surface and are they being met with photo-ops and attempts to shift the narrative." He also mentions quotes like "Houston, we have a problem or Look out, Iceberg" acknowledging these are dark times and the need for levity, going on to say this graduation milestones is happening parents' basements and "the only thing that should happen in your parents' basement is your first kiss" and attaining the final level inf Super Mario III.

Klepper says, yes, the graduates got a "bum deal" not getting the full celebration afforded previous graduates, and "on behalf of a rampaging virus" he apologizes for that. He then goes on to mention the feelings graduates may have of anger and disappointment when looking at the world today, and the elders in charge, but reminds them, they just became elders.

He talks about power and responsibility, and encourages the new graduates to bring fresh new ideas as solutions to the problems facing society today.

He finishes with "the world is asking something of you right now. Listen to what is needed. Know yourself and evaluate what you can offer. Join others to amplify your voice and help us fix the Death Star."

Enter your number to get our free mobile app