Stephen Colbert’s 2011 Commencement Speech at Northwestern University

Here is Stephen Colbert’s 2011 Commencement Speech from just a few days ago. He gave this speech at Northwestern University. 

It is insightful and funny. Here are a few of his takeaway lines:

“Thankfully, dreams can change. If we’d all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses. So whatever your dream is right now, if you don’t achieve it, you haven’t failed, and you’re not some loser….”

“Life is an improvisation. You have no idea what’s going to happen next and you are mostly just yanking ideas out of your ass as you go along. And like improv, you cannot win your life…..In my experience, you will truly serve only what you love. Because service is love made visible. If you love friends, you will serve your friends. If you love community, you will serve your community. If you love money, you will serve your money. And if you love only yourself, you will serve only yourself, and you will have only yourself….Instead, try to love others, and serve others and hopefully find those who will love and serve you in return.”


Other great commencement speeches:

President Obama: Arizona state commencement address

Nice speech: Randy Pausch inspires graduates

Marissa Mayer’s IIT commencement address

J.K. Rowling speaks at Harvard in her commencement address about the benefits of failure