Wed., May 21, 2014 3:00pm (EDT)

Commencement Mashup: The Speech In 8 Easy Steps
By John Poole
Updated: 2 months ago

Dick Costolo, Amy Poehler and Neil deGrasse Tyson all appear in NPR's commencement speech mashup.
Dick Costolo, Amy Poehler and Neil deGrasse Tyson all appear in NPR's commencement speech mashup.
A noble institution? A good show? A tedious quarter-hour of lame jokes told under the hot sun? The American commencement address can be all of these things.

We skipped and slogged through 50 of the most popular commencement speeches on YouTube - looking for inspiration, wisdom, amusement, corny jokes and clichs - to bring you this mashup of highlights and lowlights.

If this mashup inspires you to see and read more of some of these speeches, NPR's new commencement speech database holds over 300 outstanding speeches going back to 1774.

Maybe one of them can help prepare you for the "real" world.


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