Culture

The 7 Funniest Moments From Jimmy Fallon’s Surprise Speech At The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Graduation

by Tod Perry

June 4, 2018

In February, “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon made an impassioned speech to his audience of millions, praising the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for standing up against gun violence after a horrific massacre at their school. 

“I think what the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are doing is unbelievable. They’re speaking out with more guts, passion, conviction, and common sense than most adults. They’re high school students — it’s beyond impressive — the strength that they have is inspiring. They’re angry and they are doing something about it and creating change. This is a real revolution.”

Fallon then asked viewers to attend the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, D.C. organized by the students. On March 24, Fallon and his family proudly marched alongside the estimated 800,000 people at the Washington, D.C. rally.

On Sunday, June 3, Fallon gave back to the students who inspired him by making a surprise commencement speech to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School class of 2018.

His speech praised the students for their advocacy and was peppered with his trademark goofy humor and a dash of advice. Fallon broke with usual commencement speech conventions by focusing on the students’ current efforts, instead of illustrating a road to future success. 

“Most commencement speakers, they’ll get up here and talk in future-tense — you will succeed, you will make us proud, you will change the world. Most commencement speakers, they say, ‘you are the future.’ But I’m not going to say that because you’re not the future. You’re the present. You are succeeding, you are making us proud, you are changing the world. So keep changing the world and keep making us proud.”

While Fallon’s speech will be remembered for focusing on hope in the face of tragedy, it was also hilarious.

Here are seven of the funniest moments from his speech.

 “Today you’re graduating from high school, that doesn't mean you should rest on your laurels — or your yannys.”

“A question people ask me a lot is, what would you tell your younger self? And there’s so many things that I’d say. But, the first would be lay off the carbs.”

“When you think of commencement speakers, you think of people who are inspirational, people who are eloquent, people who have changed the world. When you think of high school students you think of people who are a little immature, slightly awkward, still learning to be an adult. Welcome to opposite day.”

“I wasn’t really the best student. I wouldn’t say I was dumb, I just had ‘other strengths.’ ”

“You, the Class of 2018 will have graduated and you won't be classmates anymore. You’ll be adults who Facebook search each other at 2 in the morning for the next 10 years.”

“About six or seven months ago, I ran into this girl on the street and she came up to me and said, ‘I just want to let you know that I was going through a tough time, I was very depressed, and you got me through my depression. I watched all your clips on YouTube and I just want to thank you so much for getting me through such a tough time. ‘We talked for about twenty minutes and then she goes, ‘Can I get a selfie?’ I go, ‘Yeah, of course.’ We take a selfie and she goes, ‘Can we get one more for Snapchat?’ And I go, ‘Yeah, of course,’ so we take another one. Then I say goodbye to her and as she’s leaving she said out loud, ‘Oh my god I just met Jimmy Kimmel!’ ”

“If I could give you one last piece of advice, it would be this: don’t ever get off your parents’ wireless plan. Ride that train as long as possible. You don’t know how expensive data is.”

 

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The 7 Funniest Moments From Jimmy Fallon’s Surprise Speech At The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Graduation