The celebrity commencement speech is a tried-and-true collegiate phenomenon, with famous alumni lured back to speak at their alma maters with promises of honorary degrees and nostalgic prestige. Few throw themselves into the ritual as aggressively as Will Ferrell—sorry, Dr.Will Ferrell—did today, though, feting the University Of Southern California not just with his words of questionable wisdom, but with a serenade as well.
Ferrell’s speech walked the line between sweet and funny, speaking up for all the graduates out there who have no idea what the fuck to do with their lives now that college is over. Ferrell made a number of jabs at the aimlessness of his early career, including anecdotes about crashing professor’s courses in character as an idiot janitor, just to see if he could get a laugh. He ended on a note of support, which quickly morphed into a song of support, as he asked every insecure former student in the audience “to imagine me, literally picture my face, singing this song gently into your ear,” before slowly busting into Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” Honestly, we’ve heard worse post-college coping techniques. (You can watch the whole speech up above; Ferrell’s song kicks in at the 24-minute mark.)