Did Stephen Colbert Give Wake Forest University His Best Speech?

May 18, 2015

Stephen Colbert was at Wake Forest University this morning to give graduates a send-off with one of his trademark commencement speeches.


The comedian will soon make the switch from his own satirical political program to taking over David Letterman’s late-night talk show, but he first took some time to tell a new generation that the future looks, well… like a “dark chasm of yawning uncertainty.”

Colbert’s wit and silliness sprinkled his speech as he looked back to the university’s origins as Wake Forest Manual Labor Institute, which may not sound glamorous but at least it wasn’t the North Carolina Crushing Toil Academy… otherwise known as UNC, according to Colbert.


WFU graduates applaud Colbert's speech
Credit Wake Forest University

Despite the jokes and jabs, Colbert did not leave the podium without some words of advice to the graduates:

I hope you find the courage to decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong and then please expect as much of the world around you. Try to make the world good according to your standards. It won't be easy. Get ready for my generation to tell you everything that can’t be done, like ending racial tension, getting money out of politics or lowering the world’s carbon emissions. And we should know they can’t be done, after all we are the ones who didn’t do them. Your job is to prove us wrong.

Watch the video of Stephen Colbert's speech here, starting at 1:12:30.