Will Ferrell Explains Why He Decided To End His USC Commencement Speech With Whitney Houston

Web Culture Editor
06.08.17

Last month Will Ferrell gave the 2017 commencement speech at his alma mater, the University of Southern California, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate and celebrated his great achievement by breaking into song with Whitney Houston’s 1992 classic hit, “I Will Always Love You.” Not surprisingly, the speech went incredibly viral and has since been viewed on YouTube over two million times.

On Wednesday night The House star joked about the experience on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, telling the host with his trademark deadpan, “They gave me an honorary doctorate, so I’m allowed to perform elective surgery whenever I want… I’ve done 10 tonsillectomies, a couple gall bladders, I think? I don’t know! I just cut in there and start tearing things out, put some scotch tape, get the hell out of dodge!”

After noting that sincerity is not his strong suit, Ferrell also explained his speech writing process, as well as the very complex decision of arriving at his song choice. “As you know when you’re writing anything on the computer, it’s five minutes of writing and then forty minutes of searching YouTube for whatever,” he said. “And I landed on the video for The Bodyguard… and I thought, oh, that’s how I’ll end my speech.”

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