— AP West Region (@APWestRegion) May 13, 2017
Will Ferrell had the honor of giving the commencement speech to graduates at USC this year and he made the most of it by adding to the dogpile on United, dragging Trump University, and serenading the crowd with “I Will Always Love You.” It’s technically a Dolly Parton classic, but there’s likely no one out there that identifies the song with the country legend at this point. Whitney Houston owns the song for now, at least until Taylor Swift or Katy Perry record a new version with a Reggae beat to it.
While most of the speech featured the hallmarks of commencement speeches you’ve heard time and time again, the inclusion of the song at the end added a little oomph to the platitudes:
“I wasn’t extremely confident that I would succeed, and after moving back to L.A., I would sit down to a meal of spaghetti topped with mustard with only $20 in my checking account,” he said. “I thought, ‘Oh well, I can always be a substitute schoolteacher.’ Yes, I was afraid — you are never not afraid. I am still afraid.”
Comedian Will Ferrell serenades USC’s Class of 2017 with Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” after dropping some words of wisdom. pic.twitter.com/yIZCufzGUB
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 13, 2017
Ferrell wasn’t the only famous name being honored at the event. Actress Helen Mirren also received her own honorary doctorate from the university, it just isn’t clear if she plans on using it like Ferrell joked about in the speech:
“The next time I’m flying and they ask if there’s a doctor onboard, I can now confidently leap to my feet and scream, ‘I’m a doctor, what can I do? Yes, no problem, I can absolutely deliver that baby,’” Ferrell began. “Hopefully it will be on United Airlines, in which [case] I will immediately be subdued and dragged off the aircraft, which we all know will be recorded on someone’s iPhone and put on YouTube…
“I’ve already instructed my wife and my children from this point they have to address me as Dr. Ferrell,” the star deadpanned. “There will be no exceptions, especially at our children’s various school functions, and when opening Christmas presents.”
You can check out the full speech below courtesy of USC and suck up all the positive energy ahead of Trump’s speech at Liberty University.