In his first commencement address since his hilarious 2000 Harvard speech, Conan O'Brien visited Hanover, New Hampshire on Sunday to entertain Dartmouth College's 1,700-odd graduates, as well as impart some profound life advice.
Standing at a tree-trunk podium (which he mocked, of course), on a stage that included George H. W. Bush and wife Barbara, O'Brien poked fun at Dartmouth students, the school's motto, local linguistic patterns, and the state itself. ("Wow, I'm in the state that's next to the state where Ben and Jerry's ice cream is made.") He cited great fictitious grads of Dartmouth such as Grey's Anatomy's Meredith Grey, Mad Men's Pete Campbell, and The Godfather's Michael Corleone, while looking forward to "next year's esteemed speaker, Count Chocula."
After advising parents to be patient regarding their recently-graduated kids' job prospects ("The only people hiring right now are Panera Bread and Mexican drug cartels"), he touched on his Tonight Show debacle by way of amended Nietzsche. ("Whatever doesn't kill you, makes you watch a lot of Cartoon Network and drink mid-price chardonnay at eleven in the morning.") O'Brien used the whole fiasco as a jumping-off point for some inspirational words about facing failure, saying that through disappointment "you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality." As you would expect, Coco knocked it out of the park once again.