At Wake Forest University this morning, former ‘Colbert Report’ host and incoming Late Show host Stephen Colbert gave graduating students a bit of life advice on everything from the divining issues of a generation to how to get through the rough times.
Here’s the wisdom we gleaned from his Monday address.
It’s all about the dress.
Mocking graduates for all wearing the same outfit, he pointed out the sea of black and gold – the colors of the North Carolina school.
“Or is it blue and white?!” Colbert quipped, a reference to the infamous dress that appeared black and gold to some and blue and white to others. “Grandparents, this is the issue that divided a generation. You had the Vietnam war, your grandchildren had an ambiguously colored Tumblr post.”
Spoiler alert: We’re all clueless!
“No one has any idea what’s going on, not even Elon Musk,” Colbert said. “That’s why he’s building those rockets, he wants a plan b on another planet!”
Have your own standards.
“Having my own standards is why I could keep going at times when no one laughed, or when I thought the person I was interviewing might throw a punch at me. It’s why the epitaph on my tombstone will probably say, ‘I thought it was funny,’” Colbert said, encouraging students not to assume success because others predict it (remember how Segways were going to revolutionize our daily life?) and not to see failure because others see it. (“But they are featured prominently in the movie Paul Blart Mall Cop, and that’s good too,” he said.)
“From now on, you fill out your own report card. So do yourself a favor, be an easy grader, score yourself on a curve, give yourself extra credit, you are your own professor, which is a little creepy because you’re now showering with your professor, but you have tenure they can’t fire you.”
“Prove us wrong.”
“Get ready for my generation to tell you everything that can’t be done – ending racial tension, getting money out of politics, lowering carbon emissions,” Colbert said, urging graduates to fight to do the impossible. “We should know, we didn’t get them done.”
And don’t forget to swipe left in 2016.
“A lot of candidates will be vying for your attention, and you’ll be performing the ultimate civic duty, deciding for whom you swipe left and for whom you swipe right, because I’m pretty sure we’re voting on Tinder,” Colbert joked. “At least the Republicans are, not sure, I think the Democrats might be voting on Grindr.”