Steve Carell vs. Fareed Zakaria

One was the main character on a show we used to watch before Jim and Pam hooked up; the other the host of a Sunday morning news program we’re pretty sure would be more interesting if not for the painful throbbing in our heads and the indomitable nausea in our stomachs (and fuck tequila). These two don’t have a whole lot in common, but come this spring, they’ll both be giving commencement addresses.

Yes, it’s true. Harvard has selected consistently reasonable, yet totally irrelevant, political pundit Fareed Zakaria as their 2012 Class Day Commencement speaker. Gnome-shaped lovable loser Steve Carell will assume similar duties at Princeton.

We spent the morning pondering which notables the other six Ivies should pick to address their graduating classes come May/June. Check out what we came up with, after the jump!

  • Brown: These past two years, Brown has picked really interesting people who you’ve never in your life heard of. How about upping the ante a little bit with an prominent actor, and Brown alum, whose name you will never, ever remember, no matter how many times you see “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (Tim Blake Who?)
  • Columbia: The school drummed up controversy with its choice in 2010 of Citibank CEO Vikram Pandit. We encourage Columbia to pick another polarizing public figure this year — casual Iranian despot Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. He may not be an alum, but he’s certainly no stranger to Columbia. What could go wrong?
  • Cornell: The last two Convocation speakers at Cornell were Rudy Giuliani and Nancy Pelosi, once-powerful political partisans whose best days were behind them. Why not continue that fine tradition this year, and invite Spiro Agnew to speak in May. Not only is he a disgraced former power player, but he’s also dead. Perfect fit.
  • Dartmouth: Last year’s Conan O’Brien commencement address was pretty outstanding, and Dartmouth would do well to go by the same template this year in their selection process. A hilarious comedian with something interesting to say — that’s the mold you’re looking for. Just pick Louie CK and be done with it.
  • Penn: There’s a laundry list of awesome Penn alums who we imagine could give excellent, rousing commencement addresses. Reach out to any of them. Just don’t, you know, email them all at once.
  • Yale: The Elis have encountered heated criticism/lawsuits stemming from their bungled handling of some pretty heinous sexual harassment allegations. Maybe they can take tips from, say, Clarence Thomas? SNAP.
  • Crank

    No, sorry — Zakaria is the Commencement speaker at Harvard.   Very different from Class Day speaker.

    • Anonymous

      Corrected. Apologies.

  • P T

    But Carell *is* the Class Day speaker at Princeton, not the speaker at Commencement. Y’all suck.

    • Anonymous

      “Similar” ≠ “same”

      • nice

        you just owned him lol

      • Princeton09

        But you write that “they’ll both be giving commencement addresses.” This is factually wrong.

  • Cornell ’14

    Cornell’s list of commencement speakers over the past 20 years consists almost entirely of political figures. It’s pretty embarrassing, actually.

    • CU ’11

      Soledad O’Brien, Danny Glover and Maya Angelou weren’t political figures the last I checked.

      • Cornell ’14

        From the Sun:
        “While Maya Angelou, former poet laureate of the U.S., newscaster
        Soledad O’Brien and Danny Glover, actor and human rights activist, broke
        up the 10 year long list of political speakers, the past decade has
        seen less diversity in the professions of Convocation speakers than
        previous years.”

        And that was written before Giuliani was selected. I don’t see what’s so hard about finding non-political graduation speakers, especially when the other Ivies do it every year.

  • Holly

    Zakaria spoke a few years ago at Brown’s commencement.

    • cornell’14

      he also spoke at Cornell last year… not as a commencement speaker though.

    • cornell’14

      he also spoke at Cornell last year… not as a commencement speaker though.

  • OldGrad

    So glad I skipped my own commencement