Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Ellen Celebrates the Class of 2020 with a Commencement Speech from Home

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Hi, everyone, and welcome.

I want to make you feel good for an hour-- at least an hour,


But well, you know what?

If it lasts more than four hours,

remember to call a doctor.


I'm bringing back some classic punchlines this week.

I swore I'd never use them again,

but desperate times calls for desperate jokes.

This is my second month of quarantine shows, and--


No, don't applaud for that.

I think you're doing a great job.

Thank you.

You're welcome.


But here's the thing.

If it's anything like the first month,

I'm going to be eating, like, 40 pieces of cake for no reason

and only change my socks twice.


There's no reason to change them, really,

when they don't get dirty.

Well, they sweat.

But they don't.


They don't.

Look, they're fine.

You have nice feet.

But it's a sock.


Anyway, it turns out that it's May, in case you lost track out


You can tell it's May because people are wearing floral print

face masks.


May is usually the beginning of graduation season.

But unfortunately, most of the country is social distancing.

A lot of graduation ceremonies have been

canceled, if not all, I think.

I think they all have been.

Yeah, yeah.

If you are graduating this year, first of all,

I want to say congratulations.

And I also want to say how sorry I

am that you're not going to be able to have a graduation


I know how important that is.

And Andy knows this--


I actually get asked every year to give commencement speeches.

But they're usually during the week,

and I can't do it, because it's the same time

that I tape the show.

And also, I have a fear of getting hit

in the eye with one of those graduation caps,

because they're extremely pointy,

and no one really pays atten-- they just

throw them in the air.

And I don't know how many people have had a cap in the eye,

but I have--

not from graduation.

It was something else.


It's not important.

But since I'm home and you're home,

I thought I could say a few words

to all the year's graduates.

And put your caps and gowns on if you have them nearby.

I'll put mine on real quick.



Thank you.

Good afternoon, students.


The book is in the library.


You know what this is?

My homework from my online Spanish.

Here it is.


Sorry about that.

Class of 2020, parents, teachers, custodians, lunch

ladies, principals, and crossing guards--

and where are my softball coaches at?


Today is the first day of the rest of your life,

or maybe tomorrow, or the day after that.

Let's call it sometime mid-June.

That's not important.

The important thing is that you've studied incredibly

hard to get to this day.

If you're graduating high school, congratulations.

High school graduation was my favorite graduation ceremony.

It was the only graduation ceremony, really.

And to the college grads out there, as I mentioned,

I did not graduate from college, but I

went for almost two weeks.

So I get it.

If you're graduating from college, I'm so impressed.

You're 21, and you've already accomplished

more than I had at that age.

When I was 21, my biggest accomplishment

was I got front row tickets to see Peter Frampton.

He was like the Harry Styles of 1979.

Put that in perspective.


He had a thing in his mouth--


--that he played when he played guitar.



I think it sounded like that.

To the college grads, I want to salute you

for getting your degree in science, history,

or whatever you're graduating in.

We need smart people.

Actually, you don't even have to be that smart.

Just don't tell people to drink bleach.

The bar is set pretty low at this moment.


Obviously, a lot of grads-- this is a tough time

to be starting out, unless, of course,

you got your degree at TikTok.

Then you're set for the rest of your life.


But the job of graduation speaker

is to give you some wisdom that I have acquired over the years,

so that's what I am going to do.

Here's a little bit of what I know.

People who live in glass houses should never throw stones.

But they should always wear pants.

If you put your money where your mouth is,

you might end up swallowing a penny.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line,

and the longest distance between two points

is the ladies room at a WNBA game.

Here's something that I've learned

that I hope I can help with.

It'll put everything in perspective.

There are going to be bad times in life,

like what's happening right now.

In my life, I've been through some incredible highs

and some tremendous lows.

And the one thing that's true about both of them

is that they pass.

So cherish the good times.

And in the bad times, remember they won't last forever.

It does get better.

And for all of this year's graduates, believe me,

your best days are still ahead of you.

I know when I'm feeling down and I'm looking for inspiration,

I turn to the Dalai Lama, who said, "Never lose faith

in the truth.

In the end, everything will be all right,

because players going to play, play, play, play, play,

and the haters going to hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.

And I'm just going to shake, shake, shake, shake,

shake it off, shake it off."


And now, by the power vested in me by the state of California

and my friends at Shutterfly, I now pronounce you graduated.

Mazel tov!

Mazel tov.

Mazel tov!

Mazel tov, graduates.


Andy, do you want to add anything?

Do you have anything to say to the--

did you graduate college?

I did not graduate college.

I did not.

OK, well--

But I would say follow your dream--

first of all, I thought you did a great job.

But follow your dreams.

Don't let anyone try and talk you out of them.


If you're in your 40s and you're still

living in your parents' house, maybe then find another dream.


That's good advice.

I was told that today is Teacher Appreciation Day.

Is there a teacher, tWitch, that you

want to give a shout out to?


There's a teacher I want to give a special shout out to.

This is actually one of my first dance teachers, and also

the dance team coach.

It was my senior year of high school.

She took a chance on me.

Her name is Brenda Aiken Rambo.

I love you.

Thank you for taking a chance on me, because looking back on it,

I was the only dude, and I was a senior

in high school trying to try out for an all-girl dance team.

And I can only imagine the fires that she

might have had to put out to put parents at ease.

And also know that I didn't have any training coming into it.

But I appreciate whatever the potential that she saw in me


And yeah, I really do.

That was big of her.

So yeah.

Yeah, that's very cool.

And look where you are now, huh?

It's amazing.


It could be all because of her.


Very, very possible.


[INAUDIBLE] raise the roof?



No, that's not what you do.


I was also told that today is Chicken Appreciation Day.

Is there a special chicken that you'd

like to give a shout out to?

I'll tell you, I'd like to give a shout out

to the funky chicken.

I don't know if it's a real chicken or just a dance,

but I appreciate the funky chicken.


Hey, I've got a joke for you.

By the way-- all right.

Listen to this joke.

Do you know why a chicken coop only has two doors?

Why does a chicken coop [INAUDIBLE]----

Why does a chicken coop only have two doors?

Because if it had four doors, it would be a chicken sedan.


Oh, man.

I didn't graduate college.


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