In 2020, traditional graduation milestones were put on ice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, Adult Swim created a series of commencement speeches to boost grads’ spirits. Here’s how it all went down.
‘Adult Swim Class of 2020 Commencement Speaker Series‘
From Rick and Morty to The Boondocks, Adult Swim is known for biting humor and surprising content. Recently the network used their platform to deliver commencement addresses ranging from comical to inspiring, just for students who graduated during the quarantine.
The network partnered with six personalities to create the Adult Swim Class of 2020 Commencement Speaker Series. The speakers included Eric André, Maria Bamford, J.B. Smoove, Jena Friedman, Killer Mike, and fictional character, Carl Brutananadilewski. With talent like that behind the microphones, Adult Swim fans of any age can enjoy these pandemic-era graduation speeches.
Episode 1: Eric Andre
“Class of 2020, dilate your ear and eye holes for the gnarliest pre-taped commencement speech of all time,” promised Eric Andre before beginning his spiel. Adult Swim vet Andre launched The Eric Andre Show on the network in 2012. It ran for four seasons, and season 5 is on the horizon. Fans of the show will appreciate his unique spin on graduation, life, and quarantine. “Let this be an opportunity to persevere in the face of a nightmare, Black Mirror episode that we’re all living in,” he advised.
Episode 2: Maria Bamford
“It took me six years to finish my degree in creative writing. And that’s only because I convinced them to count my Native American studies as math. Because anything times White people is zero,” Bamford quipped during her speech. In the video, she plays a dual role as herself and a bored heckler named Britney.
Episode 3: J.B. Smoove
“Sometimes, the very thing that tries to take you down can be the thing you use to help you figure out how to lift yourself up!” Curb Your Enthusiasm actor, Smoove gave a 12-minute commencement speech filled with both comedy and pearls of wisdom. Clad in a cap and gown, he advised, “Figure out what you’re gonna do when this Will Smith I Am Legend mess is over!”
Episode 4: Jena Friedman
In Friedman’s speech, she begins by finding a silver lining while simultaneously taking a dig at those who ignored stay at home orders. She noted, “At least you’re safe, with your families, surrounded by love. Unless you’re one of those spring breakers who ignored the experts, went to Tampa, and is now in isolation quarantine with COVID. If that’s the case, I hope your fever is down and that you didn’t kill grandma.” Fans can catch more of her dry humor in Soft Focus on AdultSwim.com.
Episode 5: Killer Mike
“I’m about the budget of what Adult Swim could afford for a commencement speaker,” Killer Mike joked. The Atlanta rapper and activist addressed grads from pre-K to college with genuine advice and encouragement. His message to grads? Know who you are, don’t rush, stand for something, and try again. Of all the speeches, Killer Mike’s is the most poignant.
Episode 6: Carl Brutananadilewski
In pure Adult Swim form, the final commencement address was given by Aqua Teen Hunger Force character, Carl Brutananadilewski. The Aqua Teen neighbor hilariously dished out harsh truths, saying, “Next time you think life is meaningless and you’re never gonna accomplish nothing worth nothing, and then no one’s gonna remember you when you die. Statistically, you are probably correct.”
All six Adult Swim Class of 2020 Commencement Speaker Series videos are currently streaming on AdultSwim.com.