We will always love this commencement speech

By Nick Romano
November 25, 2017 at 04:15 PM EST

Will Ferrell certainly left an impression on the 2017 graduating class of the University of Southern California. While appearing on The Graham Norton Show, the star of Daddy’s Home 2 recalled how his Whitney Houston moment came about during his big commencement speech in May.

“I hadn’t been put in that position before because usually I just make fun of things,” Ferrell said. So, he decided to offer the departing students this piece of sound advice: “I just told them to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and reach for the stars — which I read on the back of a cereal box.”

Ferrell — who appeared on the talk show with John Lithgow, Mel Gibson, and Mark Wahlberg — then explained how he wanted to further “inspire” them by singing a Houston song, and he chose “I Will Always Love You.”

“I started thinking, ‘Do I sing a couple of lines or do I torture the students and their parents by singing the entire song?’ and I chose the latter,” he said. Norton played only a snippet of the scene, but the whole thing was captured for posterity.

At the time, Ferrell also became a Doctor of Humane Letters when he received an honorary degree. “They say it’s honorary, I think it’s for real,” he joked to Norton.

Watch Ferrell on The Graham Norton Show in the clip above.

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