Will Ferrell recalls his glorious Whitney Houston-infused commencement address
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.
The Graham Norton Show