Graduation has become grad-d'oh!-ation, as schools have gone online and public gatherings have been cancelled due to the pandemic. Who better than Homer to deliver your quarantine commencement speech?

By Dan Snierson
May 15, 2020 at 11:15 AM EDT
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Julius Preite. The Simpsons™ and © 2020 Fox. All Rights Reserved

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The world is in crisis, beset by challenges heretofore unseen. Ones that are testing spirits and reserves. Ones that will not allow you to attend concerts, sporting events, family reunions, and graduation ceremonies. Sorry about the first two (the third has pros and cons), but allow us to help on that fourth front. Ahead of The Simpsons season 31 finale (Sunday at 8 p.m. on Fox) — and in the midst of this horrible global pandemic — EW asked Homer Simpson, one of the greatest and laziest characters in TV history, to deliver your socially distanced commencement speech. Should the guy who got both arms trapped in two different vending machines and who once declared, “Trying is the first step toward failure” be offering advice and aphorisms to this year’s graduates? Certainly not. Here he is.

•••••

Greetings, class of 2020. We are facing a difficult time. But let me tell you this: Because your ceremonies are canceled, I can assure you, you’re missing absolutely nothing. Sitting in the hot sun for three hours, listening to a celebrity you thought was funny but turns out not to be. I’m looking at you, Madeleine Albright. They’re just going to tell you to follow your dreams. Of course they will — they’re a success. They’re the one-in-a-million person for whom following their dreams works. You might as well have a fat, lazy slob give the speech, which is why I’m here today. I’m here to give you the most important thing of all: life advice.

Tip No. 1: If they’re towing your car, get in. Then it becomes kidnapping. Tip No. 2: You get drunker on rum and Diet Coke than on rum and Coke. Tip No. 3: This speech is appearing in a magazine called Entertainment Weekly, which comes out monthly. I advise you to hold on to it, because there will not be entertainment nor magazines for a long while. Tip No. 4: This speech is supposed to be 500 words. Only agree to 250 words. Five hundred is way too many. Way, way too many. Tip No. 5: Carpe diem. I think it means “fish for a dime.” Just do it.

Now, if you’re a college student, I want to ask you this: Why were you paying room and board for the last semester? And what is “board” anyway? And remember, you are leaving college, but they are not leaving you. They will come after you the rest of your life for money. If you’re a high school student, this is a good time to take a year off and travel the world...from your bed- room. And take comfort in this: If you’re not invited to a graduation party over Zoom, big deal. I’m trapped in a house with my three kids. And since Flanders is more than six feet away, I can’t spray him with the hose anymore. I’ve got a high-pressure nozzle coming on Thursday. They say nuclear power is an essential industry, which is why I’m not allowed in the nuclear plant. Today, as your horizons are expanding a thousandfold, please remember to stay indoors all the time.

One thing I can tell you now that you’re graduating — nothing you’ve learned the past four years will ever come up again. Nobody dissects frogs, nobody talks about Beowulf. That’s what life is like as an adult. It stinks. Don’t graduate. On behalf of my generation, I would like to apologize for the state of the world. But that can was sure fun to kick all the way down the road. Now it’s your turn. The world may be bad, but you can still make it a little worse. On the plus side, lines at Six Flags over Springfield are super short now. Going to church is against the law. And I haven’t stopped at a red light for eight weeks. God bless you and amen.

A message from Simpsons showrunner Al Jean: "On behalf of Simpsons writers and Homer, thanks to EW and most of all, you, the fans: If you are looking to help in this uncromulent time, why not check out FeedingAmerica.org. Stay safe!"

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