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Failure and Reinvention

Conan O'Brien Delivers a Hilarious Speech at the 2011 Dartmouth Graduation

— March 15, 2012 — Keynote Trends
Comedian and late night talk show host Conan O'Brien delivered the keynote address at the commencement ceremony for the 2011 graduating class at the Ivy League's Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. In this hilarious and poignant speech, Conan O'Brien discusses what he calls life's truths, like that life isn't fair, and likens Dartmouth to the "the cool, sexually confident lacrosse-playing younger sibling who knows how to throw a party and looks good in a down vest," in relation to their "vain, name-dropping older brothers" Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.

Conan O'Brien seeks to deliver a historic and hilarious speech that touches upon the fear of failure, noting that although you shouldn't always fear it, you should do your best to avoid it, as "disappointment stings and is disorienting" to the driven. Conan O'Brien describes his experience in 2010, after the disappointment of Jay Leno, when he spent his time doing basically anything he wanted in order to find himself. In a touching closing, O'Brien says that few things are more liberating than having your worst fear realized.