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Basic cable host Conan O'Brien delivers a commencement address for the ages

June 14, 2011 |  9:34 am

Conan OBrien Audience Reaction 6-12-11 at Dartmouth graduation

By tradition, college commencement addresses are supposed to be brief, serious, self-important and eminently forgettable because the diplomas are coming real soon. (Quick! Who spoke at your graduation?)

By all these counts, late-night comedian Conan O'Brien failed the other day at Dartmouth College.

Which is what makes his 23-minute oration so memorable and funny and human. Amid all the relevant and self-deprecating silliness, O'Brien also managed to share a significant slice of himself and to impart a valuable lesson to the more than 1,700 graduates, family, friends and, as O'Brien put it, those old folks who just like to come to these things.

Who cares about Dartmouth. That was just the setting for a memorable speech by someone now starring on basic cable.

There's a smidge of politics in his remarks. But even if there wasn't we'd highly recommend you give this video a view.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Jason R. Henske / Associated Press (Conan's audience reaction).