Amy Poehler gives 'wicked smart' speech to Harvard's graduating class (Video)
Amy Poehler of the NBC show "Parks and Recreation" gave a hilarious speech at Harvard University's Senior Class Day on May 25, a day before the students graduate.
The comedian told the graduating class, "just because you're wicked smart, doesn't mean you're better than me," in a flawless Boston accent. She also offered advice on living in your parent's basement and told students to put their iPhones down every once in a while.
"Even though, as a class, you are smart, you are still allowed to say, 'I don't know,'" Poehler advised the students. "Just because you are in high demand, you are still allowed to say, "Let me get back to you." This will come in handy when your parents ask when you plan to move out of their basement and you answer, 'I don't know. Let me get back to you.'"
Poehler, 39, is a native of Massachusetts, where the university is located, but graduated from Boston College in 1993 with a degree in theater and communications.
"I cannot stress enough that the answer to life's questions is often in people's faces," Poehler advised. "Try putting your iPhones down once in a while, and look in people's faces. People's faces will tell you amazing things. Like if they are angry, or nauseous, or asleep."
The actress is also a "Saturday Night Live" alum and has appeared in movies such as "Mean Girls" and "Baby Mama" with Tina Fey, who also used to write and appear on the NBC sketch comedy series regularly.
"Try to keep your mind open to possibilities and your mouth closed on matters that you don't know about," Poehler continued. "Limit your 'always' and your 'nevers.' Continue to share your heart with people even if it has been broken. Don't treat your heart like an action figure wrapped in plastic and never used. And don't try to give me that nerd argument that your heart is a Batman with a limited-edition silver bat-erang, and therefore if it stays in its original package it increases in value."
Poehler was chosen because students wanted someone "people would recognize, who could give a funny and engaging speech" and who was "in our collective consciousness," Senior Class Marshal Toby Stein told the Harvard Gazette, the university's official newspaper.
"The speakers in the past two years have been serious newscasters," he added. "Amy did 'Weekend Update' on 'SNL,' so she's a different kind of newscaster. We're hoping that experience will put a different spin on current events, and give seniors a look at the world we're living in from a different angle."
Previous speakers at the university's Senior Class Day include news personality Christiane Amanpour, "SNL" alums Will Ferrell and Al Franken, Matt Lauer of NBC's "Today" show, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, Sacha Baron Cohen's alter-ego Ali G, U2 front man Bono, talk show host and Harvard University alum Conan O'Brien and Nobel Prize laureate Mother Teresa.
Watch a video of Amy Poehler's speech at Harvard below.