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Denzel Washington’s Famous Fall Forward Speech (Full Transcript)

Denzel Washington at Penn’s 2011 Commencement

Here is the full transcript (Edited version) and summary of Actor Denzel Washington’s Famous “Fall Forward” Speech at University of Pennsylvania. The event occurred on Monday, May 16, 2011.

Listen to the MP3 audio of this speech:


President Gutmann: Please join me in welcoming Denzel Washington.

Denzel Washington – Academy Award-winning and Tony Award-winning actor and director.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

I am obviously the most unorganized; everybody else has nice boxes when they’re script up and I just kind of got all my stuff here and put inside of a magazine, so. So in fact, I don’t even have it in the right order, wait a minute. Let me get it in the right order here….

So if it starts like flying around the stage, just run around and grab it for me, bring it back up here for me. I’ll keep going as I can.

President Gutmann; Provost Price; Board Chair Cohen; fellow honorees; beautiful honorees and today’s graduates.

I’m honored and grateful for the invitation today. It’s always been great to be on the Penn campus. I’ve been here before a lot of times for basketball games. My son played at the Palestra, played on the basketball team. Coach didn’t give him enough playing time, but we’ll talk about that later.

No, I’m really pleased with the progress that Coach Allen has made and no, I do. I am, I really am. And I hope him the best success in the future.

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