Here is the full transcript of Jon Stewart’s 2004 commencement speech at The College of William and Mary held on May 21, 2004.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Jon Stewart 2014 commencement speech at The College of William & Mary
Timothy Sullivan – 25th President, College of William and Mary
In the years I’ve been associated with William and Mary, I have heard many graduation speakers, heads of state, authors, actors, successful business leaders, diplomats, even a cartoonist too. And I had the pleasure of introducing quite a few of them. Never before, however, have I had to worry about saying something in the introduction that would turn on me and be used against me in the speech.
Jon Stewart — now hold on, I’ve got some good stuff here, just give me a chance. Jon Stewart once observed that the only reason he would come back to William and Mary was for a hot Holly. I don’t know whether he’s raised or lowered his standards. But what is clear that today’s speaker is seriously funny. His Daily Show has been described as fearless, social satire. When the show won the Peabody Award according to Newsweek magazine, it was because beneath the jokes the show really does offer seriously intelligent analysis. Funny, absolutely but in Jon’s own words, the show’s grounded in passion, not cynicism. Jon Stewart definitely combines intelligence and humor. He makes us laugh and think, and he’s one of our own.