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Full Transcript: Stephen Colbert’s 2006 Knox College Commencement Address

Stephen Colbert

Here is the full transcript of Stephen Colbert’s 2006 Knox College Commencement Address. This event took place on June 3, 2006 in Galesburg, Illinois.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Stephen Colbert 2006 Knox College Commencement Address


Announcer: Mr. Colbert, by the authority of the general assembly of the state of Illinois, vested in the Board of Trustees of Knox College, and by them delegated to me, I hereby confer upon you the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts entitling you to all the privileges, honors and dignities which here and elsewhere pertain.

Stephen Colbert – Comedian

Thank you. Thank you very much. First of all, I’m facing a little bit of a conundrum here. My name is Stephen Colbert, but I actually play someone on television named Stephen Colbert, who looks like me, and who talks like me, but who says things with a straight face he doesn’t mean. And I’m not sure which one of us you invited to speak here today. So, with your indulgence, I’m just going to talk, and I’m going to let you figure it out.

I wanted to say something about the Umberto Eco quote that was used earlier from “The Name of the Rose.” That book fascinated me because in it these people are killed for trying to get out of this library a book about comedy, Aristotle’s commentary on comedy. And what’s interesting to me is one of the arguments that they have in the book is that comedy is bad because nowhere in the New Testament does it say that Jesus laughed. It says Jesus wept, but never did he laugh.

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