“You should feel incredibly proud of yourselves. That doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels. Or your yannys,” Jimmy Fallon told the Marjory Stoneman Douglas graduating class of 2018 on Sunday. The late-night host dropped in for a surprise appearance that kicked off with some quips, but quickly became sincere.
“On our show we write out thank-you notes every Friday for the most part. They’re funny, or at least they try to be. But today I want to say a real thank you,” he told the seniors. “I want to thank you guys personally for showing us what it looks like to have integrity and courage and bravery in the face of terrible tragedy. Thank you for showing me and the whole world that there is hope.”
Fallon had praised the students earlier this year on The Tonight Show too, applauding them for taking up the work of anti-gun-violence activism after the February 14 shooting that killed 17 people at their Parkland, Florida, school. He also joined in on this spring’s March for Our Lives demonstration. Said Fallon, “Most commencement speakers say, ‘You are the future.’ But I’m not going to say that, because you’re not the future. You’re the present.”