2020 will be known as the year of the virtual commencement speech, and there’s only so many ways to make a Zoom more engaging. Luckily, Jennifer Coolidge has figured it out in her alumna video for Emerson College’s Class of 2020. You just need a long, luxurious dinner table, multiple candelabra, a cadre of haunted dolls in various states of formal wear and, of course, at least one wig change.
“Life is a storm, my young graduates,” the Legally Blonde actress, who graduated from Emerson in 1985, booms in the video. “You will bask in the sunlight in one moment, and be shattered on the rocks in the next. What defines you is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm’s eye and shout, as you did in Rome, ‘Do your worst, as I will do mine!’ Then the fates will know you as we know you, as Emerson Class of 2020!”
If her speech sounds familiar from your own college days, you’re right. It’s a lightly-tweaked passage from Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo. While you’re at it, you can also watch videos from other alums, like Henry Winkler (’67) and Bill Burr (’92), but after a cursory glance, there appear to be zero dolls in their videos, so it’s really up to you.