Will Ferrell to speak at 2017 commencement

USC alumnus and actor Will Ferrell will deliver the commencement speech on May 12, according to a press release from the University published on Thursday.

Ferrell, who graduated in 1990 from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism with a degree in sports information, has forged a career in comedy, for which he has accepted numerous awards and accolades.

After graduating from USC, Ferrell established his comedy beginnings by joining the Groundlings, an improvisational and sketch comedy troupe based in Los Angeles. His work with the Groundlings was noticed by a producer for Saturday Night Live, NBC’s late-night sketch comedy show. Ferrell would go on to lead the cast for seven seasons of the show. In 2001, Ferrell was nominated for an Emmy award for his work on SNL, where he first introduced his impression of George W. Bush. Capitalizing on the character’s popularity, Ferrell wrote and starred in a Broadway play titled You’re Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush, for which he was nominated for a Tony award in 2009.

Ferrell has also written and starred in multiple comedy movies such as Zoolander, The Other Guys, Elf, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Step Brothers. For his performances in The Producers and Stranger than Fiction, Ferrell received Golden Globe nominations in 2006 and 2007, respectively.

In 2007, Ferrell, along with co-founder Adam McKay, founded comedy production company Funny or Die, which hosts exclusive material from a regular staff of writers, producers and directors and occasionally features celebrity contributors such as Judd Apatow and James Franco. The production company also supports TV shows such as Zach Galifianakis’ Emmy award-winning web series Between Two Ferns.

Ferrell received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2011 for his contributions to American humor and was named GQ’s 2015 Comedian of the Year. In addition, Ferrell has made a name for himself with his philanthropy work, providing significant support to Cancer for College, an organization that awards college scholarships to cancer survivors.

Since his time at the University, Ferrell remains involved with USC. He is an active alumnus of  the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He has appeared as a guest drum major for the Trojan Marching Band and hosted the School of Cinematic Arts’ 75th Anniversary Gala.

1 reply
  1. Thekatman
    Thekatman says:

    Is that the best USC can get for Commencement? A comedian? Yes, he’s great for stand up and prank tricks with the football team, but for Commencement USC should have a speaker that has a motivational effective speech; someone who has made a mark on the world, the community, the country in a positive manner, AND NOT A POLITICIAN. Commencement should not be used as political rally, but to provide insight and wisdom to the departing college graduates as they leave their safe zones of the university, mommy, and actually will have to fend for themselves in the real world of life, jobs, their own families and relationships. There are plenty of USC alumni who have done this…. but a comedian? What does that say about the state of affairs for this graduating class?

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