Charlie Day's Awesome Graduation Speech at Merrimack College

The star of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" urged graduates to embrace failure in the struggle for success.

Charlie Days delivers the 2014 Merrimack College commencement address on
Charlie Days delivers the 2014 Merrimack College commencement address on
"A college degree does nothing," actor Charlie Day, a Merrimack College alumnus, told graduates in a commencement address that's gone viral.

"You cannot exchange your degree for cash. You cannot have your degree do an audition or interview for you. You cannot eat it. Please do not make love to it."

Day is best known as a star of the television series "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." He's also been in movies like "Pacific Rim," "Horrible Bosses" and "Monsters University."

A 1998 Merrimack College graduate, Day was selected as the commencement speaker for its 64th graduation ceremony Sunday. He told the crowd he was honored—even if he was dressed like a "medieval pastry chef" in his cap and gown.

"Alumni have gone on to be CEOs, politicians, professional athletes," he said. "However, this year you will receive wisdom, life lessons, and knowledge from a man who's made a living pretending to eat cat food."

Day recounted a crucial crossroads in his life when he graduated. He wanted to move to New York City to pursue his acting career, but he was offered a local entry-level job with Fidelity.

He decided to take the risk and move to New York.

"I bused tables," he said. "I lived in a basement apartment next to a garbage chute that was filled with cockroaches. And I could not have made a better decision.

"Had I worked at Fidelity, I'm pretty sure they would have fired me."

He told the graduates to embrace failure in the struggle for success.

"I did fail," he said. "I was to short for this or too weird for that. I had one casting agent say, 'This man will never work in comedy.'

"You cannot let a fear of failure ... stop you from doing what's going to make you great. You cannot succeed without this risk of failure."

The college bestowed an honorary doctorate upon Day.

"'Dr. Charlie Day' sounds like some sort of club DJ. I assure you I intend to go by this title from now on. And I plan to begin writing my own prescriptions immediately."

Day's address has been viewed nearly 200,000 times on YouTube as of Wednesday morning. It was a trending story on Facebook.

"I know I will be judge by all those who care to watch on YouTube," he said in his speech. "I don't give a (expletive)."


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