Watch Will Ferrell’s Rousing Rendition of ‘I Will Always Love You’ at USC’s Commencement
Beaming families, teary smiles, mortarboards in the air — it’s graduation season, which means that more importantly, it’s celebrity commencement address season. While some high-profile speakers have received a chillier reception than others, the A-lister speech has long been a reliably amusing diversion in between long-winded orations from dusty academic types. Maya Rudolph took plenty of artistic license with “The Star-Spangled Banner” at my graduation ceremony from Tulane a few years ago, an unforgettable experience that I was too drunk to currently remember. But today brings video of another movie star taking the stage before a mass of fresh-faced students blissfully unaware of how hard getting a job is. Ladies, gentlemen, Will Ferrell is in the house.
The folks at /Film have helpfully bookmarked the point in USC’s 2017 commencement at which alumnus Ferrell takes the stage to deliver some stirring remarks. He runs through a lot of the boilerplate celeb speech fodder — some light bantering up front, a few trenchant observations here and there — but like any good funnyman, he saved his best material for the grand finale.
Ferrell’s gorgeous singing voice (described by some as “a mix between Fergie and Jesus”) has been well documented on film, and he treated the assembled attendees to a once-in-a-lifetime rendition of Whitney Houston’s showstopper “I Will Always Love You.” It ain’t the MFin’ Catalina Wine Mixer, but Ferrell did lend a certain elegance to the ceremony as he warbled his way through the power ballad, and now USC grads have a fun story to bring home to their friends as they return to their parents’ homes to begin to long, demoralizing process of wrangling a job.