During a recent graduation speech at Tufts University, comedian Hank Azaria got down to the graduates’ level and spoke to them as the many characters he has played throughout his career in comedy. Azaria has been a voice actor on “The Simpsons” for more than 25 years and brought some of the cast’s wisdom to his speech.
“If a cop even thinks you’re going to throw up in their backseat they will immediately let you go,” Azaria, said as Springfield’s Chief Wiggum.
When it came time to talk as Moe the Bartender, Azaria truly got into a playful mood.
“I didn’t have a fancy, high-falutin education,” Moe explained.
“I went to BU. I majored in not getting hit by cars on Commonwealth Avenue.”
Azaria, who graduated from Tufts in 1987 after walking at the 1985 graduation, also brought the proprietor of the Kwik-E-Mart to speak to the grads.
“Tufts students and myself, we have very much in common. We both worship an elephant,” he said, as Apu.
“Remember, please children, that in life, there is nothing that is not so disgusting that it cannot be sold on a heated roller at a nearly criminal mark-up.”
When it came time to deliver his own remarks, Azaria dropped the comedy and spoke directly to the students.
“Just please be honest with yourself about what you think and how you feel about all of that, what you like and dislike, what angers you or scares you or saddens you or inspires you or delights you,” Azaria explained.
“Those feelings are called your instincts, and you ignore them at your own peril.”