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Vir Das's commencement address at his alma mater was all about being stupid

The actor-comedian delivered a rip-roaring and inspiring speech after receiving his doctorate from his alma mater, Knox College. 

Shriram Iyengar

At any reunion of college students, the effort is always to avoid 'being stupid'. Vir Das, on the other hand, seems to have a different idea. Receiving his honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from Knox College, the actor-comedian went all out to exhort the young graduates to 'be stupid'. In a speech that was tinged with humour, ideals, and philosophy, Das talked to his audience about the advantages of being stupid in a constantly pressurised world. 

Right off the cuff, Das showed that he was in no mood to take the honour seriously. "A comedian is standing where Lincoln, Obama, Clinton, and most importantly, Eva Longoria, once stood," he laughed. However, the Go Goa Gone (2013) actor did have some valid points to drive through.

Doing what he does best, Das eased the new and nervous students by cracking a few jokes about their outfits, the college and himself. He told the students that it is very important to “be stupid” in every aspect of their lives, to have the courage to do something that society thinks is a ridiculous idea. The actor spoke about adulthood, love and owning each moment of one’s life. 

Considering his own experience on social media and trolling, Das gave the young graduates one important and funny advice. He said, "Don't pollute your moments with other people's opinions." 

Talking about his speech later, Das said, "I'm in my thirties and fully aware that I've got a lot to achieve before I can give a speech loaded with wisdom. So I tried to tell them something they wouldn't normally hear. College kids today are extraordinarily smart and are already driven towards smart choices. The way I see it, if you add one stupid thing to that universe of intelligence, life becomes a little more fun. It was an honour to speak to them and get my doctorate." 

The actor-comedian will be acting in ABC's Whiskey's Cavalier, and has also signed on for two comedy specials with Netflix.