The Simpsons has been around for close to 30 years, which means its core cast of voice actors has come to know the essence of the various characters they play quite well. With that in mind, it's no surprise that Hank Azaria, the man behind favorites like Moe, Apu, and Chief Wiggum, decided to deliver his recent commencement speech at Tufts University with the help of those instantly recognizable voices.
Azaria was an undergrad at Tufts' Medford, Massachusetts campus in the '80s, so needless to say he had plenty of ammo for the graduating seniors in the audience. From specific comments knocking Boston University to wider statements about staying true to your instincts, his advice was both sound and funny, made all the more interesting by the way he alternated between his normal voice and the voices of his iconic Simpsons characters.
Here's a sample of his comments:
As Moe: “I didn’t have the benefit of a fancy, highfalutin education — I went to BU. At least Tufts has a campus. I majored in not getting hit by cars on Commonwealth Avenue.”
As Comic Book Guy: “Life is like the ‘Star Wars’ movies: some of it is great, some of it sucks, but you have no choice but to sit through all of it.”
As Chief Wiggum: "Kids, you didn't hear this from me, but if a cop even thinks that you're going to throw up in their backseat, they will immediately let you go."
Azaria did share plenty of heartfelt advice without the aid of the impressions though, and it's best summed up with this quote:
"I'm not suggesting that you ignore ... the rules of society, or the laws of common sense, for the actual law, or the text books and manuals, your teachers, your advisors, or the Internet and all the other sources that are happy to tell you the right and wrong way to go about doing almost everything. 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, what you are scared of, you are saddened by, or inspires you or delights you. Those feelings are called your instincts, and you ignore them at your own peril."