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Charlie Day Tells Merrimack College Grads About The Bet He Made On Himself (VIDEO)

05/20/2014 04:22 pm ET | Updated May 22, 2014

Actor Charlie Day said he was grateful to receive an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Merrimack College, a distinction also bestowed upon greats like Mike Tyson and Kermit the Frog.

Day, a 1998 Merrimack graduate, spoke at the college's commencement Sunday. He joked about receiving the honor as someone "who has made a living from pretending to eat cat food," and that Dr. Charlie Day "sounds like some sort of club DJ."

"I plan to begin writing my own prescriptions immediately," he joked.

But Day offered a theme to the students beyond just reminding them graduating means something besides, "I have expanded my mind, destroyed my liver, but I never gave up." That they now should do what he did, and make things happen for themselves.

"I had a sense that maybe I could create an opportunity that was better than the ones offered to me," Day said, speaking of his early days in New York after leaving Merrimack.

He explained how he and some friends began shooting a homemade version of what would eventually become "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia." At the same time, he was offered a spot on the Fox sitcom "Life on a Stick."

"Do I do 'Life on a Stick'? Or do I make another bet on myself? And this time, my friends too," Day said, recalling his thought process. "Do I make no money?"

This was happening at a time when Day was trying to tell people he was a writer, even though he didn't even own a computer.

Well, you can figure out where things went, now that he's done 10 seasons of "It's Always Sunny" and signed on for another two years. "Life on a Stick" was canned after only five episodes.

"Don't wait for your break, make your break," Day said. "Go make it happen for yourself."

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