Andy Bernard never actually spoke at Cornell University, like in the series finale of "The Office," but if he had, it might've gone something like Ed Helms' speech at the Ithaca, N.Y. school this weekend.
Helms, who played fictional Cornell alumnus Andy Bernard '93, told graduates at their convocation Saturday to be a "fool," because “only a fool would work hard with no clear objective."
“When you try hard at everything you do, even if it feels utterly foolish to do so, you're opening up future doors and possibilities that you might not be seeing in the moment,” Helms said.
But that advice only came after he made it clear the students knew Helms and Andy Bernard were different people. "Or did you actually invite a fictional person to give this speech? Because that would be very strange," Helms joked. "That would be like the Naval Academy inviting Captain Crunch, or Notre Dame inviting a leprechaun or Rice University inviting Uncle Ben."
Helms, an actor well known for his roles on "The Office," "The Daily Show" and in "The Hangover," was chosen by students to speak at their convocation this year.
Helms' other advice included telling students to take any part in films with the word "Hangover" in it, reminding them that recording things on their iPhone makes people remember events less, and joked about an ant crawling along the podium. He also spoke about how the real-world can squeeze out the naiveté students had as freshmen in college.
"Those foolish diversions are the real nectar of life, don't relegate them to the good ol' days," Helms said. "Take them with you, keep creating good old days."