How to write a graduation speech, with help from Obama's speechwriter : Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! Comedian Hari Kondabolu and Emma congratulate seniors and stress out over the cap and gown shortage. And Hari graduates with his degree in inspiration.

How to write a graduation speech, with help from Obama's former speechwriter

How to write a graduation speech, with help from Obama's former speechwriter

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Everyone & Graduation
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This is an excerpt from the latest episode of Everyone & Their Mom, a new show from Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or listen on NPR One, and you can find us on Instagram.

Pomp and (less than ideal) circumstances

Host Emma Choi shares the latest in graduation news with Wait Wait panelist Hari Kondabolu (and no, it's not that another one of your high school bullies is going to nursing school): The U.S. has a major cap and gown shortage. Shipments are being held up at every stage of the process, and high schools and universities all over America are being affected. On the plus side, fewer people will have to wear this unflattering outfit.

Hari and Emma also realize that giving a speech at a graduation isn't so different from delivering a tight 5. While he may not be donning a cap and gown anytime soon, Hari drafts up what his next commencement speech might sound like.

My fellow Americans...

Who better to edit Hari's speech than Sarada Peri, one of President Obama's former speechwriters? While she didn't do a full-on Obama impression, her job required her to reorient her brain to think like the President. So in a way, she's a method actor.

Peri has written TONS of graduation speeches, so Emma asks for her advice on being the most inspirational commencement speaker of all time.

The king's speech

Turns out, Hari isn't new to giving graduation speeches; in 2012, he gave a commencement speech to the graduating class of his alma mater, Townsend Harris High School in Queens, NY. Emma talks to Jonathan Apana who was in the audience for Hari's impactful commencement address.

Listen to the full episode to hear more about secret messages and play along with our quizzes. Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or listen on NPR One, and you can find us on Instagram.