Baltimore’s Robby Rackleff Delivers Insane Commencement Speech

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Robby Rackleff / Adult Swim

In front of a billowing digital background that includes a banner reading “CONGRATUALTIONS GRADUATES,” an increasingly sweaty man delivers an increasingly crazed commencement speech. And what begins as an oblique rant against the mentality behind the emerging “creative class” evolves quickly into an anti-intellectual, Triumph of the Will-level screed. And all in the name of comedy?

The video, released by Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, is a reworking of a monologue by Baltimore performance-artist Robby Rackleff. Rackleff performed a version of the bit on the Wham City Comedy Tour in April. It was spotted by Adult Swim at the tour’s Atlanta stop, and the notoriously off-beat programming block commissioned a video of the performance redone as a commencement speech.

Here it is:

If you think this is scary, let it be known that Rackleff delivered an actual commencement speech at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2009.

Directed by Robby Rackleff and Ben O’Brien. Written by Robby Rackleff. Visual effects, Director of Photography: Alan Resnick. Original music by Drew Swinburne.



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