Jimmy Fallon, still on an unending redemption tour both for ruffling Donald Trump’s hair on national television and for generally not being funny, made a surprise appearance at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s commencement ceremony in Parkland, Florida on Sunday. There, he gave a very nice speech to the Class of 2018, whom were terrorized by February’s mass shooting that cost 17 of their fellow students their lives and propelled survivors headfirst into outspoken gun control activism.
Fallon has heralded the Parkland teens on The Tonight Show and attended the gun control-related March for Our Lives that the students organized in March. And on Sunday, he once again praised graduates for their bravery and fortitude in the face of horror (and, in some cases, right-wing trolls). “On our show we write out Thank You Notes every Friday for the most part. They’re funny, or at least they try to be. But today I want to say a real thank you,” he said, according to Vulture. “I want to thank you guys personally for showing us what it looks like to have integrity and courage and bravery in the face of terrible tragedy. Thank you for showing me and the whole world that there is hope.”
Of course, since this is Fallon, a man whose comedic acumen consists of donning a wig and braces while pretending to to be a teen girl, there were some dumb dad jokes. One example: “You should feel incredibly proud of yourselves. That doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels. Or your yannys.” Another: “You won’t be classmates anymore. You’ll be adults who Facebook search each other at 2 in the morning for the next 10 years.” Teens don’t even use Facebook, DAD.
Still, it was very nice of him to come, and the teens seemed to enjoy Fallon’s surprise appearance:
Apparently, one of the teachers at Stoneman Douglas had worked hard to get Fallon onboard, since the school doesn’t usually have guest speakers at graduation. The school also sought to strike the right tone, both with Fallon’s speech and with the rest of the ceremony, in an effort to convey both a message of hope, and to properly acknowledge the four seniors—Meadow Pollack, Carmen Schentrup, Joaquin Oliver, and Nicholas Dworet—who lost their lives in the February massacre.
This doesn’t change the fact that Fallon is the most toothless of our current endless roster of late night hosts, but, hey, he showed up and they didn’t.