Arts & Entertainment

He's kind of a big deal — Will Ferrell set to deliver USC commencement speech

In this file photo, Will Ferrell speaks to a VIP Newseum audience at a special evening with the
In this file photo, Will Ferrell speaks to a VIP Newseum audience at a special evening with the "Anchorman" star at Annenberg Theater on Dec. 3, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
Larry French/Getty Images

"Saturday Night Live" legend Will Ferrell has been tapped to give the 2017 commencement speech at the University of Southern California. The star of films like “Old School,” “Elf" and “Anchorman” is scheduled to deliver the main address at USC’s ceremony on May 12, the university announced Thursday.

Ferrell, an Irvine native, is also a USC graduate, earning a degree in sports information from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 1990. This won’t be the first time he's shown support for his alma mater — Ferrell hosted the film school’s 75th Anniversary Gala, appeared as a guest drum major for the Trojan Marching Band, participated in a fundraiser for the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund and gave a keynote speech for the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies discussion series, according to USC.

The actor isn't famous just for his comedic film roles and late night TV sketches — he also pioneered online comedy with Funny Or Die, which he created with collaborator Adam McKay (who you may also remember recently from directing "The Big Short").

But the burning question on our mind right now is this: Will he play the commencement speech straight, or will he deliver it in character? If he were to give the speech in character, who should he be?

Here are some options. (Warning: Some language in the videos below may be offensive to some.)

There's this guy:

Ricky Bobby (from “Talladega Nights”)


Or this mustachioed gentleman:

Ron Burgundy (from “Anchorman”)


How about this epic hairstyle:

Jacobim Mugatu (from “Zoolander”)


Or this doppleganger:

George W. Bush


There's more presidential options:

Abraham Lincoln (from a "Funny or Die” sketch)


Or what a generation of kids knows him from:

Lord Business (from “The Lego Movie)


And, of course, the perennial favorite from one of our favorite holiday movies:

Buddy the Elf (from “Elf”)


Most of us won’t be there to find out, though the speech is sure to be captured by fans in the audience along with the school itself.

For avid Ferrell fans, there are plenty of other ways to catch him in the near future — he’s got at least four movies in the works for 2017 and 2018, including “Holmes and Watson,” in which he’s set to play Sherlock Holmes opposite actor John C. Reilly’s Dr. John Watson.