Director Tom Shadyac Raises Eyebrows with Colorful Speech to Malibu Grads

Tom Shadyac, who has a flare for being unpredictable, leaves some offended and others laughing uncontrollably at the Malibu High School graduation.

Director Tom Shadyac speaks during the Malibu High School graduation Monday, June 10, 2013. Photo Credit: Jessica E. Davis
Director Tom Shadyac speaks during the Malibu High School graduation Monday, June 10, 2013. Photo Credit: Jessica E. Davis
Graduations are usually known for their pomp and circumstance, but Director Tom Shadyac's colorful speech to graduates at Malibu High School Monday took an unconventional turn.

Shadyac, who is known for his films "Liar, Liar" and "Bruce Almighty," started off his speech with an expletive, followed by 10 minutes of lewd jokes that had some raising their eyebrows and others laughing uncontrollably.

Wearing a black robe, and a Pepperdine University ball cap, Shadyac, who lives in Paradise Cove, joked about his attire.

"This cord is supposed to mean I have a masters degree. I don't," Shadyac said. "... I have masturbated."

He added that he doesn't believe in VIP, which he said means "very ignorant perspective." He also asked for applause for parents who "had unprotected sex" to bring the graduates into the world.

Shadyac, who wrote for comedian Bob Hope early in his career, seemed to recast his humor toward the end, thanking the crowd for putting up with "these crazy jokes."

He also took a serious turn, using props to encourage students to "rock the story that is your life," encouraging them to live a life of service and courage. Shadyac, who is an adjunct professor of communication at Pepperdine's Seaver College, encouraged students to go serve those less fortunate in the inner city.

"Malibu families cannot stop at PCH and Topanga," he said. Shadyac gave up his Hollywood lifestyle, and joined the Pepperdine faculty to share his passion with talented young filmmakers, according to Pepperdine Magazine.

One attendee, who identified herself as Sandra Peltola on Malibu Patch, wrote that she was offended by the speech.

"His jokes were insulting and lewd; not material for a graduation speech," Peltola said. "I am surprised the administration allowed his line of humor and cursing. Not a good example of public speaking, best to keep that in a bar or comedy club."

At the end of Shadyac's speech, only about half of the administrators, faculty and Malibu council members on the stage stood and clapped. Apparently some didn't realize Shadyac has a reputation for being unpredictable.

What did you think of Shadyac's speech? Were you offended, or did you find it humorous? Tell us in the comments.
Dan Walker June 14, 2013 at 01:02 AM
Don't know exactly what to think about the speeches, but The Sexy Sax Man made my day!
Eileen Culligan June 16, 2013 at 04:27 PM
If I were there I would have laughed I'm sure. But you're right LL. Time and Place. It's too bad for the people who objected, to be labeled prudes, old fashioned, and not hip. The ultimate test of "class" is to know how and when to play to your audience. All funny stuff I'm sure, but no awareness about what's appropriate. Very Very narcissistic in my humble opinion.
Eileen Culligan June 17, 2013 at 03:05 PM
I'm sure I would have laughed had I been there. However I agree with LL Time and Place is everything. Pretty funny stuff, but not right for all families and all kids. Too bad for the people who objected, who will now be seen as unhip and prudish. To be oblivious to who makes up your entire audience, and then proceed regardless, is supreme narcissism, in my humble opinion.
Amanda Aldridge January 02, 2014 at 12:28 PM
I just came across this article and I want to put my 2 cents worth in even though I was not there. Many don't know the back story of Tom's life and what he was exposed to at a young age with children dying as his father helped Danny Thomas establish St. Jude's Hospital and his mother's injury that kept her wheel chair bound for most of his adult life up to her death. So when success came to Tom, it seemed absurd to him because it was not reality it was living in a fantasy world that created isolation from the real world and Tom decided that was not the life he wanted to live. So if the underlying message to the Class of 2013 at MHS was about serving and giving while pursuing your dreams it is because Tom learned that wealth does not produce happiness but loving, giving and sharing with others does and to those to whom much is given and are able to do well then to them the message is to never be so consumed with self that you blind yourself to those in need. Bravo to Tom for he is an amazing man that has done so much and continues to do and many people do not know that. He is far, far from being narcissistic! He is one of the most beautiful, loving people I have ever come across.


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