Stan Lee Keynote at the 2017 Graduation Ceremony


UCLA Extension


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[Applause] please join me in giving a big ICI la extensión welcome to our inaugural icons of La Award recipient mr. Stan Lee first of all I hate these boots he said he said my whole speech all the things he said I was going to say so I said here before you hopeless worried what can I possibly do to make I didn't really mean mending and I spent quite a lot of time writing a 25 page speech that I could give you and as I looked at I said what I want to hear this speech so I tore it up so I stand here now defenseless with nothing except to tell you I think you're all great the fact that you're taking the courses you're taking you're trying to help to add to what you already know to make yourselves better workers better contributors and I think that's great I think also that I'm not going to make a long speech but I'm going to tell you I was told to say an anecdote anecdotes the reason so I thought to myself what kind of anecdote can I tell these people who really have more important things to do and I figured I'm going to tell you how spider-man came into being it's a true story although sometimes it's hard even for me to believe it but we had already done the Fantastic Four and I think maybe the x-men I can't remember the order but my publisher came to me and he said Stan I want you to come up with another superhero so I said okay I went home and when my publisher said do something I'd better do it because I wanted to keep my job I thought what can I come up with now and the most important thing in a superhero at first is the superpower once you get that everything comes along so I thought what power will I give a new guy and I saw a fly crawling on the wall and I said hey if I can get a superhero that could stick to walls and crawl on him man that would be cool and no I'm lying to you I don't think the word cool was in use then I probably I probably said it'll be groovy I'll never lie to you so I thought that was good now I needed a name so Hill let's see fly man mosquito man I cut down the spider-man spider-man it just sounded dramatic so okay and my hero I had his power his name and then I figured just for fun I'm going to give him personal problems because except for you people who're that your lives are perfect but most other people have personal problems and then I thought I'd make him a teenager because there were no teenage superheroes that I know of at the time so armed with all that wonderful material those great ideas I ran into my publishers office and I told them this was my reactor the reaction he gave me Stan that is the worst idea I have ever heard first of all and he started to give me his rate because he's a very logical man very intellectual first of all people hate spiders so you can call a hero spider-man you want him to be a teenager teenagers can only be sidekicks and you want him to have personal problems Stan don't you know what a superhero is they don't have personal problems well I left the office disappointed but obviously a much wiser man and I couldn't get spider-man out of my system so we were about to kill the magazine I think was called amazing fantasy it wasn't selling well and we were sending the last issue to press when you do the last issue of a magazine nobody cares what you put in it because the book is dying just to get it out of my system I put spider-man an amazing fantasy feature him on the cover forgot about it a month later all the sales figures came in my publisher came racing into my office stand stand you remember that character we both love so much spider-man let's do them as a series now why am I telling you this besides the fact that I have to kill a little time if you have an idea that you genuinely think is good don't let some idiot talk you out of it now that doesn't mean that every wild notion you come up with is going to be genius but if there is something that you feel is good something you want to do something that means something to you try to do it because I think you can only do your best work if you're doing what you want to do and if you're doing it the way you think it should be done and if you can take pride in that 50 you've done it no matter what it is you can look at it and say I did that I think it's pretty damn good that's a great feeling so don't let idiots talk you out of something that you think is good by the same token that doesn't mean every single thing you think is good is good it's going to be winner price got to have a little judgement there I've had other things that I thought were good that didn't work but I'll save that for the next award you give me I'll need something and I want to say I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this award and this college has meant a lot to me I have spoken here many times over the years it's one of the great Institutes of learning and to get this award the icon award I am truly touched so I want to thank the staff Nick whoever it is the cave it a big and I want to wish all of you the best luck in the world just do your thing do it as well as you that's the important thing don't shirk whatever you do give it your best shot you'll be glad you do we're going to identify now we are both Scottie sure when you put your man yeah what do you dad Dan those were inspiring words for our graduate that was great I am honored to present you with UCLA extensions the very first icons in LA award thank you I wanted I am to receive it I'm glad my wife isn't here right now she'd be poking in saying put it down you know how clumsy you are you didn't drop it I haven't dropped it yet and I promise I won't drop it thank you there's more he goes it's written part thank you so last evening we had a little pre celebration for Stan a small get-together and I had a few words to say about education entertainment and how they relate like Stan referred to a little earlier and then stand toss he had a good stories as he did today to share and one of them was the fact that he shared that he wasn't a college graduate he said I didn't go to college and then he said wait I did start one course at City College of New York he said the reason I started that was because I was really interested in this young lady and she was taking that course and she worked during the day that's the only time I could see her said so I took the signed up for the course my very first college course said then I dropped out after three or four weeks he said it turned out that she really wasn't interested in me so that's how his college career ended so Stan while you may not have gone to college we at UCLA Extension want you to know that your life's work is worthy of university recognition let me do that now by presenting you with this honorary UCLA Extension certificate the statement inside reads as follows presented to Stanley and recognition recognition of his inspiring legacy a life's work that illuminates the transformative power of storytelling for Los Angeles in the world thank you sir [Applause] well thank you we college men we know about these things we're just all so I'll tell you this if we pulled it down whoops don't lose that right there it is the University of California I think it all goes in the most prominent place in my office strength thank you thank you so much Wow