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Jay Leno gives commencement address at Emerson

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

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Retired “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno told graduating seniors at Emerson College that the school “saved my life.” The 1973 grad described how dyslexia waylaid his learning in high school and that he anticipated he would be spending his college years at McDonalds’ famed Hamburger University. He wound up at Bentley University. “Why? Because it was close to my house. That’s how unfocused I was. A dyslexic accountant. I lasted one semester.” He learned about Emerson and managed to gain admission to the school after telling jokes to an administrator. He offered the graduating class 20 (!) pieces of wisdom about the world of show business, ending on this practical note: “Work hard. Remember, anybody can have a life. Careers are hard to come by.”

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