Jenny Slate may be a movie star, acting in big-budget films like “Venom” and most recently voicing a character in “The Secret Life of Pets 2.” But one person who wasn’t familiar with her work was Gwen Lynch, the lone student at a commencement speech the Milton native gave earlier this month.
Slate stopped by “Late Night with Seth Meyers” on Tuesday to talk about the speech she gave for Lynch, the sole graduate of Cuttyhunk Elementary School, which is located on Cuttyhunk Island, a small island 12 miles south of New Bedford with a year-round population of approximately 10 people. Slate told Meyers that she found out in the New York Times that Lynch had some other requests for commencement speakers who ranked a bit above her.
“I heard from the Times that she wanted Michelle Obama, and they were like, ‘Well no, you can’t have that. She’s busy,'” Slate said. “And she was like, ‘OK, got it, I want Oprah.’ And they were like, ‘Yeah, she can’t come here. There’s like, two ferries a day. She’s too busy.'”
Slate said that Lynch didn’t know who she was before the actress was announced as the commencement speaker, but the two got to know each other on a walk around the island beforehand.
“We took a walk and I got to know her, and she’s wonderful,” Slate said. “And also the main fact is that she lives on an island and goes to school by herself, and still has more friends than I had as a teenager.”
Meyers and Slate also had a little fun at the expense of the Vineyard Gazette, joking that Slate’s commencement speech qualified as major news for the island publication, and discussing Meyers’ own personal experience with the newspaper.
“My father-in-law had a pet goat that died and it got an obituary longer than a president’s,” Meyers said. “They interviewed other people, like, ‘What’d you think of Raisin?’ ‘Well, you know, he was like most goats, but I guess we’ll miss him.'”