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Ayn Rand Skit on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

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The humor is strange, but at the same time I judge this as a real positive.

The humor was nonexistent, but on the bright side they said "Ayn Rand" around 20 times.

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Hah! That's so random, but I couldn't help but laugh at it.

"No one wants day-old Rand. That's gross!" It's just so absurd.

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I got a few chuckles out of it, in its simple absurdity. Especially the "If Ayn Rand has taught us anything, its that with imagination, anything is possible."

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Here's how I see things. Jimmy Fallon used three and one half minutes of his show to introduce his audience to Ayn Rand, to tell them the names of her two most important novels, and to tell them the name of her philosophy. During that three and one half minutes, in response to ridiculous statements about Objectivism, he said "That's not what she wrote! Are you guys even reading her books?" (or something close to that). The humor was lame and the intellectual level was low, but I think Jimmy Fallon may be a supporter of Rand's ideas and that he very cleverly slipped an introduction to her work into his show. Let's also note that his opening monologue about Obama poked fun of how scripted our new President sounded. While he said that Obama was cool and that he said the word "Look" in a cool way, his treatment of Obama was not at all what could be described as part of the media's love affair with him. I don't know Fallon's politics but whatever they are I'd say he did something very positive for the cause of freedom.

John Link

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Here's how I see things. Jimmy Fallon used three and one half minutes of his show to introduce his audience to Ayn Rand, to tell them the names of her two most important novels, and to tell them the name of her philosophy. During that three and one half minutes, in response to ridiculous statements about Objectivism, he said "That's not what she wrote! Are you guys even reading her books?" (or something close to that). The humor was lame and the intellectual level was low, but I think Jimmy Fallon may be a supporter of Rand's ideas and that he very cleverly slipped an introduction to her work into his show. Let's also note that his opening monologue about Obama poked fun of how scripted our new President sounded. While he said that Obama was cool and that he said the word "Look" in a cool way, his treatment of Obama was not at all what could be described as part of the media's love affair with him. I don't know Fallon's politics but whatever they are I'd say he did something very positive for the cause of freedom.

John Link

John, I like your analysis. I suspected the same thing.

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HOLY SHIT

I meet Jimmy Fallon a couple years ago, I was working with him. He was a really cool, down-to-earth guy. I was in a crowd on set and everyone was talking about their favorite authors and I said my was Ayn Rand and he said never heard of her, and I suggested he look her up. I also gave the run down on the meaning of dollar sign to another person, and Fallon was in earshot.

I wonder if...

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My feeling was that if the skit denigrated anyone, it denigrated those who claim to be inspired by Rand while clearly knowing nothing about her, her principles, or her philosophy.

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I wonder if...

Maybe! Fallon's website includes a place to ask him questions, and it appears they actually get to him: http://www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com/ask-jimmy/ I suggest you write, giving him your email address, and remind him about your conversation and ask what he's read by Rand and what he wanted to accomplish with the Rand skit.

I just wrote Jimmy and told him about this thread and gave him the link. I'll be watching his show to see what else he does.

My feeling was that if the skit denigrated anyone, it denigrated those who claim to be inspired by Rand while clearly knowing nothing about her, her principles, or her philosophy.

On the surface, that's what happened in the skit. But "That's not what she wrote! Are you guys even reading her books?" applies as well to those who criticize Rand without understanding her ideas. Besides, even if we see it only as criticism of those who claim to be inspired by Rand while clearly knowing nothing about her, her principles, or her philosophy, I would welcome that as well! Furthermore, whichever it is, he put himself in the position of defending her ideas.

John Link

Edited by John Link

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Maybe! Fallon's website includes a place to ask him questions, and it appears they actually get to him: http://www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com/ask-jimmy/ I suggest you write, giving him your email address, and remind him about your conversation and ask what he's read by Rand and what he wanted to accomplish with the Rand skit.

Simply out of curiousity, I submitted a question asking what his intentions were with the skit. I'll post it if I get a response. I suggest others do the same. It'd be nice to have a saved email response from Jimmy regarding his *hopefully positive* thoughts on AR if only to use it as blackmail once the media elite force his show to lean left.

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I meet Jimmy Fallon a couple years ago, I was working with him. He was a really cool, down-to-earth guy. I was in a crowd on set and everyone was talking about their favorite authors and I said my was Ayn Rand and he said never heard of her, and I suggested he look her up. I also gave the run down on the meaning of dollar sign to another person, and Fallon was in earshot.

Not to take away from the "Holy Shit" here, but you *are* aware that Ayn Rand's story of how the dollar sign came from the initials US is factually wrong? The symbol existed back in the 1750 in Spain and Mexico before anyone in the colonies was even *thinking* about independence.

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I previously quoted Jimmy Fallon as saying the following: "That's not what she wrote! Are you guys even reading her books?" I just listened again several times and here is what he actually said:

"That is not what Ayn Rand's novels are about at all. Are you even reading these books?"

I noticed that the woman who claimed to be Ayn Rand resembled Rand in her appearance in two ways: the color of her eyes (very dark), and the intensity of her looking directly at the camera. I don't think that was an accident. I also noticed that Ayn Rand's first name was always pronounced correctly. I didn't hear a single "Ann", which might have made the skit a little funnier, or wackier (e.g., Ann Rinde). He also asked "Why is everyone in my audience reading Ayn Rand?" (or something close to that). That question contains the implicit statement that everyone in his audience is reading Ayn Rand.

I think Jimmy Fallon is a very smart guy who knew exactly what he was doing.

John Link

Edited by John Link

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Not to take away from the "Holy Shit" here, but you *are* aware that Ayn Rand's story of how the dollar sign came from the initials US is factually wrong? The symbol existed back in the 1750 in Spain and Mexico before anyone in the colonies was even *thinking* about independence.

Yeah, this was pretty recently after I read the book and I discovered the historical facts a couple years later.

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Yeah, I saw this last night too. I was a bit on edge during the whole thing, trying to decide if he was trying to dump on Rand. The ketchup thing had me for a second, but then the guy said "it's just how I like it" and not something like "well that's all they're good for, they're not worth reading"...so it seemed harmless.

The comment about "are you even reading these books?" made me very optimistic about how this will affect people, though it may have just been part of the humor. The fact that people say things about Rand's books without having read them is important for a prospective reader to know--they won't just listen to the bad hype and reject her offhand.

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The comment about "are you even reading these books?" made me very optimistic about how this will affect people, though it may have just been part of the humor.

George Carlin said that comedy is actually rhetoric (I don't remember his exact statement but he did use the word "rhetoric"), so I'm not sure that anything is ever just part of the humor.

John Link

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On the surface, that's what happened in the skit. But "That's not what she wrote! Are you guys even reading her books?" applies as well to those who criticize Rand without understanding her ideas.

Fair point - if someone is going to challenge Rand, then they should do it honestly and with integrity.

I wouldn't say he put himself in the position of defending her ideas, though. Not in the sense of "Ayn Rand was right because..." I'd call his position one of defending intellectual honesty, in this case about Ayn Rand.

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I'd call his position one of defending intellectual honesty, in this case about Ayn Rand.

Quite right, and I'm impressed that in a silly comedy skit Jimmy Fallon defended intellectual honesty.

Last night Fallon did a skit in which Putin was shown to have been undercover as a KGB agent when Reagan was greeting a crowd, and then in several other ridiculous situations including in the car as Jimmy's uncle when he was a kid. I found the skit very funny, probably because of the juxtaposition (or imposition) of a current international figure into absurd fictional situations in the past, using a true element of the person's past. I mention this skit because at least twice Fallon said that his uncle had called him a capitalist pig. While I consider the term "capitalist pig" to be a slur, I find it interesting that Fallon identified himself with capitalism. Think about it this way. If you were going to be in a skit on national TV and had to choose between being called either a capitalist pig or a communist pinko (What's the slur I'm looking for?), which would you choose? I know that I would choose the former.

John Link

Edited by John Link

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It's lazy writing. They had a concept (let's dump on the people who are "selling" Ayn Rand, but don't know what Rand is), but they didn't bother developing the idea (Why are these people wrong-even if it's a silly reason, like the ones Colbert gave on his last Rand bit- , and how could we show that they are wrong in a funny way, etc..).

Instead they just went with the "oh look we're calling the people selling Ayn Rand hot-dog salesmen who don't know what they're selling"-hence the ketchup- concept for five long, painfully unfunny minutes.

Why "they are hot-dog salesmen"? I guess even if they have an idea why that is supposed to be true, they just couldn't figure out a funny way to express that. (they would've had to somehow connect one of these people-Rush, Malkin, Beck etc. or all of them generically- to the bit. )

Why "they don't know what they're talking about"? (again, connect something these people said about Rand, that was wrong, to the bit)

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