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Ayn Rand Night (Johnny Carson and more)

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Tonight I was lucky enough to be invited to a very small Ayn Rand get together. It was hosted by an old friend of hers, and consisted of a handful of Objectivists from back in her day (Nathaniel Branden was even there). Unbelievably, this guy recorded everything from all her talk show interviews, to old college radio lectures, to even a fashion show the whole group put together back in the 60's (or 50's, can't remember).

The highlight of the night for me was to watch Ayn Rand on Johnny Carson. I have seen her Phil Donahue and Mike Wallace interviews in the past, but I enjoyed this one more. Instead of putting Rand on the defense or wasting time having her argue with audience members, Carson made sure it was in no way a hostile environment; this relaxed her, bringing out more of Rand's personality and humor. Carson even canceled the other guests, leaving Rand to answer questions the whole show (more than 90% of which was Rand talking, because he didn't cut her answers short).

This interview would be great to show people who are new to Rand's ideas; it shows her having a good time, smiling, and joking around while teaching. People who are newly introduced to her might open up more and listen, as opposed to closing off because of her usually blunt, stern approach (which I also enjoy very much).

I'm not quite sure what he plans on doing with all of this footage, but I was talking to him about what a valuable learning tool it would be if they were in circulation. I'll talk to him about it more when I go over to see another few interviews (all of which I never knew to exist!).

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I know some members here have been actively looking for an extant copy of the Carson interview in particular. It's something like the holy grail of Rand archive material. I think the real challenge (after convincing him) would be helping him convert it all to a digital format (which he probably has neither the patience nor ability to do). Good luck and be sure to post an update when you've talked him into making it public :dough:.

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I know some members here have been actively looking for an extant copy of the Carson interview in particular. It's something like the holy grail of Rand archive material. I think the real challenge (after convincing him) would be helping him convert it all to a digital format (which he probably has neither the patience nor ability to do). Good luck and be sure to post an update when you've talked him into making it public :dough:.

I have done these kinds of conversions before. I would gladly contribute time, knowledge, and/or money to the conversion of such media to a digital format Being on the east coast, money would be more helpful, I suspect. I doubt I am alone. Hell, I'll do it *for* him, free of charge, and will pay for shipping and insurance on the media and sign a contract guaranteeing its safe return, if he's interested. (It'll just be a little more logistically tricky.)

I hope that you will choose to actively encourage the holder of this video to make a digital copy available!

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The highlight of the night for me was to watch Ayn Rand on Johnny Carson. I have seen her Phil Donahue and Mike Wallace interviews in the past, but I enjoyed this one more. Instead of putting Rand on the defense or wasting time having her argue with audience members, Carson made sure it was in no way a hostile environment; this relaxed her, bringing out more of Rand's personality and humor. Carson even canceled the other guests, leaving Rand to answer questions the whole show (more than 90% of which was Rand talking, because he didn't cut her answers short).

This interview would be great to show people who are new to Rand's ideas; it shows her having a good time, smiling, and joking around while teaching. People who are newly introduced to her might open up more and listen, as opposed to closing off because of her usually blunt, stern approach (which I also enjoy very much).

I'm not quite sure what he plans on doing with all of this footage, but I was talking to him about what a valuable learning tool it would be if they were in circulation. I'll talk to him about it more when I go over to see another few interviews (all of which I never knew to exist!).

Hold on a minute, are you saying someone has the video of Ayn Rand on the Johnny Carson show??? That is something that nobody has been able to find! It was presumed destroyed. If he has that, then it's got to be worthy a pretty penny. Digitizing it would be a piece of cake.

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From what I've heard, one of the Johnny Carson shows is accessible (I believe it's at the Ayn Rand Institute?), but her other appearance is not. She was also on Phil Danahue twice, and there are several older interviews with people I have never heard of (excluding Mike Wallace) that he has.

I don't want to pressure him into anything, but I will discuss the topic more next time we talk. I don't think he can actually sell the videos, but making them public would be highly beneficial to anyone interested in Ayn Rand, Objectivism, or just someone who stumbles upon them. Plus, I have a feeling many of the videos will be lost for good if he never puts them out there... That scares me.

Digitizing them doesn't seem to be a problem; he put several of them on a DVD for the Ayn Rand get together.

Updates to come soon.

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I'm not sure. I'd heard one rumor that there was a warehouse fire, but the archivist at ARI had some other explanation.

From IMDb:

Many taped episodes (including appearances by Ayn Rand, and John Lennon and Paul McCartney) were lost at NBC's archive[...]

And also Ayn Rand first appears on The Tonight Show in 1967, according to the ARI timeline.

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Tonight I was lucky enough to be invited to a very small Ayn Rand get together. It was hosted by an old friend of hers, and consisted of a handful of Objectivists from back in her day (Nathaniel Branden was even there). Unbelievably, this guy recorded everything from all her talk show interviews, to old college radio lectures, to even a fashion show the whole group put together back in the 60's (or 50's, can't remember).

Just a word of caution, Nathaniel Branden has spread a lot of false propaganda about Ayn Rand. You can look him up on Diana Hsieh's Noodle Food for details.

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  • 1 month later...
Does anyone know what became of this? I am VERY interested in seeing this footage, as I've always heard references to the Carson material but never seen it.

Any plans so far?

Yeh, first person to get hold of this footage earns 5000 brownie points!

Go!

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  • 5 months later...
Does this prevent it from being put up on youtube like the rest of them?

I believe technically anything that was recorded from network TV remains the property of the network. There does seem to be a lot of material on YouTube- the Donahue interviews, for example- that would seem to violate the networks' copyrights. Per YouTube's policy, to my understanding, it is up to the copyright owners, especially in the case of older material like this, to request that it be taken down. Most likely they cannot be bothered and/or do not see this as a potential revenue source. Although in the case of the Donahue interviews, they were at one point available on VHS, so having them on YouTube in that case would seriously undermine any potential profit that the owners of this material were/are reaping from it.

The solution seems to be: figure out who owns the rights to the footage, who owns the actual footage, how to get them together so that the footage can be sold or released. Not a simple task I know.

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  • 3 years later...

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