Television

Late Night TV: It Usually Begins With Ayn Rand?

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Jimmy Fallon's show did. Watch below for an extended sketch involving Rand's novels. Hat tip: Jason Talley at Fr33 Agents.

Reason on Rand's persistence in popular culture.

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  1. Thanks Nick, I had forgotten just how awful Jimmy Fallon was until I watched that piece of shit sketch.

  2. BPC,

    If that’s his usual style of humor, I agree with you.

    Now that waterboarding is out of fashion, I bet these videos will be used in American “enhanced interrogation techniques” in the future.

  3. Well that definitely proves that Ayn Rand persists in the culture much better than humor persists on Late Night.

  4. Show of hands: for anyone else here, did it start not with Ayn Rand but with Peter McWilliams? I read an excerpt of his book Ain’t Nobody’s Business if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Society in the September 1993 issue of Playboy. That turned me on (so to speak) to social libertarianism; the economic side would take another ten years for me to grok.

  5. Jesus Christ, that was painfully unfunny.
    I made it as far as “Rand on a stick.” Did it get any better?

  6. “Show of hands: for anyone else here, did it start not with Ayn Rand but with Peter McWilliams?”

    yup, him and bob wilson.

  7. @ Brian Sorgatz

    Me too. Great book, and if there’s ever a memorial to the victims of the drug war, Peter McWilliams damn well deserves to be on it.

  8. yup, him and bob wilson.

    With an “Anton” in the middle?

  9. The entire sketch was very positive in regards to Ayn Rand’s works. Showing that if you are hungry for knowledge partaking in one of her works will leave you aching from too much consumption but you will consider it enjoyable.

    Some of the symbolism that the creators of the sketch use flew over my head. The sticks, of course, symbolized the metaphorical stick the government uses on it’s populace. It’s also very obvious as to why the books are on top of those sticks. What I can’t figure out is what the ketchup represents. Also, what about the prices of the books? They are fairly low when compared to the prices the books normally cost.

    In the end, even Jimmy, our host in this bizarre play decides to take the books and seems excited by it. Yes, this is a good thing for Objectivism.

  10. if there’s ever a memorial to the victims of the drug war, Peter McWilliams damn well deserves to be on it.

    QFMFT. When I read the account of his last few days, I wanted to kill the human shit responsible for withholding his medicine. his story is one reason why the cowardly, hypocritical backsliding by Obama on MM is so enraging.

  11. Well, I think it’s funny. Though the guy with the beard didn’t do a very good job with his monologue.

  12. Well, I think it’s funny.

    “It” being the sketch, not the death of Peter McWilliams.

  13. They started a joke on the religion of capital-O “Objectivism” with the “I am Ayn Rand” bit, but they never finished it.

    Also, Mr Fallon’s “comedic” prompts reminded me of a cartoon character failing at stand-up comedy, except more painful.

    (NBC is really into its suicide, isn’t it? They’ve replaced half of Sleuth shows with JAG, they’ve made USA two-dimensional despite some decent shows, and they’re distancing SciFi from SF fans. What next, Jimmy Fallon hosting a prime-time talk show?)

  14. I couldn’t make it past two minutes.

    What was the sketch about?

  15. did it start not with Ayn Rand but with Peter McWilliams

    Nope. C S Lewis for me.

  16. I started with Bob LeFevre’s book, This Bread is Mine. A classic.

    -jcr

  17. Thank Gawd for Craig Ferguson!

    (I assume the ‘audience members’ are writers on Fallon’s show. They at least had the effect of almost making Chris Elliot seem like he had enough talent to be on camera, no easy feat!)

  18. It usually begins with me taking “Ain’t Nobody’s Business if You Do” out of the Lewes, DE public library in 1996. Still remember the part when McWilliams blows up the “congress shall make no law” part of the 1st Am to two splash pages.

  19. I can’t watch the video because I’m in Canada. Boo. No Youtube?

  20. Heinlein.

  21. I also was placed on a libertarian trajectory by Peter McWilliams. “ANBIYD,” 1996.

  22. God, that was awful; it brought back 25+ year old repressed memories of THICKE OF THE NIGHT.

  23. Yo, fuck Jimmy Fallon.

    robc, it was Lewis for me too, plus the influence of my 8th-grade civics teacher.

  24. I think everyone is gonna knock me for it but . . . Tacitus and Livy. Damn Romans fucked shit up by concentrating more and more power in fewer and fewer hands. Made an impression on me. This was followed by Rand, Friedman, and others.

  25. Well, I guess this means Objectivists are part of mainstream culture now.

  26. Hospers … but in a way that just traces back to Rand anyway.

  27. Ayn Rand did it to me.

  28. Leonard Read

  29. Only funny line in their was the one about how anything is possible with imagination. Then Fallon missed the obvious “Actually, that’s the opposite of what she wrote” line.

    Of course, Fallon couldn’t have said anything funny there. Because the guy’s not funny, he’s just a giggler.

    Hopefully Conan is good in June when he comes back.

  30. P.J. O’Rourke with Eat the Rich, followed by Friedman and Hayek…

  31. For me it was “The Revolt of the Masses” by Jose Ortega, with some Heinlein and Rand in the mix.

  32. Blech! Jesse, please never post “funny” again. I want my 3 minutes back. Or did you just post this to make the friday funnies seem better?

  33. Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress started it all for me. I’ll also note that Rand was assigned reading in my high school, and apparently still is in places, so it’s not surprising that lots of people have some exposure to her.

  34. “Fallon missed the obvious “Actually, that’s the opposite of what she wrote” line.”

    How would he know that? Isn’t wishful thinking to suppose that any of his writers actually read any of the books that pinkos like to disparage?

    -jcr

  35. For me it was just looking around.

  36. Yikes, that was embarrassingly bad. It didn’t even have anything to do with Ayn Rand. The books being hawked and eaten could just as well have been Steinbeck or Thomas Pynchon or whatever. Lame absurdist humor (and I’m a fan of absurdist humor).

  37. Jesse, please never post “funny” again. I want my 3 minutes back. Or did you just post this to make the friday funnies seem better?

    I didn’t post it at all, actually. But I persist in insisting that it’s funny.

  38. It’s absurd, if not funny-ha-ha-absurd.

    It’s funnier with Rand than with Steinbeck because of Rand’s association with capital-R Reason (not the magazine, the concept), and this is absurdism.

    Give our new depression another year, and we’ll be able to bring out the Steinbeck.

    Thomas Pynchon is for outhouse humor.

  39. Peter McWilliams put it all in perspective for me also.

  40. It all started with Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth novels for me.

  41. Ayn Rand got me to watch two minues of Fallon. Is there anything that woman can’t do?

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