Jimmy Kimmel Finds People Willing To Say Kind Things On The Occasion Of FDR’s ‘Death’ Yesterday


Jimmy Kimmel sent a crew to get reactions to the “news” that Franklin Delano Roosevelt died yesterday. Big surprise: plenty of people wanted to be on teevee despite having no idea what they were talking about. Discard the tape of anyone saying “forget you, FDR died in 1945,” and what’s left is comedy. (Also, note that Kimmel is very careful to set up the bit by reminding the viewing audience that FDR was born in 1882, and very definitely did not die yesterday.)

It’s pretty simple TV — stick a camera and microphone in somebody’s face, ask them a question — any question — and rather than admit they don’t know, they will happily send condolences to Eleanor Roosevelt on the loss of her husband, who was a good man and did his best for the country. But it works — and hey, for all the laughing at the woman who said that Roosevelt’s “greatest achievement” was the Louisiana Purchase, you have to admit it’s a better choice than the Sacajawea dollar, or even the Monroe Doctrine.

And it’s also probably a good clip for teachers to show in social studies classes, for multiple reasons, from the simple, “pay attention in school or you’ll be mocked on late night TV” to the useful reminder that in any poll, a lot of people who should answer “don’t know” will express a definite opinion, which is why you can get something like 10% of Americans to agree with just about anything in a poll.

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  • Ambignostic

    10%? I thought it was 27%.

    • rebecca

      You are correct, and Doktor Zoom is fired.

  • LinGin

    And this is different from Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking” bits, how? Or is it that Leno is automatically hated and Kimmel is the “good guy.” (And how about everyone’s new favorite, Jimmy Fallon, giving an advance call to Chris Christie before he and Springsteen parodied/zinged the Jersey Fat Boy, so the governor wouldn’t be surprised or hurt.)

    • rebecca

      None. It’s none different.

      • LinGin

        Eh, just feeling crabby because Jay’s been getting dumped on while a lot of people think Kimmel is so much more better and fresher. As soon as Leno is gone, Kimmel steals from him.

  • Farb

    It was morning again in America when Franklin Roosevelt and his Rough Riders stormed the beach at Normandy and occupied the Sudetenland. I know it sent Unitarian Edwin Starr King to the piano to compose the elegy, “War. Uh. Good God, y’all! What is is good for?!” And it inspired George Lincoln Rockwell to paint his famous, “Nighthawks at the Folies Bergere.”

  • Ellis_Weiner

    As I’ve said before, Freud said, “America is a mistake. A terrible mistake.”

  • AnnieR

    Oh dear.

  • BillFromPA

    You realize that Sal and Richard on the Howard Stern Show have been doing this bit for longer than Kimmel has been on the air, right?

  • kfreed

    “Where were you when you didn’t learn anything about history” I surely thought would produce uncomfortable silence. Wrong:(