Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Ayn Rand on The Tonight Show

One pictures Ayn Rand promoting her principles of Objectivism at intellectual salons. But one of her most stimulating conversations occurred in a truly popular forum — The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. VHS tapes capturing excerpts of the 1967 appearance resurfaced this week and while the quality is hit-or-miss, the occasion was certainly momentous.

Carson was duly impressed. So much so that he canceled a scheduled appearance by Buster Crabbe that evening, and devoted his entire show to the Russian-born thinker with the thick accent and deep philosophy. TV viewers responded in kind. Rand generated more mail than any other Tonight Show guest, nearly all of it positive, although she touched upon several controversial positions — opposing the Vietnam War and a conscripted army, for instance, and discussing her atheism. H/T The Lonely Conservative

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