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Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: You want to hear something that I find hilarious and a little funny? It’s about The Chin, the star of the Tonight Show, Jay Leno. Jay Leno announced on his program Monday night that he’s going to — I think it was Monday night. I have the Detroit Free Press here. Ba-da ba-da ba-da ba-da ba-da. Yes. On Monday night’s Tonight Show The Chin said that he loves Detroit and he’s going to go up there and he’s going to do a show for the unemployed. In fact, you don’t even have to be unemployed. You just have to be having hard times. Jay, that’s really great. That is fabulous. I’m sure you showing up doing a comedy show is going to help people put food on the table. I’m sure it’s going to really inspire people to go out and get a job. You’re gonna go out there and do a show for the unemployed, great intentions, what a great guy, Jay Leno. Accomplishment? Zero.

However, what’s really funny about this is, he was giving the tickets away. The tickets are free. Some people decided to sell the tickets. They got tickets and then they put them on eBay to sell them, for like 200 bucks apiece, four tickets, 800 bucks… I don’t know what the price is. I scanned this story very hurriedly. It’s either 200 bucks or 400 bucks for a ticket or 800 bucks, and Leno heard about this. Leno heard that his free tickets to help the unemployed in Detroit were being sold, and he threw a fit. He said, ‘I’m not worth 800 bucks.’ Right. But he also said this is a free show. Nobody should be profiting off it. Jay, old buddy, old pal, you understand that you’re doing a free concert for the unemployed.

So some people who are unemployed end up getting tickets to your show. And they wanted the money rather than to see you! They thought it would be far more worthwhile to sell tickets to your show if somebody would pay — and obviously there was a market, Jay, because there were buyers. They probably like you, Jay. I’m sure these guys all like you, and now you’re taking food out of their mouths, Jay. At the end of the day, Jay Leno goes to Detroit to help the unemployed, the down on their luck, with a concert. I don’t know about you, folks, but after an hour and a half of laughter I really feel like I’ve had a five-course dinner. And after a couple hours, hour and a half of laughter, my gas tank’s automatically filled up!

Have you ever noticed what laughter can do for you and your economic circumstance? So these people said, ‘You know what? I need the money.’ So they sold Jay Leno tickets. Jay, you ought to be honored somebody is willing to pay 800 bucks to see you. What does it matter? So the free market — the free market, entrepreneurism — rears its head, and Leno shuts it down. He told eBay to stop selling the tickets. (interruption) You look like you want to say something, Snerdley. What’s the question? (interruption) Mmm-hmm. Mmm -hmm. Well, that’s what he said. Jay Leno, that his act isn’t worth it. Are you saying he doesn’t do an hour and a half? He’s a funny guy. He can be funny. But that’s not the point here. He’s going to go up there… Yeah, Jay Leno’s teleprompter is funny. His writers are funny. I don’t think Leno uses a prompter. The Tonight Show, they put cue cards on the wall like the Johnny Carson days.

Maybe he uses a prompter, I don’t know. But none of that’s the point. Here’s a concert for the unemployed, and the down on their luck, and people that are just having a hard time. Which is going to accomplish nothing toward resolving the circumstance they’re in. So some of these bright-eyed people say, ‘Maybe I can sell these tickets,’ and they did, and they got 400, 800 bucks. That will put food on the table. That will put some gasoline in the tank. And so Leno shuts it down. (interruption) Yes, another question from the program observer. What? (interruption) Okay, okay. All right, all right. It’s a good point. It’s a good point. You would not believe the size of this audience, folks. It has expanded in geometric proportions. There are new people listening here who haven’t before, and Snerdley has a point that I need to explain to people that I look at these things dispassionately, because Snerdley fears that I may have — while making a brilliant point — really have turned people off.

And you’re right. This is something I’m going to have keep in mind as I continue to serve humanity here with new people listening. All right, let me explain to you people who are new to the program the point here. I like Jay Leno. He’s a nice guy. I understand he wants to help people. But, you know, I kinda look at it in a purely logical sense. I want you to imagine you’re unemployed and a nationally known figure says, ‘You know what? I care about you. I really want to help you. I care about you so much, I love you so much, I’m coming to where you live, and I’m going to rent a hall and pay for it myself, and you can come in for nothing and watch me tell jokes.’ I know many of you say, ‘But, Rush, he’s caring. He’s trying. He’s trying to do something.’ I know he’s caring. It’s great, compassion and all that. But at the end of the day it’s like liberalism: Does it do anything? Does it accomplish anything?

He’s going to do a concert for the unemployed. The unemployed don’t want concerts. They want jobs! If Jay Leno wanted to do something for the unemployed, conduct a search and hire a couple. One of them was a teleprompter operator. Hell, how hard can it be? The teleprompter does the hard work, the teleprompter tells people what to say, but you still need somebody to operate the damn thing. So I’m not… I am being critical of Leno, but for one reason. When the people he wanted to help who got tickets went out and sold the tickets for real money that could really help, he shut that down. He shut down the eBay sales process. So the one thing that he was doing that was generating genuine assistance to people, he stopped, and I think this is an example of the free market.

How is that? You know, as I go through this, explaining this to the new listeners who think I have no heart, no soul, no compassion. Somehow I don’t think my second explanation even got through. I know I deal with thought. I deal with thoughts and not feelings. I try to, in fact, stay far away as I can from the chaos of emotions. I’m a literalist. ‘But why are you criticizing Mr. Leno? He’s only trying to help.’ Well, I’m criticizing Mr. Leno ’cause he’s wrong. I’m not saying he’s a bad person. I’m not saying his heart is not in the right place. I’m not saying that. I’m just saying what his objective is, is not being accomplished — and when it is being accomplished, he shuts it down. That’s all. Jay Leno learns. Here, how about this headline in the Detroit Free Press: ‘Leno: Take Tickets for Free Show off eBay.’ Take tickets for free show off eBay. ‘But, Rush, he wants it to be free, and therefore people shouldn’t have to pay for it.’ Nobody’s being forced to. They’re put on eBay, and nobody has to buy them. If somebody wants to buy them, it means they must really like Mr. Leno — and they’re willing to pay $800 or $400 or whatever the number is, to go see his comedy show. Everybody wins! People get to see him — some people that got tickets and would rather have the money, they get the money — and Jay Leno is the winner all the way around. But now he’s throwing cold water on it by telling the market that it cannot function as a free market.

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RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, quick. I have a major announcement to make. In a teachable moment and for those of you who may not have quite understood my explanation, I want to make it right with you. I want you to understand that my heart’s in the right place, too. I, ladies and gentlemen, am going to do tomorrow’s radio show free, free for you. Tomorrow’s radio show will cost you nothing. I will still get paid, but not by you. I’m not just going to limit this to Detroit and the Palace of Auburn Hills. I am doing my radio show free for every American who wants to listen to it tomorrow. There are no tickets. If this is how you persuade people that you have a big heart and that you’re really compassionate and you care about people on hard times, spread the word. If you know somebody unemployed, if you know somebody down on their luck, you tell ’em to listen tomorrow, ’cause I am doing this show free. There is nothing to sell on eBay, Mr. Snerdley, there’s no invitation, there’s no ticket, there’s nothing to sell on eBay. Somebody might want to sell — I don’t know, look, there are entrepreneurs out there. I’m sure somebody on eBay will try to come up with some way to sell something related to my free radio show for America tomorrow. I’m sure there will be a buyer or two. It’s America, after all.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Jay, you know I love you, you know I really love you (kissing sound). But do you realize you are stripping people of their dignity in Detroit. These are the downtrodden, Jay, these are the people out of work, and you’ve invited them to come to your shows at the Palace of Auburn Hills el freebo, and some of them said, ‘I’d rather have the money,’ and so they put the tickets on eBay, and they got $400, $800 bucks, whatever the hell it is, Leno heard about it and said, ‘No you don’t, these tickets are not worth that much, they’re not going to be sold,’ and takes the ticket sales off of eBay. Robbing fans of Jay Leno, they’re paying, robbing people of their dignity, taking money out of their hands under the guise of compassion and assistance and helping the unemployed, taking money out of their hands. See, this is all these great intentions, all these wonderful intentions.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

By the way, one more thing to Jay Leno: Jay, you’re going out there to Detroit. You’re going out there to do free concerts for the unemployed, for the down on their luck, and the people having a hard time. You’re going to go out there and give free concerts, Jay, at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Jay, just remember: No joke ever fed a hungry child. No joke ever put a drop of gasoline inside the tank of a hybrid. No joke ever ended up getting anybody Chicken McNuggets. It’s just something to remember.

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