‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ Quizzes People on Whether They Know More Avengers or U.S. Presidents (VIDEO)


That ABC/Marvel corporate synergy has been in full force this week on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Monday’s show featured an appearance from some of the members of Team Cap from the upcoming film Captain America: Civil War. Tuesday, the show debuted a new trailer for Marvel’s November feature Doctor Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. And Wednesday’s show brought on more stars of Civil War—Robert Downey Jr. (who plays Tony Stark/Iron Man), Don Cheadle (James Rhodes/War Machine), Paul Bettany (Vision) and Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter). (It seems that Carter may actually be on Team Cap, even though this was billed as an appearance from Team Iron Man.)

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But one of the highlights from Wednesday’s show was when Jimmy introduced the latest installment of one of his popular segments, which features an interviewer going out on the street and asking pedestrians questions that humorously—and, frankly, sadly—tend to display how ill-informed some folks are. Last night’s question tested people to name as many of Marvel’s Avengers as they can, and then followed that up with asking them to name as many U.S. presidents as they can.

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As you might expect, most of the interviewees were more studied in Marvel heroes than in actual historical figures who have led our country (to be fair, though, U.S. presidents generally aren’t hammered into people’s brains through marketing).

The results included one woman who named several Avengers, and then could only name our first president (George Washington) and our most recent (Barack Obama). A Wavy Gravy type who looked like his beard hadn’t been combed since the Nixon administration, and who proudly proclaimed that he is not political and doesn’t vote, couldn’t name any people from either category (he mistakenly lumped DC heroes like Batman into the Avengers, and for some reason thought the show Dragnet was also on that team; when it came to presidents, he thought that Ross Perot—who did run for president—had actually served in the position. Maybe it’s good that this man doesn’t vote?)

One kid interviewed named Donald Trump as a president (!), while another young man thought that smooth jazz pioneer Grover Washington Jr. had been president (that would have been the most chill administration ever).

To be fair, while most people struggled with presidents, there were some who couldn’t name any Avengers, like the woman who just named the different-colored Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as a shot in the dark. Not every person on Earth has heard of The Avengers? Perhaps Marvel isn’t marketing heavily enough …

And, in one saving grace for humanity, one woman didn’t name any Avengers but was able to rattle off several presidents.

It would have been nice to see more well-rounded answers from people who knew both Avengers and presidents (after all, enjoying Marvel films is not a crime, or even necessarily a guilty pleasure to be ashamed of). And perhaps there were, left on the cutting room floor, with the funnier responses aired. And it certainly was fun.

And at least Kimmel didn’t challenge the people to simultaneously name the characters who were U.S. presidents in the various realities of Marvel Comics. Maybe that’s a question for Comic-Con attendees.

Jimmy Kimmel Live, Weeknights, 11:35/10:35c, ABC