Ayn Rand was interviewed five times on television over the twenty years 1959-1979. Her extraordinary intelligence and insight comes through in these, and she gives as good as she gets — or better — in fairly tough questioning, even in her last interview at age 74. Films of her work may be found here.
Mike Wallace interviewed Ayn Rand in 1959 on The Mike Wallace Interview. She had just published Atlas Shrugged two years earlier. Of the five interviews, this is perhaps the most intellectual in character. [27 min]
Johnny Carson interviewed Rand in 1967 on The Johnny Carson Show. [26 min]
“[Carson] kept her on for the whole show, bumping the unlucky guest who’d been scheduled to follow her. Several things struck me about the interview. Today’s television viewer is accustomed to seeing thought leaders interviewed by Jon Stewart, who injects a fair amount of levity into the conversation. But Carson plays it straight, and assiduously refrains from injecting his own viewpoint.” —The Atlantic
James Day interviewed Rand in 1974 on Day at Night. Day seems genuinely interested in Rand’s philosophy, facilitating a useful and non-confrontational conversation. [25 min]
Tom Snyder interviewed Rand in 1979 on the Tomorrow show. It’s a respectful, gentlemanly interview that allows Rand to elucidate her ideas. [29 min]
Phil Donahue interview Rand in 1979 on The Phil Donahue Show. He tries to take down this, then 74-year-old, woman in some fairly aggressive arguing, but Rand even then was still firing on all pistons. [45min]