Every week HISTORY presents Join Or Die with Craig Ferguson and a panel of various esteemed guests, historians, and most likely a comedian or two, to pit the greatest and sometimes worst characters in history against each other to see who is the king of their particular domain. This week: HISTORY’S BEST FRENEMIES.
This week Craig was joined by Courteney Cox, Dan Soder, and Michael Ian Black, and the panel sat down to examine history’s best frenemies. The men who were the yin to the other’s yang, the salt to the other’s pepper, the Harry to the other’s Sally. These are history’s biggest friends, and also history’s biggest rivals.
It’s a tough matchup, and also a tough topic as Dan Soder so aptly puts it.
Surprisingly, none of the contestants are Dan Soder. Let’s see who’s competing:
Magic and BirdOne was the star of the Lakers and one was the star of the Celtics. They went up against each other a historical three times in the NBA Finals. It’s been the greatest love/hate relationship in sports history since The Cleveland Browns and their fans.
Lennon and McCartneyJohn Lennon and Paul McCartney started the Beatles together, redefining music, and then had an ugly split when John left for Yoko and Paul left for that song about ‘Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time.’
John Adams and Thomas JeffersonThey wrote the Declaration of Independence together and then fought tooth and nail while running against each other for president. But their legacies are secure: Jefferson is now on Mt. Rushmore, and Adams was played by Paul Giamatti.
Bill Gates and Steve JobsMicrosoft vs. Apple. Software vs. Hardware. iPods vs. um... Zunes? I think Zunes. Regardless this is a huge rivalry.
Thomas Edison and Nicola TeslaIt was an clash of ideologies between direct current and alternating current. I’d explain the difference between the two of those but I have absolutely no idea.
Jay Leno and David LettermanThey were great friends until the vacant seat in The Tonight Show tore them apart and started the biggest war in Late Night. So Letterman put on his CBS hat, and Leno put on his denim.
Alright, what do our panelists have to say about this?
We can probably throw out Bird and Magic, right? In the historical scheme of things do sports really matter?
Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla seem like perfect candidates. Both geniuses, both worked together and both had fundamental differences on electricity. But frenemies? No. Because there’s an unequal starting point, and traditionally, that led to sexual harassment.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were truly revolutionaries in their day. And in the grand scheme of things they accomplished a lot in a relatively short amount of time…
And that’s it. It came down to Adams & Jefferson and Jobs & Gates, which, I mean come on, that’s a pretty obvious winner, so the audience voted and decided…
GATES AND JOBS!
Wait, what? Not what you might think. But that voting system is the very democracy Adams and Jefferson were fighting for.
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Illustrations By Pat Barrett