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9 Things That Lasted a Shorter Amount of Time Yet Are Far More Interesting and Important Than Randy Jackson’s 12 Years on American Idol

By The Second City | May 14, 2013

Randy Jackson recently announced his retirement from American Idol after twelve rather unmemorable seasons. Here are 9 things more interesting and important than his entire TV tenure.

9. The Black Plague Pandemic


Although the Plague technically originated in the late 1330s, the European pandemic explored in history books took place between 1346 and 1351. Within five short years, at least 20 million people died – about one-third of Europe’s population. To put that in perspective, that is 1.93 million viewers less than the amount of people who watched the season 11 premiere of American Idol.

8. An Elephant’s Gestation Period


At a whopping 660 days, t he majestic elephant has the longest gestation period of any mammal. Comparatively, Sanjaya Malakar’s gestation period was only nine weeks.

7. Arthur Rimbaud’s Literary Career


Rimbaud began writing when he was just 15 years old and retired by the time he was 23. This gave him just enough time to write the works that would later inspire those behind the Dada and Surrealist movements, as well as artists like Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Henry Miller, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, and Patti Smith. Randy Jackson inspired millions to say “dawg” while around their sons’ friends.

6. The Battle of Gettysburg


The infamous battle lasted just three days in 1863, but resulted in 51,000 casualties and is oft considered a major turning point in the Civil War. The greatest turning point in American Idol was when Paula Abdul retired, carting her rolling medicine cabinet of benzos with her.

5. Randy Jackson’s Time with Journey


Let’s give credit where credit is due. Randy played bass for Journey from 1985-1987, which is pretty interesting. Personally, I would much rather play some air drums to “Open Arms” six times a day for 12 years than listen to anything that has ever come out of a man named Phillip Phillips.

4. Beatrice Straight’s 1976 Oscar Win


Beatrice Straight won an Oscar in 1976 for her 5 minute 40 second appearance in the film Network. She did more for the arts in less than six minutes than Randy did in over 12 years (or approximately 42,750 minutes) on American Idol.

3. From Justin to Kelly


On the other side of Oscar, despite only lasting a total of 81 minutes, From Justin to Kelly (starring AI breakout stars Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini) managed to kill all pleasure within this or any other world where life may be possible.

2. The Rwandan Genocide


I mean, duh. This lasted 100 days and was a grade-A nightmare. Oh, and obviously more important than Randy Jackson being on American Idol for 12 years.

1. My Parents’ Marriage.


Kristina Felske is a writer, actor, and improviser currently living in Chicago. She is an editor and regular contributor to the daily humor site The Other Otter ( and has a performance-y resume posted on You can tweet her @kristinafelske.

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