We like to crucify famous people for doing something wrong, as much as we like to laud them for doing cool things. Which, to be honest, is usually stuff us normal people do every day like laundry – but find it “amazing” or “unreal” when celebrities do it.
God forbid they do anything wrong, like misquoting the price of something like milk or an L-Train ticket. The trope commonly used to catch out cynical politicians for their lack of connect with the real world can also be used on the uber-famous. Its efficacy varies, but it’s always funny to watch them squirm.
This time, it was the turn of Microsoft founder Bill Gates to be put under the relatable microscope. The billionaire business magnate, investor, author, philanthropist and humanitarian appeared on The Ellen Show earlier this week, and he was asked to play a game that saw his stellar reputation take a big hit.
Bill was asked to guess the prices of various household products and food items. For such a prolific philanthropist, he didn’t do too well at all, and it showed that he’s quite out of touch, even if he did seem in in the joke.
The clip starts with Ellen saying to Bill: “We’re going to test your knowledge of some everyday items that you get at the supermarket.” DeGeneres then asks Gates,:”When was the last time that you have been at a supermarket?” and the answer from Gates is “a long time ago.” The crowd laughs, but it’s a bad start nevertheless, and things only get worse.
The first item up was Rice-A-Roni, a product from the Quaker Oats Company who are owned by Pepsi. Gates had a range of one dollar to play with, but it didn’t look like it would be helpful. He thought this premium San Fransico treat must have only been for a select few in Silicon Valley, because he guessed it sold for five dollars. The audience was quick to gasp: the correct answer was one dollar.
Upon finding he was wrong, Gates quickly quipped: “I’ll take five!” If you thought the gasp was loud for the first incorrect answer, it got much worse with the next item. He was way off on a package of Tide Pods, guessing $4, and the crowd audibly guffawed. You can even see the moment one woman actually lost respect for the tech genius.
“They want me to go higher,” he said, changing his guess to $10. The correct answer was actually $19.97. Gates was surprised, but as DeGeneres informs him: “it’s expensive to do laundry.” How are all these Millenials can afford to just eat Tide Pods, only heaven knows.
To be fair to the man, he was a lot more confident when it came to dental floss. “This is my best chance,” he said, admitting that he’s actually an avid flosser. He guessed four dollars, and he was 22 cents out.
All the goodwill he built up from that accurate guess quickly dissipated, though, as Bill Gates blew it trying to guess the price of Totino’s pizza rolls, as well as TGI Fridays spinach and artichoke dip. He said $22 for the pizza rolls, when it was really $8.98, and $10 for the dip when it was really $3.66. He said that he guessed $10 because the dip was “branded”.
Before you start calling for a witch hunt, remember this man has done more for the modern world than most people will do in their and their entire ancestors’ lifetimes. He may not have made your precious iPhone, but he sure as hell inspired the software that allows you to read articles slamming him.