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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Mainly Known For
Oh sure, I know Keira Knightly, from the first movie in that series by The Land Before Time producer. You know, the franchise with the guy from Jurassic Park and Ghostwriter, and script work by Billie Lourd's mom?
Title text: Oh sure, I know Keira Knightly, from the first movie in that series by The Land Before Time producer. You know, the franchise with the guy from Jurassic Park and Ghostwriter, and script work by Billie Lourd's mom?

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by that guy from NASA, what was his name? Something Munroe - Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

Megan points out an uncanny resemblance between someone's dad and Steve Jobs. However, she has trouble remembering Jobs's name. Frequently, when people can't remember a celebrity's name, they will point out other works they are known for in hopes someone else will recognize them from that and remind them of the name.[citation needed] While these associations are often prone to the Mandela effect, Megan's information about the celebrities is, in fact, correct, but apparently not what those people are best known for.

Megan refers to Jobs as "the Pixar guy". Jobs is mainly known for (hence the comic's title) being the co-founder and twice CEO of Apple Inc., but in the late 1980s and early 1990s (between his stints at Apple), he was the chairman of Pixar Animation Studios, which is what Megan knows him for.

Cueball points out that Megan's tendency to avoid the "main" association and instead go with a much more secondary one is weird, which confuses her. To demonstrate how weird her associations are, Cueball asks her, "Who is John Lennon?" Lennon is a famous songwriter who played and wrote for The Beatles before they broke up, and later continued on a solo music career. Megan recognizes Lennon as a musical artist, but is unable to remember the name of The Beatles. She instead asks about the band he was in with Ringo Starr. Ringo, however, is not mainly memorable to her for his role in The Beatles, but rather as Mr. Conductor from the first season of the 1989 children's television show Shining Time Station. The Beatles' fame seems to have escaped Megan, which vexes Cueball.

Hoping to show that she really does know Lennon and that her associations aren't weird, she points out that she remembers "Fame", a 1975 song that Lennon co-wrote with David Bowie and performed backing vocals and guitar on. She is, however, again unable to remember Bowie's name, recognizing him for his acting roles in Labyrinth and Zoolander, rather than his more famous musical career (such as his smash hits "Space Oddity" or "Let's Dance").

Sensing Cueball's annoyance, she attempts to excuse herself by saying Zoolander came out a long time ago, during the Presidency of George W. Bush. Zoolander was indeed released in 2001. Apparently unable, again, to remember the president's name, she identifies him as "Jenna Bush's dad". Jenna Bush is a TV personality and much less widely known than her father.[citation needed]

Title text

In the title text, Megan refers to "Keira Knightly" [sic -- her surname is spelled Knightley], who is probably best known for her roles in the Pirates of the Caribbean films and the 2005 Pride and Prejudice film, by referencing her small role in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

Megan continues her unusual references by identifying the film as the "first movie" (it was the first in the plotline, but the fourth one made) in "that series" by The Land Before Time producer" (George Lucas, creator of Star Wars, was also one of the executive producers of the 1988 animated film The Land Before Time).

Seeming to think that identifying George Lucas doesn't narrow it down at all, she identifies another actor in the Star Wars series, Samuel L. Jackson, by his roles in Jurassic Park (an extremely successful film, but one in which Jackson had a relatively small role) and the PBS children's series Ghostwriter (in which Jackson appeared in only a few episodes). In addition, Megan mentions that the Star Wars series had "script work by Billie Lourd's mom", referring to Carrie Fisher, who contributed uncredited script-doctoring work to the Star Wars franchise. However, Fisher is more closely associated with Star Wars for having played the major role of Princess Leia Organa in six films in the series.

Ghostwriter was previously featured in 130: Julia Stiles, which described a scene from the show as "the best thing ever to appear on TV".

Transcript

[Megan is talking to Cueball. She has her hand outstretched in an "explaining" pose.]
Megan: ...And her dad looks exactly like the Pixar guy. Steve what's-his-name? Jobs?
Cueball: "Pixar guy"?
Cueball: You always know famous people for such weird reasons.
[Megan puts her hand down.]
Megan: What do you mean?
Cueball: Who is John Lennon?
Megan: Wasn't he in a band? With Ringo from Shining Time Station.
Cueball: How is that your main association?
[Megan puts her hand in the air, in a fist with her index finger pointing up.]
Megan: I also know he once did a song with the guy from Labyrinth!
Cueball: You mean David Bowie? I think he's famous for some other stuff, too.
[Megan puts her hand down again.]
Megan: Oh yeah, he was also in Zoolander!
Megan: I forgot that movie, it came out back when Jenna Bush's dad was president.
[Cueball facepalms and the line connecting his text has three curves.]
Cueball: *SIGH*


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