In Runaway Jury (2003), a plaintiff attorney, Rohr meets Ranking Fitch, a jury consultant of the defendants, the gun manufacturers:

Rohr: Nice suit. Very "of the people."

Fitch: Yours is nicer. What would you call it, "gun lobby protecting its own"? Swank shoes.

Rohr: Big tobacco?

Fitch: Big alligator. Wrestled it myself.

Is there any joke in last line?

  • I'm not sure what 'Big tobacco' means, but presumably the shoes are alligator-skin and Fitch jokes that he personally killed the alligator. Aug 7, 2021 at 8:11

1 Answer 1


It seems that Rohr is asking "Are the expensive alligator leather shoes paid for from earnings made by defending large tobacco companies against lawsuits?"

"Big tobacco" is a metonymy for "Large tobacco companies" (compare "Big Pharma" or "Big oil"). Fitch turns this around, using "big" literally as "No, they came from a large American crocodile". There is wit here, but it's not really a "joke". He claims to have caught (and killed) it himself. I don't know if I believe him. Is he usually trustworthy?

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