President Obama was a “first” of presidents for many reasons. As the 44th president, Barack Obama was the first African American to hold the office, one of the first presidential candidates to use social media as a campaigning platform, and the first president to appear on TV’s favorite late night talk shows.
It’s not uncommon for presidential candidates or previous presidents to be featured as guests on these talk shows, but President Obama was the first to go on numerous shows during his presidency. While the tactfulness of this was highly debated, one thing his appearances certainly showed was the changing political atmosphere
Throughout Obama’s presidency, he used these talk shows visits to display his humorous, “human” side to citizens and promote some of his latest works. Here are a few examples.
On the “Tonight Show”
Obama’s first appearance on a late night show as the president was with Jay Leno on the “Tonight Show” in March of 2009, just shortly after his inauguration. During the hour long episode, Obama got the chance to discuss the financial mess that Wall Street was in with a lighter attitude. By joking along with Leno the entire time, Obama was able to explain the wrongdoings of American International Group inc. and urge viewers to move on from it in order to fix the state of the economy.
Watch a clip from the episode here
On “Jimmy Kimmel Live”
In 2015, President Obama was invited onto Jimmy Kimmel’s beloved “Mean Tweets” segment. The segment has been an ongoing part of Kimmel’s shows where he gets celebrities to read the awful tweets that circulate the Twitter world about them. While it’s usually a harsh realization to read people talking about you, the show pokes fun at the absurd things that the general public posts online, and gives a chance for the star to laugh along and make rhetoric comments back as well. For Obama, the laughs came easily and he remained lighthearted throughout the segment, even as Twitter users tore apart his hair, clothing, ear size, and overall standing as a president–demonstrating his personable nature yet again.
Listen to a few of the best here.
On “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”
Obama was also featured on Jimmy Fallon’s racy segment “Slow Jam the News” in June of 2016. The segment consists of the star reciting recent news while Fallon and his background music band sing back sexually charged verses in response. During Obama’s segment, he talked about his accomplishments as president, such as “stimulating long term growth” in the economy, legalizing gay marriage, and creating the Affordable Care Act. He also shared a few of his thoughts on the 2016 election, as the band sang that he created millions of new jobs “and one more for Hilary”.
Try to keep as straight of a face as Obama does throughout the hilarious clip.