These 15 hilarious videos prove Obama knows the value of a good laugh
As numerous watchers have noted over the last year or so, President Obama is clean out of fucks to give. He has entered the final leg of a presidency that has included dealing with a contentious do-nothing Congress, a nutty GOP and its lunatic base, and the standard age-advancing issues that come with the office (at least he signed up for that last one). Yes, every politician approaching a term limit is freer to pursue politically sensitive policies and to speak with greater candor and openness. But in Obama’s case, this period seems particularly well deserved.
Though the last few months have seen the president’s increasing willingness to call out—and even lightly mock—craziness when he sees it, Obama has always been a man who recognizes the value of a good joke. Whether cracking wise himself or aligning with famous comedians to advance his most treasured policies, the president has relied on humor throughout his time in office. The end of 2015 seems as good a time as any to look back at 15 particular instances when Obama employed comedy as a tactical device.
1. The time he went on “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” with Jerry Seinfeld.
There are several great episodes of this webseries that features host Jerry Seinfeld tooling around with his comedian guest in a sporty vintage car, stopping for coffee and shooting the breeze. But this may be one of the surprise best. Obama, who shows Seinfeld his own cool ride, talks about his favorite presidents, the usefulness of swear words and how batshit crazy a fair amount of world leaders are. A genuinely enjoyable watch.
2. The time he snarkily told Republicans, “I know, because I won both of them.”
When, during the State of the Union, Republicans burst into sarcastic applause when Obama stated he had “no more campaigns to run,” the president clapped back with a zinger that brought Dem members of Congress to their feet.
3. The time it was Obama vs. a fly.
Remember that scene in “Karate Kid Part 2” when Mr. Miyagi caught a fly with chopsticks? This was kind of like that.
4. The time he went on “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis.”
From the chyron that identified him solely as a “community organizer” to being asked, “Where are you planning on building your presidential library, in Hawaii or your home country of Kenya?” Obama was a good sport on Zach Galifianakis’ consistently great webseries. The president landed a few barbs of his own, including responding to Galifianakis’ suggestion that he’d like to run again by quipping, “If I ran a third time, it’d be sort of like doing a third ‘Hangover’ movie. Didn’t really work out very well, did it?” The whole thing was a pretty smart strategy for the president to reach young people about enrolling in the Affordable Care Act.
5. The time he let a Fox reporter know how dumb his question was by repeating it back to him.
In the midst of a March 2012 press conference, Fox News correspondent Ed Henry suggested the president, who was then running for his second term, wanted the price of gas to keep rising.
“Ed, just from a political perspective, do you think the president of the United States going into reelection wants gas prices to go up higher?” Obama asked the entire room. “Is there anybody here who thinks that makes a lot of sense?”
6. The time he let his anger translator speak for him.
For five seasons, Comedy Central’s brilliant “Key & Peele” has featured a recurring sketch in which Luther, the president’s “anger translator,” says what our unflappably cool president actually means. At this year’s White House Correspondents Dinner, Obama brought an in-character Keegan Michael-Key onstage and played the straight man while Luther channeled his rage out loud.
In this brief mockumentary from the 2013 White House Correspondents Dinner, Steven Spielberg does a rare turn in front of the camera as himself, pretending he’s planning to follow up 2012’s Lincoln with the biopic of another president: Obama. President Barack Obama stars as Daniel Day-Lewis starring as President Barack Obama, if that makes any sense. There’s also a cameo by Tracy Morgan, describing his role as, of course, Vice President Joe Biden.