January 08, 2016
If you think that the most powerful man on earth would have time to tape a 19-minute comedy about nothing, some would say that you are crazy.
But, American President Barack Obama did just that.
Obama got together recently with Jerry Seinfeld to record an episode of the comedian’s popular web series. “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” is in its seventh season. The show usually features Seinfeld and a guest comedian driving around in a cool car. They go to a coffee shop to drink and talk.
Obama may not be a comedian by profession. But Seinfeld explains on the show that the president "has gotten off just enough funny lines to qualify for getting on this show."
The two men meet when Seinfeld taps on the window of the Oval Office at the White House where Obama is at his desk working.
Seinfeld and Obama go for a ride. Seinfeld has brought a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Obama calls it "a sweet car," that, as a kid, he dreamed of owning someday. Seinfeld drives the president down to the gate of the White House grounds. But the Secret Service tells him, firmly, that he cannot take the president out.
So they drive back toward the house.
Seinfeld asks Obama what he would like to do that he currently cannot because he is president. Obama says he would like to take a Saturday morning walk where he could run into a friend and have a chat. He says, "Anonymity is not something you think about as being valuable.”
"With all due respect, I remember very well not being famous. It wasn't that great."
Seinfeld notes the love American children have for presidents. Obama agrees, “I do really well with the zero to 8 demographic. Partly ‘cause, I think, my ears are big, and so I look a little like a cartoon character.”
The two continue their talk in the White House restaurant where they make a pot of coffee. "How many world leaders, do you think, are completely out of their mind?" Seinfeld asks the president.
Obama answers, "A pretty sizable percent. The longer they stay in office, the more likely that is to happen."
The show lasts about 19 minutes. Toward the end, Obama notes that he did not have the chance to discuss his health care plan, the Affordable Care Act.
"Usually the only reason I do these things is because I am promoting health care," the president says. Seinfeld looks directly into the camera and says to viewers, “It’s a great thing. Please try Obamacare today.”
After the airing of the episode, Seinfeld went on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" to talk about it. Seinfeld said, “the idea that anybody thinks they should be President. You gotta be out of your mind ... You gotta be crazy.”
Stephen Colbert, another comedian, replied, “You know what else is crazy? You have a little Internet show. And you drive around and drink coffee and crack jokes. And then you get the Commander-in-Chief to be on the show. What is up with that?”
I’m Caty Weaver.
Words in This Story
episode – n. a television show, radio show, etc., that is one part of a series
comedian – n. a person who performs in front of an audience and makes people laugh by telling jokes or funny stories or by acting in a way that is funny
cool – adj. very fashionable, stylish, or appealing in a way that is generally approved of especially by young people
chat – v. to talk with someone in a casual way
demographic – n. a group of people that has a particular set of qualities— usually singular
out of one’s mind – expression to be mentally unstable