A pretty sizable percent of world leaders are completely out of their minds – at least that’s what President Barack Obama told comedian Jerry Seinfeld over a cup of joe.
Appearing on the former sitcom star’s Web series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” the commander-in-chief gets chummy and casually gives the dish on his favorite childhood president (Theodore Roosevelt), underpants preferences (same brand, same color), morning routine (shave before working out), and why children love him so much (saying "barackobama" out loud is fun).
The episode begins with Mr. Seinfeld pulling into the White House driveway in a baby blue 1963 Corvette Stingray – “the coolest car, American made, for the coolest guy ever to hold this office,” he says. Entering the Oval Office through a side door, Seinfeld makes himself at home as Obama finishes up some paperwork. “Are these washed?” he asks, as he munches into an apple. The two hit it off like old friends with identical haircuts.
For about 15 minutes, the two chat inside the Corvette, the presidential limo, and what is presumably a break room for White House staff.
“I curse. I curse. ... Bad stuff, or stupid stuff, is happening constantly, right? Every day. So you have to be able to just make fun of a lot of that. Like ‘that was even dumber and more annoying than usual.’ That’s when cursing is really valuable.”
The two also took a moment to chat about their mutual friend, Larry David, the co-creator of Seinfeld’s namesake show and an apparent golf buddy of Obama.
“Did I tell you I played golf with Larry David?” the president asks, to which Seinfeld replies, “No, ‘cause you and I don’t talk that much.”
“I love Larry,” Obama goes on to tell a delightful story. “He’s a pretty fair-skinned guy, so he lathers himself in sunscreen. It’s dripping and it’s caked white all over. It catches parts of his ears, then there’s big globs of it.”
All the while, Seinfeld knew first-hand exactly he’s talking about. Exasperatedly remembering Mr. David’s sunscreen habits, “I know,” he says. “It’s gross.” The two commiserate.
Of course, the show isn’t without scripted comical moments, like when the White House gate security officer refusing to let the two drive off the premise in the Stingray – twice.
The joy of the episode, however, lies in the handfuls of quips Obama makes throughout their casual exchange. Dishing on his greatest food weakness, nachos, he graphically describes, “I’ll have guacamole coming out of my eyeballs.” Grilling Seinfeld over his existential ambitions, he asks, “At a certain point, you might have thought to yourself, you know what, ‘I’m more than just a comedian. I’m going to make a Jewish version of Citizen Kane.’”
All in all, Obama reminds America in the 19-minute episode something that it already knew. With nearly 200 television appearances, including nine visits to the David Letterman show and six stints on Jay Leno, he reminds his constituents that he’s a cool, funny guy who can crack a joke about politics.
But the playful politician side of him doesn’t squander the opportunity. “I didn’t get to work in Obamacare,” he says, as they’re finishing their coffee. “Usually the only reason I do these things is because I’m promoting health care.”
Obliged, Seinfeld looks into the camera and says, “Please try Obamacare today.