With The Colbert Report wrapping up it nine-year run this month as host Stephen Colbert moves to CBS to take over David Letterman’s spot, the show was able to pull off a bit of a coup by booking President Obama as a guest Monday. POTUS had been a guest before on The Daily Show but had not stepped foot on Colbert’s set before Monday. Much of this may have been due to Colbert playing a character on his show. As anyone who has watched the program knows, Colbert’s character is a thinly-veiled caricature of Bill O’Reilly. (Hilariously, during the interview segment of the show, Obama referred to Colbert as Bill.)
Before a live audience at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., the president unexpectedly walked on the stage while Colbert was going to do one of his most beloved segments, ‘The Word.’ The audience roared with delight as Obama strolled over to the desk as they weren’t expecting him until later when he would be interviewed by Colbert. Obama confronted Colbert and told him that he’s “been taking a lot of shots at my job, I’ve decided to take a shot at yours.” At that point, the president sat down at the desk and commenced with the segment, which he changed to ‘The Decree.’
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Comedy Central:
The biggest takeaway from Obama’s turn in the hosting chair is that he showed, once again, that he is willing to poke fun at himself and not be overly sensitive about his image. The Colbert Show writers provided a number of zingers during the piece and Obama was able to deliver them with ease and relish. As anyone who has seen ‘The Word’ before, while the host is delivering his commentary, the television displays satirical messages related to the topic. This was no different.
As the president delivered a line about healthcare.gov signing up nearly a million new customers through the Affordable Care Act, a televison graphic appeared stating, “So, half as popular as Grumpy Cat video.” Prior to that, when the president said that there were things both parties like about Obamacare, the on-screen display read, “Everything but the ‘Obama’.” Later on, when talking about a potential Mitch McConnell plan, the screen showed “Walk-It-Off.gov.” Overall, it was impressive that POTUS was able to both poke fun at himself and deliver a satirical commentary with excellent timing and the proper tone.
As for the interview, President Obama was able to roll with the sarcastic jabs and deliver an entertaining, yet still informative, discussion with the in-character Colbert. Below is video of the interview:
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).