10 examples of presidential and presidential candidate appearances on comedy shows (10 items)
President Barack Obama’s appearance on "Between Two Ferns" to promote his signature health care law has many people up in arms. Most Republican critics said that it was funny until he started plugging Obamacare. Others went even further to say it demeaned the office of the presidency.
While Obama is the only sitting-president to do such shows, a wide range of candidates have promoted themselves to younger audiences.
1 of 10. President Obama on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon"
President Obama appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s late night comedy show in a recurring bit called “Slow Jamming the News” in April 2012. Obama entered the stage unannounced to a raucous crowd, saying, “I’m President Barack Obama and I too want to slow jam the news.”
It is worth noting that Obama is the only siting-president to appear on such a show.
2 of 10. John F. Kennedy appears on Jack Parr’s "Tonight Show"
In June 1960, then Senator Kennedy appeared on the show. He was asked a plethora of questions from why he went into politics to amusing things that have happened to him on the campaign trail. Kennedy used the show to plug the battle between the West and the Communists.
3 of 10. Richard Nixon appears on "Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in"
Nixon appeared on the show in 1968 only to say four words: “Sock it to me.” However short the appearance, Nixon credited the appearance in winning the presidency over Hubert Humphrey. According to the show's creator, “Humphrey later said that not doing it may have cost him the election.”
4 of 10. Ronald Reagan appears on "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson
Reagan appeared on Carson’s show in March 1975, several months before he announced his candidacy for president. They mainly spoke about whether or not Reagan saw real leadership in the White House over the budget. Carson asked Reagan, “How do you balance the budget.” Reagan famously quipped, “You have to learn to say no.”
5 of 10. Bill Clinton plays sax on "The Arsenio Hall Show"
Then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton was a guest on "The Arsenio Hall Show" in 1992 where he played “Heartbreak Hotel” on the saxophone. The appearance was an important moment in Clinton’s run for the White House, which helped build massive popularity among young and minority voters. After Clinton played, Arsenio teased, “It's nice to see a Democrat blow something besides the election.”