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Posts tagged as barack obama

How 'SNL' Addressed Race in Season 39, as Shown in 11 Sketches

With SNL's 39th season coming to a close, we're taking a look at the past season with a series of posts examining the highs, lows, and other memorable moments from the past eight months. Here, we look at the show's shifting tone on race over the arc of this season.

This has not been an easy year for SNL to talk about race. From the moment the show announced its six new cast members — the largest turnover in more than a decade — and viewers noticed that not one of them was a person of color, SNL once again became a target of progressive viewers calling for the cast to [...]

President Obama Reflects on 'Between Two Ferns': "We Had a Great Time"

"Zach actually was pretty nervous. It was funny to watch because this whole Between Two Ferns schtick – which I wasn’t familiar with before my staff told me that we had been pitched to do this – his whole character is to go after the guest, and I think he was looking around and seeing all these Secret Service guys with guns and thinking, 'I wonder what happens here if I cross the line?' But we had a great time."

- President Obama talking about doing Zach Galifianakis's Between Two Ferns on Ryan Seacrest's morning show (via Washington Post)

President Barack Obama Does 'Between Two Ferns' with Zach Galifianakis

Here's the newest installment of Between Two Ferns that Funny or Die released today, which features President Obama trying to plug healthcare.gov while taking in all kinds of question topics from Zach Galifianakis, from pardoning turkeys to same-sex divorce to spider bites to birth certificates to what he plans to do with the whole North Ikea situation. Obama also shares some strong opinions about Bradley Cooper and the Hangover movies.

'SNL' Review: Kerry Washington Is Ready

I never thought we would see the day when SNL considered itself newsworthy enough to parody. But it happened — not in the form of a quick joke during the monologue or Weekend Update, or a walk-on by Lorne Michaels, as has happened before — but with a whole cold open sketch, wherein host Kerry Washington was compelled to play numerous black female characters (Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce) because SNL literally had no one else who could do them. The meta-sketch also included a half-apologetic text scroll from the producers promising to fix the situation, unless they "fall in love with another white guy first," and a cameo by [...]

The Best of 'SNL' Season 38

It snuck up on us, didn't it? The end of SNL Season 38 brought along with it key staff changes, among them the upcoming departure of head writer Seth Meyers and the immediate departures of cast members Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and (unofficially) Jason Sudeikis. Few people have shaped SNL over the past 8 years more than these men — Meyers with his leadership in the writers room and charm as Weekend Update host, and Hader, Armisen and Sudeikis as the cast's workhorses and loadbearing performers. Indeed, many pegged Season 38 as a "transitional year" in the wake of Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg leaving the show a year ago, [...]

Watch Joel McHale's White House Correspondents Dinner Speech

Community star and The Soup host Joel McHale hosted the 2014 White House Correspondents Dinner over the weekend, and you can watch his entire speech above, in which he mocks everyone from Chris Christie to CNN to the Secret Service. Click through to watch Obama's speech as well as four pre-taped segments with Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer from Veep with Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, and more.

Scott Aukerman Hopes 'Between Two Ferns' Will Become a Presidential Campaign Trail Stop

"Other presidents had done Letterman, SNL, but this is the first sitting president to do a viral video, and people on the left and right are talking about it. Yeah, I would love it if Between Two Ferns became a stop on the campaign trail in a couple of years."

- Between Two Ferns co-creator/director Scott Aukerman in an interview with Slate in the wake of President Obama's now famous guest appearance on the web series.

President Obama Pays Tribute to Fellow Chicagoan Harold Ramis

“When we watched his movies … we didn’t just laugh until it hurt. We questioned authority. We identified with the outsider. We rooted for the underdog. And through it all, we never lost our faith in happy endings."

- President Barack Obama in a written statement released today on yesterday's passing of filmmaker and comedy pioneer Harold Ramis.

'President Obama' Calls Jimmy Fallon to Praise Jay Leno

From Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night, here's Barack Obama (played by Dion Flynn) calling Jimmy Fallon to say great stuff about Jay Leno following his appearance on The Tonight Show, making him the only person under the age of 55 to think highly of Leno.

Jay Pharoah Did His Obama Impression for the President

Saturday Night Live's resident Obama impressionist Jay Pharoah got to impersonate the President to his face this week. A source tells The NY Post that Pharoah performed the impression as a surprise at a fundraiser at movie producer Harvey Weinstein's house. "Steve Martin, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel did a skit pretending they worked at the White House, and started questioning if they were getting a directive from the real president," the source says. "Then Jay came in and imitated Obama right in front of him. The president was surprised, then started laughing." What's the point of even imitating a public figure if it's not in a comedy [...]

White House Press Secretary Says Jon Stewart Was Obama's Toughest Interview in 2012

Barack Obama's press secretary Jay Carney told students at Georgetown that Jon Stewart was actually the president's "most substantive, challenging interview" in 2012, instead of, you know, any interviews with real journalists. Here's what Carney said (via The Wrap):

I remember we had some discussion during 2012 about 'Well, is it appropriate for the president, the sitting president and candidate, to give interviews with Jon Stewart and others?' And the answer was yes, again, because young voters we were trying to reach are more likely to watch The Daily Show than some other news shows.

But also, I think if you look back at 2012 and the series [...]

How Barack Obama Ended Up on 'Between Two Ferns'

This morning, Funny Or Die released an episode of Zach Galifianakis's web series Between Two Ferns featuring Barack Obama as the special guest. Variety has the story on how this ended up happening.

Basically, the White House wanted to get young Americans to sign up for health insurance before a March 31st headline. Last summer, Obama attended a meeting with White House advisers and a bunch of movie/TV people about how to use Hollywood to spread the word about health care reform. Funny Or Die President of Production Mike Farah was at said meeting and pitched the idea of Obama doing Between Two Ferns there, but didn't discuss [...]

Will Ferrell and Adam McKay Tried to Get Barack Obama to Cameo in 'Anchorman 2's Big Brawl

In a new interview with Paste magazine, Anchorman director/co-writer Adam McKay revealed that he and Will Ferrell tried to get a bunch of super lofty cameos for Anchorman 2's big news anchor brawl, including Oprah Winfrey and presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Here's McKay explaining what happened:

We drew up a wish list of all the people we wanted and what we ended up with was basically our wish list. It has never happened before. Usually you do your dream casting and you get 30 or 40 percent of the people. In this case they all said, “Yes.” It was insane. When they started saying, “Yes,” I [...]

President Obama to Award Elaine May with National Medal of Arts

The White House recently announced the batch of artists they'll be awarding with the 2012 National Medal of Arts awards this week, and a rare comedy person made it into the mix this time around. Beloved writer/director/actress Elaine May will be receiving the award when Barack Obama presents it to her alongside the awards other recipients, including George Lucas and Herb Alpert, tomorrow.

Two-time Oscar nominee May has had an impressive career in comedy on both sides of the camera and on stage. As a member of Second City predecessors The Compass Players, she began working with Mike Nichols. Nichols soon became her creative partner and the two [...]