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Obamas Tonight Show Proved Hes Not Trump or Clinton Its hard to believe that Barack Obama was the first sitting president to appear on a late-night talk show, if only because, over the course of his presidency, hes made such appearances, as well as ones on daytime TV and even on web series and podcasts, seem practically commonplace. No president has ever been quite so omnipresentor, perhaps, so present both to older Ellen viewers and to younger Between Two Ferns viewersin order to convey his message. 

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For your security, we've sent a confirmation email to the address you entered. Click the link to confirm your subscription and begin receiving our newsletters. If you don't get the confirmation within 10 minutes, please check your spam folder. Part of that, of course, is that no president has ever had quite so many media avenues t

o choose; Bill Clinton may have wanted to have been on a podcast, but there were no podcasts yet. But a bigger part of that seems to be a relaxing of social norms around the presidency. In what was self-consciously styled as something of a farewell interview on Jimmy Fallons Tonight Show, Obama exhibited all of the traits that defined him in the public eyeincluding a sort of TV-ready accessibility that neither of the current presumptive nominees can match.  Obama participated in two of the shows signature bits, Slow Jam the News and Thank You Notes. Ive never gotten the first of these segments, which, like many current Tonight Show bits, tend to place a celebrity guest in the position of backup act for a Fallon vocal showcase. (Who are we watching for, anyhow?) But Obama was a game participant, as anyone whos watched him on one of his many talk show appearances knew he would be. That he briefly bro

ke into a Rihanna impersonation while singing Work seemed almost unremarkable; that sort of thing is what one does on talk shows, an art form Obama has mastered.   



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World Bryant died in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles on Sunday, along with his

daughter Gianna The comedy sketches, along with Fallons lengthy reminiscence of a time he was sweaty when he met the First Lady, seemed to be the toll Obama had to pay in order to get to the talk portion. While the interview, which aired Thursday night, was taped before Obamas endorsement of Hillary Clinton, his messaging about the 2016 election was clear and concise; so too was his call for a vote on

the confirmation of Merrick Garland to fill a Supreme Court vacancy thats been effectively forgotten in the news cycle. The entire appearance was summed up by Obama talking about Donald Trumpfirst cracking a joke about the Democrats being happy with him as a nominee, and then getting serious about the threat he feels Trump poses. Whats happened in that party, culminating in this current nomination, is not something thats good for the country as a whole, and not something that Republicans should wish for. The entire thing was packaged in a valedictory way, with Fallon getting the final thank you note and addressing it, with evident sincerity, to Obama. (That Madonna, who sang early hit Borderline at the end of the show, appeared to be performing on the show solely to get the chance to meet her fellow rebel heart Obama, drove the point home.) It was enough to make TV viewers of any political affiliation wistful, solely for the fact that the current President is very gifted at using the media both to entertain and to carry across his ideas. That The Tonight Show, the airiest of the three major late-night offerings, could feature a discussion of Merrick Garland shows the manner in which Obama changed the landscapeone thatll likely revert back to the historical norm once hes out of office. Whether or not one agrees with his ideas, Obamas manner of carrying them across on The Tonight Show Thursday night compare favorably both to Donald Trumps late-night appearances this cycle (in which hosts have seemed cowed and solicitous) and to Hillary Clintons (which have the tendency to feel strained, given her earnestness in responding to jokey questions). This lack of aptitude on Trumps and Clintons香港福彩图库 parts likely indicate that our next president will appear on late night less than did Obamawhich is a loss of sorts. Its certainly less important than gauging the presidents availability to the news media, bu

t his or her availability for talk shows has the potential to affect a vastly different audience, one that doesnt f

ollow every development in the news with tremendous avidity. That audience has been well-served by Ob

ama, even if he did have to swallow a bit of his pride to slow-jam the news. Then again, rewatching it on YouTubeit works because, in his last months in office, he looks like hes having fun. Contact us at editors@time.com.

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