WATCH: Some funny lines, one big controversy — look back at Obama on ‘The Tonight Show’

August 6, 2013

With Tuesday’s visit to “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” President Obama will make his sixth appearance on the program, and fourth since taking office. His most recent sit-down was last October — a few years before that, in March 2009, Obama became the first sitting president to stop by a late-night talk show.

Here’s a look back at Obama’s most memorable lines (one which led to a major controversy) from his first three appearances while he was in office:

October 24, 2012: Donald Trump

Right around the time Trump was going on a rampage about Obama releasing his college records (pledging $5 million to charity if Obama complied), the president appeared on “The Tonight Show,” and Jay brought it up right away. “What’s this thing with Trump and you? It’s like me and Letterman, what’s he got against you there?” Jay asked. “This all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya…” Obama deadpanned, as the audience cheered.

October 25, 2011: GOP debates

Obama clarified he didn’t have much interest in the early days of the Republican candidate presidential debates. “Have you been watching the GOP debates?” Leno questioned.

“I’m going to wait until everybody’s voted off the island,” Obama replied.

March 19, 2009: The Special Olympics comment

While making history as the first sitting president on a late-night talker, Obama incited a big controversy when he compared his bad bowling skills to the Special Olympics. People were furious, and he later reached out to the president of the Special Olympics to apologize.

(The video embed code no longer exists, but the clip can be viewed here.)

Emily Yahr is an entertainment reporter and pop culture blogger for the Style section. She joined the Post in May 2008, a week before she graduated from the University of Maryland, and worked on Lisa de Moraes' TV Column and blog.
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