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Posted at 05:55 PM ET, 04/24/2012

Jimmy Fallon hosts President Obama on late-night show


President Barack Obama and Jimmy Fallon during a taping of “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” (Carolyn Kaster - AP)

President Obama makes his first appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s NBC late night show at UNC-Chapel Hill Tuesday night to slow-jam the news with Fallon and the Roots.

“I’m president Barack Obama, and I, too, want to slow-jam the news,” the president said during the Tuesday afternoon appearance taped for that night’s show, according to a pool report.

Obama, filling in for NBC evening news anchor Brian Williams, then held a microphone and discussed student loan interest rates – which, coincidentally, is the leitmotif of his two-day road trip, while Fallon did his own riff on the same news story. It was like this:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: What we’ve said is simple: now is not the time to make school more expensive for our young people.

JIMMY FALLON: Awww yeah, you should listen to The President, or as I like to call him, The Preezy of the United Steezy. Things were heating up inside Congress’ chambers, behind all those closed doors.

And the Roots, in the background, sang about Obama being “the POTUS with the most-est.”

Obama’s an old hand at late night TV, though Tuesday’s appearance is his first on Fallon’s show.

In October of 2011, he visited Fallon’s lead-in, Jay Leno, who asked if he had been watching the GOP debates.”

“I’m going to wait until everybody is voted off the island…Once they narrow it down to one or two, I’ll start paying attention,” he said, clearly knowing how was his audience.

Wild applause, approving of the “Survivor” reference.

And, in October of 2010, the president visited Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” and clocked that show’s third biggest audience ever — behind only two episodes, in 2008, when Stewart had interviewed candidate Barack Obama, and the time he interviewed the future first lady Michelle Obama.

“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” is, of course, well-known in political circles as that late night show on which the Roots played Fishbone’s tune “Lyin’ A—B----while then GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann walked out on stage, back in November of ’11.

Musical editorializing is a Roots signature gag on the show. In the past, Roots had played a Milli Vanilli tune by way of introducing Ashlee Simpson — she of the lip-syncing “Saturday Night Live” hoedown debacle, broke into E.U.’s “Da Butt” to welcome Serena Williams, and performed Beck’s “Loser” to herald the entrance of “Speidi” on the show.

But the Bachmann intro tune caused considerable outrage. NBC reacted by appointing Fallon as in-house canary, sending him down the political coal-mine shaft to see exactly how toxic was the air. Fallon tweeted that the Roots’s drummer, Questlove — who’d taken credit for the tune choice — “is grounded.”That didn’t go over well, so Fallon was sent in again, this time tweeting, “I’m honored that Michele Bachmann was on our show yesterday and I’m so sorry about the intro mess. I really hope she comes back.” Finally, one day later, an NBC programming exec sent a letter of apology, assuring Bachmann that Questlove had been severely reprimanded.

Sadly, the pool report did not say what tune was used to introduce President Obama. Stay tuned...

By  |  05:55 PM ET, 04/24/2012

 
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