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Seinfeld And Obama, Driving A Stingray And Getting Coffee

President Obama and Jerry Seinfeld drove a classic 1963 Corvette Stingray around the White House grounds for the comedian's online show.
Screengrab from 'Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee' by NPR
President Obama and Jerry Seinfeld drove a classic 1963 Corvette Stingray around the White House grounds for the comedian's online show.

They chat, they joke, they drive a classic 1963 Corvette. When President Obama appears on Jerry Seinfeld's online show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, their conversation topics range from nothing to the sanity of world leaders and the merits of profanity.

Much of the talk also centers on what it's like for a guy to live in the Oval Office, the White House and a position of extreme power. A recurring theme: how a regular person adjusts to both the privilege and the stress that come with the presidency.

"Bad stuff, or stupid stuff, is happening constantly, right?" Obama says. "Every day. So you have to be able to just make fun of a lot of that, like: 'That was even dumber and more annoying than usual.' That's when cursing is really useful."

The show streams on Crackle; you can also watch the episode here.

Some highlight questions:

  • "You ever go on eBay?"
  • "What sport is politics? Is it chess? Is it liar's poker?"
  • "Have you ever touched a thermostat in here?"
  • And some of Obama's answers:

  • "It's not cool, generally, wandering around in my underwear."
  • "They don't put out suits. I have a closet like normal people do."
  • "I do really well with the 0-8 demographic. They love me," Obama says, crediting his ears — and the fact that small children like to say "Barackobama." He adds, "It's like a Nickelodeon thing."
  • When Seinfeld asks Obama, "How many world leaders do you think are just completely out of their mind?" the president answers, "A pretty sizable percent."

    The pair were never allowed to leave the White House complex, although Obama did take a turn driving the Stingray — which bore a bumper sticker reading, "My other car is a 5 ton bulletproof limousine."

    As he did when he appeared on Zach Galifianakis' show Between Two Ferns last year, Obama briefly broke off from the comedy bits to tout the merits of his health care plan — prompting Seinfeld to turn away from his coffee and urge his viewers, "It's a great thing. Please try Obamacare today."

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

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