Hail to the chief of late night. President Barack Obama paid a visit to the set of Jimmy Kimmel Live last night to offer both levity and serious commentary to the comedian’s nightly program. During his appearance on the program, the President played along with Kimmel’s go-to sketch of reading “mean tweets” about oneself, chuckling at a few social media disses that knocked, among things, his golf game, graying hair and the rising cost of beer (“thanks, Obama”). With his usual sly grin and measured sense of self-deprecating humor, the President nailed the segment, getting Kimmel’s program off to a smooth start.
But there was no way that a conversation with Obama last night could have possibly avoided a more serious current events turn, and Kimmel barreled into that turn with no sign of hesitation. When asked about current events in Ferguson, Obama called whoever it was that shot two police officers in the Missouri city earlier this week “criminals,” before going on to support the peaceful protests that have been taking place for over 6 months.
“What had been happening in Ferguson was oppressive and objectionable and was worthy of protest,” the President said. “But there was no excuse for criminal acts.”
The conversation then veered toward the United States Justice Department‘s recent condemnation of the Ferguson Police Depart as a systematically racist and unjust entity.
But at other points, Obama’s conversation with Kimmel was markedly lighter. When asked about what life was like in the White House, Obama admitted that he had not cooked for himself in a long time, and kidded (or perhaps not?) that he has a dental chair set up a basement beneath the Oval Office. Kimmel also brought up the potential government cover up of aliens. And of course, Kimmel brought up the ever-present Kanye West, about whom the president had a poignant tale to tell.
“I’ve met Kanye twice. The first time was when I was a senator and he was with his mom. He’d just gotten big. He’s from Chicago, so they wanted to meet, and he was very soft-spoken and very gracious. He was a young guy, and hadn’t quite come into his own. And about six months ago, he came to an event and, look, I love his music and he’s incredibly creative. I don’t think I’ve got his home number.”
Watch the President’s “mean tweets” segment below and check back for the full interview soon.