Excerpts of President Obama’s Appearance on Tonight Show

Last night’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno, featuring a historic appearance by President Barack Obama, as you’ve heard, was the biggest Tonight rating in four years (since the special tribute to Johnny Carson) and matched its highest number in 11 years, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Here are some excerpts:

THE PRESIDENT: You know, I was mentioning earlier, we landed yesterday and then — this is an example of life in the bubble. We landed at the fairground down in Costa Mesa. And I see the fairground where I think we’re having this town hall and I said, well, why don’t we walk over there? Secret Service says, no, sir, it’s 750 yards.

So I was trying to calculate — well, that’s like a five-minute walk? “Yes, sir. Sorry.”

Now, they let me walk on the way back. But, you know, the doctor is behind me with the defibrillator. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: I do think in Washington it’s a little bit like “American Idol,” except everybody is Simon Cowell. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Here’s the dirty little secret, though. Most of the stuff that got us into trouble was perfectly legal. And that is a sign of how much we’ve got to change our laws — right?

LENO: I mentioned we all saw A Wonderful Life — Mr. Potter, the meanest man — remember he owned the whole town? You know what he charged on a mortgage? Two percent. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: He’s like Mother Teresa now. (Laughter.)

Check out the full interview here.