Contrary to popular belief, not all politicians are laugh-out-loud funny all of the time. Some are never funny. Sure, reporters tend to laugh at lawmakers’ jokes even when they’re painfully unfunny – it’s ass kissing and it’s Washington and it happens. But even late-night host Jay Leno couldn’t save President Obama from his tired broccoli humor.
Last night Washington’s White House reporters stayed up late and suffered through Jay Leno‘s softball interview with Obama. At one point, obviously trying to be funny about first lady Michelle Obama‘s love of vegetables and the President’s claim to love broccoli, Jay threw in the favorite vegetable topic amid questions about the economy, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Russian President Vladmir Putin, lunch with former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, and NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Though Jay brought up a number of relevant topics that the White House Press Corps. normally would, he didn’t push or press him on anything. Obama could easily come to the show with soundbites and talking points and do just fine.
You could almost hear the collective groan of White House reporters and other journalists who watched in awe (and by awe we mean disdain and ridicule). They used Twitter to emote.
“Already bored,” groused Sirius XM P.O.T.U.S. Channel “Press Pool” host Julie Mason early on in the interview. American Urban Radio’s April Ryan jumped in, saying, “Those who cover President daily are watching Leno to get the news of what the President has to say.” Mason, who formerly covered the White House, sniped, “Since we have no access.” She continued slamming the interview: “Making you laugh is more fun than actually tweeting this boring masturbatory interview.” And Ryan: This stuff is hilarious folks are saying. Girl! If they only knew how our lives are centered around Presidential activities”
Actually the toughest question might have been about the President’s love of broccoli.Leno wondered how Obama could lie to children about his love of broccoli.
“I have broccoli a lot,” Obama said, defending himself with a huge grin. “You can ask my staff, it is one of my staples. Me and broccoli, I don’t know, we got a thing going. It goes especially well with a burger and fries.”
Leno shot back with this hard hitter involving his birthday that was probably the most wrenching, unfunny line of the night: “Did Michelle make broccoli cake with broccoli icing?” Oh God. Seriously? The President replied, “I wouldn’t go that far.”