Relive All of President Obama’s ‘Daily Show’ Appearances (VIDEO)
UPDATE, July 22, 2015: Read more about Obama’s final Daily Show appearance.
President Obama differs from his immediate predecessors in many (many) ways. One of these differences was the sheer number of late-night talk show visits he’s racked up over the course of his political career. There were eight visits to the Late Show With David Letterman, one to the Colbert Report, six to Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, six to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, two to Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and one to Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night. On July 21, the President will make his seventh and last appearance on The Daily Show, a farewell to Stewart before Stewart hands the reins over to Trevor Noah.
Below are all six of the President’s prior interviews with Stewart, from his fresh-faced debut in 2005 to his slightly more embattled sixth visit. Witness the gradual graying of both men as the heavy hand of responsibility slowly starts to wear them down.
November 7, 2005
He was just “Senator Obama” in his first appearance (via satellite from D.C. because of a bill vote), plugging his book, Dreams of My Father. He’d had the title for only a year, but already the audience was enthralled by the freshman senator from Illinois, who cracked pointed political jokes like this: “My staff wanted me to go on the Jon Stewart show anyway, but I figured healthcare for the American people was more important.”
August 22, 2007
For his second appearance on the Daily Show, the then “Democratic Senator from Illinois who’s also running for president” visited the studio in-person to loud claps and cheers (“Barack, Barack!”). Even Stewart commented, “The effect that you have on a crowd, it’s unusual for a politician…There is a certain inspirational quality to you. My question is: Is that really something that American is going to go for?” Laughing, Obama responded, “Well, we’re going to find out!”
April 21, 2008
“Democratic Presidential candidate” Barack Obama appeared via satellite from Pennsylvania to talk about the just-starting-to-flag economy, one day before winning the Democratic primary after a brutal battle with fellow Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. “There’s no doubt Senator Clinton has done me a favor. She’s put me through the paces,” he said.
Stewart had some fun with the Senator: “Will you pull a bait-and-switch, sir, and enslave the white race?” (Spoiler alert: No.) And he had the candidate “Hope Up” some other phrases: “I’m calling to ask if you’re happy with your cell phone service.” “Ladies and gentlemen: Edie Brickel and the New Bohemians.” It was true—Senator Obama really could make anything sound hopeful.
October 29, 2008
Mere days before winning the 2008 Presidential election, then-Senator Obama appeared via satellite from Florida. He seemed tired but happy, attempting to appeal to modernists concerned with daily life (whether they can keep their house, etc.) and attempting to lay to rest fears of “socialist tendencies” (“They discovered when I was in kindergarten I shared some toys with my friends”). And even back then, he was trying to underscore the gravity of climate change.
October 27, 2010
About a year and a half into his first term, the President stopped by for a full episode to stump for his party, just before the mid-term Congressional elections and amidst a growing sense of disappointment as the country’s economic ills weren’t immediately cured. He and Stewart argued (civilly) over the effectiveness of financial and healthcare reform, leading to the President’s amendment to his campaign slogan: “Yes, we can. But: It’s not gonna happen overnight.”
October 18, 2012
Once again hot on the campaign trail (this time facing Republican nominee John McCain), President Obama took to TDS to answer one of the more fundamental questions of a presidential campaign: Is the argument for a second Obama presidency stronger, or simply one against a Romney presidency? While declaring his argument to involve elements of both, he also promised not to amend the Constitution to restrict the rights of gay and lesbian couples (a promise fulfilled two and a half years later) or change the Affordable Care Act, which has also stayed the same. “The stakes on this could not be bigger,” he said. “War, peace, the Supreme Court, women’s right to choose, whether we’re creating jobs in this country, whether they’re being shipped overseas; whether our kids are getting the best education they can.”
It wasn’t all doom-and-gloom, though:
Stewart: How many times a week does Biden show up to a meeting in a wet bathing suit?
Obama: I had to put out a Presidential Directive on that. I gotta say, though: he looks pretty good.