Seinfeld recruited Obama as the newest guest for his show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. The Washington Post states that the show normally has guest appearances from other comedians such as Jim Carrey, Steve Harvey, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. This time, the president himself climbed into Seinfeld’s car for a casual ride around the White House driveway.
“You learn over the years how to handle yourself when you’re taken out of your box and put into a situation that has different stakes and different jeopardy,” Seinfeld said, elaborating on his nervousness. “I don’t talk to anybody about tomorrow. I don’t wanna talk about it. I kind of like to pace around backstage a couple minutes before I go on, so I’ve been doing that for about five days now.”
It’s not uncommon to see President Obama appear on popular shows and media. In 2014, he appeared on a talk show with Zach Galifianakis called Between Two Ferns, and just last week he appeared on a show with Bear Grylls titled Running Wild.
“Growing up in the ’60s my kid dream was always to be an astronaut — doing a comedy show with President Obama in and around the White House felt like going into space,” Seinfeld said.
CNN reports that Obama got behind the wheel of the car, which isn’t something he’s typically allowed to do. Rumblings of the possible meeting started when Obama went on Maron’s podcast and said that Seinfeld was one of his favorite comedians. After hearing this, Seinfeld jokingly told his producer he should try and reach out to the president. He did just that.
“‘How did I get here?’ ‘Is this really happening?’ The President’s humor and generosity are the only reasons this was even possible,” he said about Obama. “Being President and just a cool guy to hang out with at the same time made the experience my own personal moonwalk. It was an unforgettable day.”
It was a great experience for both parties (no pun intended). The show is set to air at 11:30 p.m. ET and will be released on comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com.
“This was an opportunity to pull back the curtain for Americans on life in the White House,” the president’s press office said. “The president and Jerry had a unique, candid conversation that focused largely on the lighter side of the presidency.”
The day before filming, Seinfeld thought about what he would ask the commander-in-chief.
“I want to know how far he can get in his underwear before it’s weird,” Seinfeld said from the passenger seat. “And can you really get a good night’s sleep in this place? It’s like ‘Night at the Museum’ to me, sleeping in the White House. I just had another question: Are you ever talking to somebody and do you ever think, ‘This guy’s out of his mind’?”
The next day went well. Seinfeld drove that blue Stingray up the driveway and got to chat with Obama for a good bit. They even talked in the basement dining room about bathroom routines and other lighter subjects.
“It was out-of-body for me,” Seinfeld said afterward on the phone. “I’m not a guy who likes honor. In fact, I hate any kind of honoring. That I get to be a comedian, that’s the honor. But this was an honor: that [Obama] was okay with me, that he trusted me to do some comedy with him in the real White House.”
It was a nice opportunity for the American people to get a look at the inner-workings of the White House along with the daily routines of the president. In the end, Seinfeld really gets Obama, and much of the American public does too.
[Image via Crackle]