The world of American politics is a battlefield divided into two trenches that seldom pause for a truce. No one is more familiar with this partisan warfare than Barack #Obama who has spent the last 8 years being torn apart by Democrats and Republicans alike. Love him or hate him though, he is arguably the most charming, charismatic head of state America has ever known.
George Bush Jr. may have easily been the most lampooned president of all time and was therefore a hard act to follow, but Barack suavely got in on the joke and won the comedians over to his side. He's worked with Zach Galifianakis, Key & Peele, #SNL and Jimmy Fallon, and has demonstrated a knack for alleviating the grim nature of his position by cracking-wise while remaining tasteful. Next Monday he will appear on Samantha Bee to have some fun but also discuss the challenges Hillary faces.
To bid farewell to America's 44th president, we've decided to take a closer look at his work as a comedian and cultural icon by discussing his finest comedic moments.
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1. Mic Drop At The Correspondents' Dinner
Every year, the leader of the free world throws a gala for U.S media to raise funds for charity and to sprinkle a bit of comedy on foreign and domestic affairs. Now obviously Barack doesn't spend his days writing jokes; he has a team of writers who churn out material for him. Like speeches, the comedy must reflect the politician's personality but good material only becomes great material when the orator is talented enough to deliver it like a comedian.
Watch Obama talk about anger management at the Correspondents' dinner:
Obama was often chastised for being a little too cool sometimes and never seemed to lose his temper with the contrarian Republicans. If only he had Keegan-Michael Key working as his real-life anger translator, perhaps he could have forced some more bills through Congress with authoritah!
2. That Time Obama Listed All His Political Accomplishments In The Form Of A Smooth-Ass Soul Jam
As the 2016 presidential campaign snowballed, two things became apparent; Trump loves twitter over devising policies, and we will miss Barack Obama's charm. As his second and conclusive term winds down, he took the time to saunter onto Jimmy Fallon's stage to take a look back at his biggest accomplishments.
Like all presidents, he has had his hands full with global terrorism, convoluted conflicts in the Middle East and was incapable of shutting down the morally deplorable Guantanamo Bay. Say what you will about his two terms, Obama managed to push a lot of progressive legislation through the stubborn Republican Congress to bring affordable healthcare, same-sex marriage and millions of jobs under his administration. It doesn't count as gloating if you're backed by The Roots!
3. That Time Obama Got Caught Between Two Ferns And Fought His Way Out
Half troll, half oaf, Zach Galifianakis is known for luring big names on his show Between Two Ferns to make fun of them, to make fun of himself and everyone in between. Some politicians he invites are stiff and don't know how to play the game. However, the comedian-in-chief knows how to spar and the two go back and forth, trading insults and put-downs like a rap battle. When asked about doing a third term, Obama refuses, comparing it doing a third Hangover film, "a total waste of time."
4. That Time Obama Considered His Retirement Plans
What do you do after you've fulfilled the highest office in the land not once but twice? Most play golf and run charities, some take long baths and paint. There are many ways of dealing with the most stressful job on earth but Obama seems like such a workaholic that he would probably appreciate a third term.
5. That Time Stephen Colbert Helped Him Out With His Resume
Maybe Obama doesn't want to just ride his horse into the sunset and spend the rest of his days sipping cocktails by a pool. He said it himself, he created 14 million new jobs. Surely he just wants to inject himself back into that workforce. Maybe he could coach a basketball team or open up a theatre? Call it "Obama's House of Drama"? Luckily Stephen Colbert was there to inspire the world-weary president and let him know that the world is still his oyster.
Human, After All
It's hard for most presidents to finish their final term without the threat of impeachment let alone riding out on a high note. With countless comedic appearances and several biopics already being released, it's clear that, at times, Obama transcended his office and became a cultural icon. His lighter side showed us that despite dealing with the seemingly insurmountable presidential tasks every day, underneath all the masked speeches, PR and cryptic press releases, he is a compassionate human being.