On NBC's 'Today,' Jimmy Fallon Gushes About Being Propaganda Stooge For Obama

Appearing on Tuesday's NBC Today, Late Night host Jimmy Fallon could barely contain his glee over a recent appearance by President Obama on his show: "It's the craziest thing ever, to ever happen to us. We keep going like to each other on set like, 'That did happen, right?' Like, 'We did slow-jam with the President of the United States?'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video below]

Co-host Matt Lauer prompted the conversation as he declared: "Let's get to the roll you're on....some of the things you've had a chance to do lately, with the President slow-jamming the news. The leader of the free world and Jimmy Fallon." Fallon excitedly described how "the White House called us" about doing the skit. Lauer asked: "He booked himself on your show?" Fallon gushed: "Yeah, he booked – the President booked himself."

After detailing how he had helped Michelle Obama promote her "Get Fit initiative" by playing a game of dodge ball with the First Lady in the White House, Fallon happily recounted helping the President push his agenda: "So then we got the call, the President of the United States wants to do maybe a bit, because his initiative is to not raise taxes on student loans."

Fallon recalled how eager he was to oblige: "And he [Obama] was going to different colleges. And so I said, they said 'Well, will Jimmy come to the college?' I said, 'I'd love to go to the college,' I go, 'but would he be up for doing a whole show, can I interview him?' And they go, 'I don't know, we'll call you right back.' So then they called us back, they go, 'I think he's in.'"

Lauer shared Fallon's excitement and wanted to know more: "When he slow-jammed the news, did you rehearse that or was that cold? Did you actually go through run-throughs where you'd say, 'Mr. President, let me give you a few notes here on the way you do it'?"

Turning to Fallon doing a recent Late Night duet with Bruce Springsteen, Lauer wondered: "What's more exciting, slow-jamming the news with the President of the United States or doing a duet with the Boss?" It was hard for Fallon to choose: "Bruce Springsteen is unbelievable. I don't know. I don't know what's – the President is more of an honor, of course."


Here is a transcript of the May 22 exchange:

8:36AM ET

MATT LAUER: We're back now at 8:36 with the white-hot host of Late Night, Jimmy Fallon. He's done it all lately, from duets with Bruce Springsteen to playing dodge ball with the First Lady at the White House. He even slow-jammed the news with the President of the United States and leader of the free world. Now Fallon is out with a new book called "Thank You Notes 2" and a new comedy album "Blow Your Pants Off." Is that comedy, "Blow Your Pants Off," or is that more of a threat?

JIMMY FALLON: That is comedy.

LAUER: Yeah?

FALLON: Yeah, that poor guy is just sitting hanging out with his red wine in front of the fireplace, puts on the CD and his pants get blown off.

LAUER: Right off?

FALLON: It just happens. The guy didn't even know, he was just taking a photo like his pants were on. He had no idea, I feel bad for him.

LAUER: Let's save that for a little later. Let's get to the roll you're on, alright? No, seriously, when you think about some of the things you've had a chance to do lately, with the President slow-jamming the news. The leader of the free world and Jimmy Fallon.

FALLON: It's the craziest thing ever, to ever happen to us. We keep going like to each other on set like, "That did happen, right?" Like, "We did slow-jam with the President of the United States?" What happened was they called us, the White House, called us because we did a piece with Michelle Obama.

LAUER: He booked himself on your show?

FALLON: Yeah, he booked – the President booked himself. He didn't call, but the White House called us, and – because we did a piece with Michelle Obama, where we did a – for her Get Fit initiative.

LAUER: Right.

FALLON: We did a – I ran up the stairs in the White House and we played dodge ball in the Green Room. And then-

LAUER: Weren't you wearing spandex at the White House? Did you clear that with the Secret Service?

FALLON: No, I had to change my clothes immediately after I – it was – I was in the workout spandex, and I turned the corner, I thought I was ready to go and I was immediately shut down by a bunch of Secret Service, someone put me in a sleeper hold. Even Bo the dog didn't appreciate what I was wearing. The dog didn't like it. No one liked it at all. So, I asked the First Lady permission. She said absolutely not. And so I changed. And then – but she was a great sport.

LAUER: But the idea of dodge ball in the halls of the White House. Some of the artwork hanging on the walls, they're priceless portraits-

FALLON: There's a portrait of George Washington-

LAUER: Exactly. And you're throwing rubber dodge balls around.

FALLON: I had to be the first person to play dodge ball in the White House. Unless Taft was a big dodge ball player. I don't know. But I was like, I was sitting there doing that going, "I can't believe this is happening." So then we got the call, the President of the United States wants to do maybe a bit, because his initiative is to not raise taxes on student loans. And he was going to different colleges. And so I said, they said "Well, will Jimmy come to the college?" I said, "I'd love to go to the college," I go, "but would he be up for doing a whole show, can I interview him?" And they go, "I don't know, we'll call you right back." So then they called us back, they go, "I think he's in."

LAUER: "He actually is going to do it."

FALLON: Yeah, but then they said, "You don't tell anybody, just shush."

LAUER: When he slow-jammed the news, did you rehearse that or was that cold? Did you actually go through run-throughs where you'd say, "Mr. President, let me give you a few notes here on the way you do it"?

FALLON: I tried to, I did. We went through one rehearsal. He goes, "Okay, we're going to slow-jam, here we go. Let's start the slow-jam, here we go." So he's reading the cue cards and we're doing the slow-jam, and at the end of the slow-jam, we usually do it with the great Brian Williams because he does it on our show with us, and at the end Brian goes, "Oh, yeah." And so at the end, President Obama goes, "Oh, yeah." I go, "You sure you don't want to put a little, if you want to, you can put-" And he cut me off, he goes, "I'm not going to do it." He knew what I was going to say.

LAUER: Thank you for asking.

FALLON: You could put a little spice on the end, "I'm not going to do it."

LAUER: What's more exciting, slow-jamming the news with the President of the United States or doing a duet with the Boss?

FALLON: Bruce Springsteen is unbelievable. I don't know. I don't know what's – the President is more of an honor, of course.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC