The media isn’t shy about granting the Obamas cool points whenever they can, but the bar dropped just a little lower this week.
An evening of public volunteer work by President and Mrs. Obama “demonstrate[d] that they can also be pretty hilarious when they want to be,” gushes Washington Post environmental reporter Juliet Eilperin. Her rave review came out of what might look to more discerning comedy consumers as utterly standard banter between a husband and wife.
“The Barack & Michelle Comedy Hour,” as WaPo titled Eilperin’s report, saw its headliners help fill backpacks for homeless children at a charter school in Northeast D.C. on Thursday. If you’d closed your eyes when the couple went back and forth about who was packing the bags better, you could be forgiven for thinking Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were on the job. At one point, the first lady side-splittingly told her husband to “speed it up.”
The pair later took the act outside, where they joked that they hadn’t assembled anything since Malia’s first crib. Barack even wisecracked that he did more of the work than his wife did. (Note the subtle lampooning of gender stereotypes.)
“I remember differently,” Michelle fired back. (Again, edgy.)
The comedy reached a crescendo when a young girl revealed that she had hoped the night’s special guest would be Beyoncé, before finding out it was President Obama. The first couple’s ripostes were, of course, impeccable: The first lady agreed that Beyoncé would have been more exciting, and the president joked that sometimes his daughters feel the same way.
In all, it was enough to get D.C.’s media set to giggle, but don’t expect to see the “Barack & Michelle Comedy Hour” on Tonight Show any time soon. (Actually . . .)