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Old 02-27-2009, 09:19 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Has any U.S. President ever appeared on a late-night talk show?

As candidates, sure: Bill Clinton played the sax on The Arsenio Hall Show, both JFK and Nixon were separately on The Tonight Show, Barack Obama was on Letterman. But has any incumbent President ever appeared on such shows? Not that I can think of - does it seem too undignified, maybe? And yet IIRC even Clinton, who discussed his underwear preferences on an MTV program, didn't.
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:05 PM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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During their presidency, I'd think it more an issue of not having the time, as well as security concerns, than it being "undignified". Presidents have often gone on talk shows both before and after their presidencies (Clinton was on The View just a few months ago - Sep. 22 '08) so I don't see why it would be considered undignified.
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:24 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Presidents have the time for lots of other things, some of which are considerably riskier than appearing in a closed studio before an audience which can be easily sent through metal detectors. I don't think that's it.
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:35 PM
alterego alterego is offline
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I googled and came up empty handed. Seems to just be a campaign thing.
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:42 PM
dtilque dtilque is offline
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Al Gore was on Letterman while he was Veep. Didn't seem to think it was too undignified. He even did a TopTen while there.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:54 AM
obfusciatrist obfusciatrist is offline
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Bush appeared in an episode of Deal or No Deal last year. Obviously not a talk show (late night or otherwise), but that's the closest I can think of.

Bill Clinton talked movies (but I don't think actually reviewed them) on an episode of Siskel & Ebert in February 2000.
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:09 AM
bobot bobot is online now
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Nixon

Probably dosen't qualify as a late night talk show, but Nixon appeared on Laugh In.
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Old 02-28-2009, 06:00 AM
Loach Loach is offline
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Did I misremember or did Carter and Clinton appear after they were president?
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:19 AM
elbows elbows is online now
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George W Bush was on Oprah.
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:23 AM
Dog80 Dog80 is offline
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I don't think I've ever seen a Greek prime minister on a talk show either. I doubt it is about security concerns. Presidents go to places far less secure than a TV studio.


I guess what they fear most is that the host is going to ask the "wrong" kind of question and corner the president and he'll appear like a fool on TV.
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:39 AM
ASAKMOTSD ASAKMOTSD is offline
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Not late night, but unheard of at the time.
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:47 AM
obfusciatrist obfusciatrist is offline
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Nixon was not yet president when he did Laugh-In (September 16, 1968). Though it was unprecedented.

According to IMDb, the Oprah appearance by George Bush was also while on the campaign trail before being becoming president (September 26, 2000).
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:04 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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On a related note, Nixon flew on a regular commercial airline flight while president. I think he flew from DC to his home in CA. It was unannounced and he took his secret service detail with him.
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:28 PM
Captain Carrot Captain Carrot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
On a related note, Nixon flew on a regular commercial airline flight while president. I think he flew from DC to his home in CA. It was unannounced and he took his secret service detail with him.
He also had Air Force One flying beside the plane, which kind of negated the point he was trying to make.
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:55 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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Gerald Ford made a cameo appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1976. Ford appeared the night his press secretary, former NBC correspondent Ron Nessen, was hosting.
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:12 PM
commasense commasense is online now
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Candidate Bush was on Letterman in October 2000. There's an account of it here. What this story doesn't mention is that during a commercial break, while producer Barbara Gaines was standing in front of the desk and talking to Dave, Bush reached over and used her sweater to clean his glasses without her knowledge. It was caught on tape, and Dave has used it many times since.
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Old 02-28-2009, 08:39 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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Nancy Reagan was on Different Strokes while she was first lady. I think she played herself. Of course she was an actress which is how she met Reagan.
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:28 PM
SeanArenas SeanArenas is offline
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I hear that the California Governor will be in an upcoming action movie with Stallone and others. Only 1 day of shooting, but still...
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:02 AM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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Resurrecting this thread (which is not very old) because Obama has announced he will be appearing on The Tonight Show this week on Thursday as an acting president.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:45 PM
zamboniracer zamboniracer is offline
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IMDB lists President Bill Clinton as having appeared on Letterman on May 14, 1997, which of course was while he (Clinton, not Dave) was in office.

Cite
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:44 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zamboniracer View Post
IMDB lists President Bill Clinton as having appeared on Letterman on May 14, 1997, which of course was while he (Clinton, not Dave) was in office.

Cite
Does anyone have another confirmation of this? Some cites don't list Clinton going on Letterman until after his preidency.

Clinton TV Appearances
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:30 PM
TV time TV time is offline
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I seem to remember Polk did the talk show rounds. But at the time they had pretty low ratings. So that could have kept his appearances below the radar of the time.
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