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WTF Obama

10 Things We Learned About Obama from His WTF Interview With Marc Maron

Watch Maron Wednesdays at 9P on IFC.

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In the aftermath of the shooting in Charleston, President Barack Obama took a break from leading the free world to have a down-to-earth conversation with comedian Marc Maron on his WTF Podcast. He discussed his upbringing, what keeps him optimistic, the struggles of racism in America, and what he does to annoy Michelle. Here are 10 things we learned about Obama along with some photos from the interview. (Visit the Marc Meets Obama site for more photos and info.)

10. He’s a regular dad

Obama says he marvels that his girls, Sasha and Malia, have escaped the bubble of the presidency he’s stuck in. They go to the mall, have sleepovers and do other normal things. Malia is learning to drive, and has started chaffing at Secret Service protection. With a laugh, he says he reminds her that the only reason she can stay at her friend’s house until 11:30 is because the SecretService is there to drive her home. She’s crazy to think he would pick her up in the middle of the night.


9. He’s a fan of Louis CK and Richard Pryor

When Maron asked Obama about his favorite comedians, he was quick to cite Richard Pryor, who was influential when he was growing up. He also cites Dick Gregory, “when he was on the edge.” In terms of contemporary comedians, he likes Seinfeld and Louis CK, who he says has a good heart, despite all the messed up stuff he says.


8. He believes we are better now than we were four years ago

MarcMeetsObama.com

MarcMeetsObama.com

He quotes the old Ronald Reagan line, “are you better off than you were four years ago?” He believes we are, citing various examples, from saving people’s 401Ks, to reducing our carbon footprint, to helping high school graduation be the highest it has ever been. He’s particularly proud that LGTB rights have been recognized and solidified in a way no one could have imagined a decade ago.


7. He’s optimistic for change

Marc Meets Obama 3

Pete Souza/MarcMeetsObama

He talks about supporters who express disappointment with his various accomplishments, because they didn’t go far enough. He says progress in a democracy is never instantaneous. You’re not going to fix everything all at once, you just have to try and steer the ship slowly in the right direction.


6. He’s the weak link on the basketball court now

Obama says, almost wistfully, that he barely plays basketball anymore. It used to be a favorite past time, and a way to stay in shape, but he’s gotten older and lost a step. Now, when he plays, he’s the old guy on the court, and the weak link. He doesn’t like being the weak link.


5. He’s pro gun law reform

Obama talks mournfully about the recent shooting in Charleston, saying the legal system will deal with the shooter, but the larger problem needs addressing. When other countries, like Australia, have had similar incidents, they drastically changed the laws and the shootings stopped.


4. He believes racism hasn’t been “cured”

“We are not cured of it,” Obama told Maron. “And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say ‘n—er’ in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t, overnight, completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior.” Obama is very candid about racial tensions in America, but says he prefers to view them within the context of the change that has happened, and the change that’s still capable of happening.


3. Michelle finds his lateness annoying

When Maron asked the president what Michelle finds annoying about him, he was quick to say his lateness. He used to roll in 10 or 15 minutes late to everything, and it drove Michelle wild. But he points out that, in a marriage, fights are usually about more than the obvious. In this case, Obama talks about Michelle’s father, and his battle with Multiple Sclerosis. He had to show up early to everything, just to make it there on time. This was instilled in his daughter, and led to her frustration with her perpetually late husband.


2. He found Congress’ reaction to Newtown “disgusting”

Obama says the response to the shooting in Newtown was the closest he’s come to being disgusted as President. The fact that 20 six year olds were gunned down, and Congress did nothing, infuriated him. He notes, sadly, that real change to our gun laws won’t happen with this Congress. At least, not until the people’s voices are heard.


1. He’s out of f–ks to give


Obama says that the more time he’s had on the job, the more comfortable he’s gotten with it. Much like a comedian on a stage, he’s grown fearless. That’s why he feels like he’s a better president, and would make a better candidate, than he’s ever been. He’s not just faking fearlessness any more. He feels it.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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