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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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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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