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Obama-with-Marc-Maron

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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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…