One Last Time: Obama and Celebrities

It’s been an emotional week, and tomorrow’s going to be even rougher. That’s why today we’re taking a break for a bit of fun. We always get a kick out of celebrities meeting a well-liked president, if only because sometimes it’s hard to guess who’s more excited. Getting to meet the president can be a major perk of success in athletics or the entertainment industry, but it’s got to be a blast for the president, too: you signed up to lead a nation, but you also get to meet all of these varied, talented, fascinating people. Whether he’s cracking up with Olympians or welcoming Broadway actors into his home, it’s a real ‘presidents – they’re just like us!’ feeling. Get ready to smile and relive some of the fun times from the past 8 years!

Barack Obama shed his Obama mask on “Saturday Night Live.” Darrell Hammond and Amy Poehler were the Clintons. November, 2007.

Barack Obama shed his Obama mask on “Saturday Night Live.” Darrell Hammond and Amy Poehler were the Clintons. November, 2007.

President Obama, Amy Poehler and Saturday Night Live – talk about three beautiful, cherished American institutions, all in one picture.

Usher and Kerry Washington campaign for President Obama during a rally in South Carolina. January, 2008.

Usher and Kerry Washington campaign for President Obama during a rally in South Carolina. January, 2008.

There were a number of early Obama adapters during his first presidential campaign, namely because he had a lot of buzz as a senator in Illinois. Among them were Usher and pre-Scandal Kerry Washington, who campaigned for him in 2008. These folks ain’t bandwagon supporters.

Barack and Michelle embrace next to Oprah during a campaign rally. December, 2008.

Barack and Michelle embrace next to Oprah during a campaign rally. December, 2008.

Oprah is all of us. Also, remember that shining era when we had Obama in the White House AND Oprah on TV? I swear these are the things we’ll be telling our grandkids about.

Two days before the inauguration in 2009, musicians and actors came together for the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, performing songs and reciting pieces for the Obamas, Bidens and 400,000 people in attendance. Among those who took the stage were U2 (as seen above), Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks, and Bruce Springsteen, as well as collabos between James Taylor, John Legend and Jennifer Nettles, Josh Groban, Heather Headley, and the Gay Men’s Chorus of D.C.,Herbie Hancock, will.i.am, and Sheryl Crow, and Usher, Stevie Wonder, and Shakira. Not to mention the other stars like Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Steve Carell, Queen Latifah, Forest Whitaker, and Martin Luther King III and more reading historical passages. You can watch the two hour concert here!

Aretha Franklin sings My Country, 'Tis of Thee at the inauguration. January, 2009.

Aretha Franklin sings My Country, ‘Tis of Thee at the inauguration. January, 2009.

For the actual inauguration, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill collaborated on a piece by John Williams called Air and Simple Gifts, and although that was lauded, it was Aretha Franklin who really stole the show as she sang My Country, ‘Tis if Thee. Sure, we all know how great of a singer she is but it was the hat – a grey, Swarovski crystal-studded bow hat, that sparked conversation and memes all over the world. Also getting to see the hat IRL at the ceremony were

That night, the Obamas attended 10 official inaugural balls, where even MORE celebrities attended like Jennifer Aniston, Rihanna, Will Smith – legit the list is too long to type out so read all of them here – and Beyonce showed up again in her iconic romantic serenade of At Last.

Miranda Cosgrove, Matthew Morrison, Mariah Carey, Ellen DeGeneres, Maxwell, and Annie Lennox at the WH Christmas special. December, 2010.

Miranda Cosgrove, Matthew Morrison, Mariah Carey, Ellen DeGeneres, Maxwell, and Annie Lennox at the WH Christmas special. December, 2010.

This is just a sample of their annual holiday concert. Just imagine this times 8.

Will Ferrell and his wife, Viveca, laughed with President Obama in the Oval Office. Oct. 2011.

Will Ferrell and his wife, Viveca, laughed with President Obama in the Oval Office. Oct. 2011.

My favorite is that Will Ferrell and his wife – a person who lives with Will Ferrell – appear to be laughing at whatever OBAMA said.

President Obama meets with over 20 actors for a private Young Hollywood event. June, 2012.

President Obama meets with over 20 actors for a private Young Hollywood event. June, 2012.

Usually the President’s activities during a trip are explicit, but there was no mention of this secret meeting at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where Barack asked 25 of Hollywood’s hottest stars to get involved in his re-election campaign. Among them were Anna Kendrick, Zach Braff, Jeremy Renner, Zachary Quinto, Jessica Alba, Jared Leto, Kal Penn and Sophia Bush. Obviously, these folks put their photos on social media later for all of us to be jealous of.

May 11, 2012

President Obama takes a break during a basketball game in Los Angeles with some A-list teammates and competitors – Don Cheadle, Tobey Maguire, and George Clooney. Plus two of Clooney’s long-time friends and now ex-girlfriend Stacy Keibler. September, 2012.

Find yourself someone who looks at you like George Clooney is looking at POTUS.

November 15, 2012

President Obama poses with Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney. November, 2012.

I love that Obama fangirled over the 2012 Olympics as much as the rest of us, and also that he’s clearly up on his memes.

Beyonce is greeted by U.S. President Barack Obama after her performance during inauguration ceremonies. January, 2013.

Beyonce is greeted by U.S. President Barack Obama after her performance during inauguration ceremonies. January, 2013.

Obama’s second inauguration was a star-studded event, and by this point Beyonce was an established White House favorite. Really makes me proud to be an American!

President Obama greets Kelly Clarkson after her performance at his second inauguration. January, 2013.

President Obama greets Kelly Clarkson after her performance at his second inauguration. January, 2013.

Like we said, really fun inauguration. In this photo, Kelly Clarkson is looking at Obama exactly how I would, AND Obama is looking at Kelly Clarkson exactly how I would.

Singer Stevie Wonder is honored Monday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama, who said the first record he ever bought was by Wonder.

Singer Stevie Wonder is honored Monday with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama, who said the first record he ever bought was by Wonder.

The Obamas danced to Stevie Wonder at their wedding and all these years later he’s a regular guest in their home, playing POTUS’s birthday party and getting awards from him. If you look closely you can see all of Barack’s dreams coming true.

Justin Timberlake greets President Obama (with Queen Latifah in the background). May, 2013.

Justin Timberlake greets President Obama (with Queen Latifah in the background). May, 2013.

JT posted the above photo on Obama’s birthday and captioned it “Just showing The Prez how I made a half-court shot on his hoop while he was leading the free world and stuff… No big deal. Happy Bday, Mr. President!!”

They have inside jokes, it’s fine.

This is an Emmy-winning video.

The President and the First Lady meet the President and the First Lady. White House Correspondents Dinner. May, 2014.

Mellie/Michelle 2020?

POTUS strikes a pose with Usain Bolt. April, 2015.

POTUS strikes a pose with Usain Bolt. April, 2015.

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how happy Barry looks? That is pure joy right there.

After Cecily Strong's speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner. April, 2015.

After Cecily Strong’s speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner. April, 2015.

Remember how Cecily Strong absolutely crushed it at the WHCD?! Then, even though he was the butt of some of the jokes, POTUS also acknowledged that she was absolutely hilarious and all of the hits were totally fair. Also, this happened to be the same WHCD where Obama’s Anger Translator Luther (Keegan-Michael Key) showed up.

July 18, 2015 “The President greets the cast and crew of ‘Hamilton’ after seeing the play with his daughters at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

July 18, 2015 “The President greets the cast and crew of ‘Hamilton’ after seeing the play with his daughters at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

I like to think that this is how everyone looks at you when you get to heaven.

We consider Hamilton a true musical of the Obama era and we get such a kick out of the mutual love between the cast, creatives and POTUS.

Dec. 7, 2015 “Comedian Jerry Seinfeld knocks on the Oval Office window to begin a segment for his series, ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.’” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Jerry Seinfeld knocks on the window of the Oval Office. December, 2015.

I’m not one who particularly *loves* Jerry Seinfeld, but I do enjoy Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and this one with President Obama is no different. Well, actually it was. Since the Pres has limited ability to drive around in a vintage car with a guy who makes jokes for a living, they could lit’rally only make a loop in front of the White House and the coffee was in some WH bunker. That’s exaggerating – just watch it.

President Obama joined Jimmy Fallon for a second installment of Slow Jam the News. June, 2016.

Since Jimmy had a talk show, the Obamas have been happy to play along with his bits, including Slow Jam the News, which is another reason why President Obama is the coolest. Slick Willy Clinton could probably get away with doing this but can you imagine Dubya saying “Oh yeah” then dropping the mic?

President Obama serenades daughter Malia with 'Happy Birthday.' July 4, 2016.

President Obama serenades daughter Malia with ‘Happy Birthday.’ July 4, 2016.

The 2004 films Chasing Liberty and First Daughter taught me that it can be hard to be the child of the American president … but if your 18th birthday involves Kendrick Lamar and Janelle Monae singing you Happy Birthday on the White House lawn, it sounds pretty OK.

Sept. 12, 2016 “After a meeting with actor and human rights activist George Clooney, the President invited him and three of his colleagues to shoot hoops on the White House basketball court. This photo garnered a lot of attention when it was hung on the walls of the West Wing.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

George and Barack back on the basketball court after they met to discuss some human rights policies. September, 2016.

This is also the poster of the 2018 film where Clooney & Obama lead a rag-tag group of international figures in some kind of witty heist.

Oct. 21, 2016 “Bill Murray stopped by the White House to be honored as the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. When the President opened the door to the Oval Office, he laughed that Bill was in full Chicago Cubs regalia just before the Cubs were to begin the World Series. After the presentation, Murray demonstrated his prowess in putting, ‘sinking’ several putts into a White House drinking glass, all while doing a public service announcement to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Bill Murray shows off his putting skills in the Oval Office while filming a PSA to sign up for the Affordable Care Act. It was also just before he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. October, 2016.

Just two Chicago boys casually putting into glass in the Oval Office.

Nov. 22, 2016 “Bruuuuuce! The President reaches out to shake hands with Bruce Springsteen in the Blue Room of the White House prior to the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony. I’m so happy for Bruce, having been a fan of his for almost 30 years during which I’ve seen at least 35 of his concerts.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama greets Bruce Springsteen before he received the President Medal of Freed. November, 2016.

I don’t think you know how many Bruce Springsteen pictures we had to choose from. There’s probably a small, dedicated guest room where Bruce stays and they’ll have to forcefully remove him on 1/20.

Rather than a photo, just watch the whole video of Obama awarding Ellen Degeneres the Medal of Freedom. It’s definitely a two-kleenex moment.

That face when the President drops by for a visit. Today, the cast of Hidden Figures visited the White House to highlight the stories of Americans who defied stereotypes and broke glass ceilings to advance human space flight, science, and innovation. December, 2016.

That face when the President drops by for a visit. Today, the cast of Hidden Figures visited the White House to highlight the stories of Americans who defied stereotypes and broke glass ceilings to advance human space flight, science, and innovation. December, 2016.

Octavia Spencer, somehow simultaneously so adorable you could imagine being BFFs with her and so talented that it’s intimidating, is the face of America.

WHEN THE WHITEHOUSE BECAME THE BLACK HOUSE. #THEUNION #ORGANIZE

A post shared by Janelle Monáe (@janellemonae) on

When your favs are each others favs: I’ve heard that Janelle Monae has been invited to/performed at the White House more than any other musical artist. Also just this whole crowd, in general.

Kendrick Lamar meets President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House. January, 2016.

Kendrick Lamar meets President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House. January, 2016.

Do yourself a favor and run a search of Kendrick Lamar and President Obama at the White House. All of the photos are absolutely delightful.

President Obama teaches Steph Curry a few things about shooting. April, 2016.

 

Y’all – do yourself a favor and watch this entire concert of BET Presents Love & Happiness: An Obama Celebration. Partly because BET isn’t going to present a damn thing for the next administration, but mostly because there are star-studded performances from Jill Scott, BFF Janelle Monae, smokeshows Common, Usher and Leslie Odom, Jr. and Bradley Cooper is also there to fill a quota.

Going away party. January, 2017.

What better way to end eight years in a mansion than with your famous friends? The Obamas held one last bash at the White House earlier this month, with a bunch of celebrities who have supported the administration throughout their tenure. Guests weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the party that lasted until 4am, so all the available photos are from the outside, or in performer Solange’s case, during soundcheck. Among those who danced alongside Barry and Michelle were Amal and George Clooney, Robert De Niro, Nick Jonas, Kelly Rowland, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde, Chance the Rapper, Jay Pharoah, Usher and Billy Eichner. AND MORE.

Finally, cry your eyes out as you watch celebrities thank the Obamas for their years of service.

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