The season premiere of Black-ish, “That’s What Friends Are For,” featured one very exclusive guest star: Michelle Obama. The episode that aired Tuesday, January 4, kicked off the ABC sitcom’s final season, and the former first lady appeared as herself in the series.
During the episode, Andre (Anthony Anderson) and Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross) attend a fundraising dinner for When We All Vote, an organization founded by the former first lady to increase voter registration and participation in elections. At the dinner, the guests are surprised by an appearance from none other than Michelle Obama herself. Ultimately, she joins the Johnson family for dinner at their home. Although Bow and Dre try to ban the rest of the family from their exclusive social gathering, naturally the entire squad does their best to impress the Becoming author (and try to grab a few selfies in the process).
During their time hanging out with her, Andre and Bow also joke with Obama about raising teenaged girls. She says, “When our girls were that age, you should have seen how they rolled their eyes, especially at their father.”
Ross said in an interview with WSJ Magazine that she personally reached out to the former first lady about appearing on the show.
“It was wonderful,” she said about filming with Obama. “She and I are friends. It was a phone call I made. We got to do really important subject matter that’s mixed in with fun, so it’s receivable.
“We had a ball,” Ross described. “It felt really fun to show off what a well-oiled machine our show is… It felt really fun to welcome someone so special who’s been so important in our world, in our culture, in the kinds of stories we told on Black-ish.”
The eight-season series wraps up this year; “That’s What Friends Are For” was the first of its final 13 episodes.