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Whether you liked Barack Obama or not, you can probably agree that at least he was a president who could open his mouth without the majority of our nation cringing in fear. Part of Obamaā€™s appeal was his sense of humor, which, unlike our current presidentā€™s, didnā€™t revel in the grabbing of pussies or the murder of anthropomorphized media outlets. Granted, itā€™s not like Obama wrote his own jokes; instead, that was done by people like Crooked Mediaā€™s Jon Lovett and David Litt, the latter of whom recently released a new memoir,Ā Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years.

Vulture just shared an excerpt from that book detailing Littā€™s efforts in writing gut-busters for Obama, namely those for the 2011 White House Correspondentsā€™ Dinner, and it contains plenty of amusing, behind-the-scenes insights. For example, in the midst of Littā€™s experience culling humor from hot mic faux pas and revelations of dog eating, he watched Obama come this close to telling a dick joke.

Jon Lovett returned from Los Angeles for the dinner that year, and on the morning of April 29, he, Favs, and I did one final run-through in the Oval. By now the script was nearly final. In fact, we had only one new line to run by President Obama. During a recent speech, Vice President Biden had remarked that POTUS had a ā€œbig stick.ā€ He was referring to foreign policy, but his hand gesture was, to put it mildly, undiplomatic. Jeff Nussbaum pounced.

ā€œLetā€™s just put it this way,ā€ read his joke. ā€œDreams arenā€™t the only thing I got from my father.ā€

POTUS laughed so loudly that I secretly hoped he would add the line to the script. But this was an election year; a presidential dick joke was a bridge too far.


One thingā€™s for sure: Diamond Joe wouldā€™ve loved it.