Two Top 10 Lists as to Why Obama Agreed to be on Letterman; Can You Spot the Real One?

Sep 22, 2009  •  Post A Comment

As we scoured the Internet this morning to bring you these news items, we actually found two top 10 lists relating to President Obama’s appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman" Monday night. And, both address the same question: Top 10 reasons Obama agreed to appear on the show.  One is the list that Dave actually read on the show, the other is not. Can you tell which is which? We’ll tell you after you read them:

Top 10 reasons President Obama agreed to appear on "The Late Show":
10) Heard the lady with the heart-shaped potato was going to be here
9) Thought it would be fun to watch someone else get heckled
8) Has something to do with that whole “cash for clunkers” thing
7) Every President since Teddy Roosevelt has been here
6) In this economy, someone offers you $600, you take it
5) We told him Megan Fox would be here
4) Needed a place to hang out until check-in time at his hotel
3) Honestly, I have no idea
2) Said, “Yes” without thinking…like Bush did with Iraq
1) Wanted to congratulate Dave on the big Emmy win

Top 10 reasons President Obama agreed to appear on "The Late Show":
10) He can appear on his 969th TV show of the weekend, a new record

9) He can pull the "fake-snake-in-the-can" trick on Letterman and see how the host’s once-clogged heart is working
8) Letterman can ask some really tough questions: "How was the lunch at Il Mulino on Monday?
7) He can try a few jokes out on Letterman, while preparing for his really important appearance next week on "Oprah"
6) He might get in a few digs at Sarah Palin
5) Letterman gets a chance to show he can make fun of politicians — just like Jon Stewart
4) CBS gets a nice lift in late-night ratings, can boost its advertising rate and thus boost the economy so….
3) He can repeat his new claim that, under his administration, the economic crisis is almost over
2) The president has the opportunity to trot out his new slogan: "Yes, we can — with enough taxpayer money"
1) The president will finally get a chance to talk about health care reform, a little-noticed topic of his first few months in office

The answer is that the top list was written by Letterman and his staff and was read on the show Monday night.

The bottom list is by Yael T. Abouhalkah, an editorial page columnist for the Kansas City Star, and actually appeared in that paper last week on Sept. 15. Nice job, Yael. Perhaps Dave’s got an opening for you on his writing staff…

To read about other highlights of Obama’s appearance on Letterman, here’s a good account from the Washington Post.

–Chuck Ross


  1. Not that hard, actually. One is funny, and the other is trying to make the writer’s points.

  2. The first list is tightly written comedy. The second is someone trying to be funny.

  3. I guess this is an example demonstrating why the several “conservative” attempts at comedy TV shows have failed: they don’t understand humor. Some of the lines don’t even try; they’re simply Conservative whines (see #6).
    Your cheering it on is suspect. I don’t much mind that you’re making your column political but at least demonstrate you have the taste to deserve the column.

  4. Forget politics – that second one is totally not funny. We can all laugh at humor we don’t agree with – that guy should definitely stick to his day job.

  5. Letterman has the best writers on television. His stuff is far better than any of the other late-nighters and his top ten lists are usually right on the money. He is not the best interviewer around but the first half hour of his show is usually excellent!

  6. [… – http://www.tvweek.com is other good website of tips. Online Car insurance claims [… –

  7. It’s Obama’s first appearance on the show as president, and the first-ever appearance on the “Late Show” by a sitting president. For more top ten lists please visit @ http://topweblists.com/

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