President Barack Obama, approaching the twilight of his days as president #44, turned on the charm - and shade - on The Tonight Show. Though the show was taped Wednesday (June 8), his appearance aired just hours after he formally endorsed Hillary Clinton, which made this the first of many shots fired on her behalf.
This was also Obama's first appearance on the Tonight Show since Jimmy Fallon become host, although the two have a long history that includes Obama's epic "slow jamming" the news in 2012, a segment revived on Thursday's episode. This wasn't totally a time for goofing off though, as Fallon's questions mostly prompted serious, weighty responses from the man we know has a wicked and sly sense of humor. Here, some of his best responses, and the shade lurking underneath.
#1: Democrats, he said, "want the Republican nominee to be somebody who could do the job if they win. And you want folks who understand the issues."
The shade decoded: The Republican nominee — who I'm not going to bother mentioning by name — can't do the job and doesn't understand the issues.
#2: "I am actually not enjoying, and I haven't been enjoying over the last seven years, watching some of the things that have happened in the Republican Party. Because there's some good people in the Republican Party. There are wonderful Republicans out in the country who want what's best for the country and may disagree with me on some things but are good, decent people."
The shade decoded: They're a complete and hot mess. And by the way, I'm President. Deal.
#3: "...what's happened in that party, culminating in this current nomination, I think is not actually good for the country as a whole. It's not something Democrats should wish for."
The shade decoded: This is literally such a s--- show not even your sworn enemies want to watch it go down.
#4: When Fallon asked if Trump called him for advice, Obama said, "No. He hasn't," in a cool, matter-of-fact way.
The shade decoded: Ha! I wish he would.
The show aired hours after Obama met with Bernie Sanders at the White House, in what's widely speculated to be Obama's attempt to get Sanders to concede and back Clinton.
#5: Sanders, he said, had "enormous energy" and "new ideas" that "made Hillary a better candidate."
The shade decoded: Thanks Bernie! That'll be all.
#6: It was a mostly serious conversation, although Obama got in an outright jab when Fallon asked if Republicans are happy with their nominee. "We are...," the Prez said. "I don't know how they're feeling."
The shade decoded: Actually, this one doesn't even need decoding — it's just a another mic drop.