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Michelle Obama says things she could never say as First Lady on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Michelle Obama, Jimmy Kimmel
Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Former First Lady, best-selling author, and person who claims she is never, ever running for public office (ever), Michelle Obama stopped by for an extra-long appearance on Thursday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! And while she was predictably charming, funny, and intelligent (look, she’s not running, and that’s final), host Kimmel couldn’t help but try to push the now private citizen into letting loose with some stuff she wouldn’t have said while living in the White House. (Which she has no—repeat, no—plans to return to in any official, elected capacity, so just cool it.)

Kimmel wasn’t actually all that successful in getting Obama to dish much dirt, as she demurred on the idea that she’d ever had to send her husband signals about which staffer to fire. (Hey, remember when a presidential administration didn’t have the scandal-plagued employee turnover of a 24-hour convenience store out by the dog track?) Obama did note that First Families do have to pay for all their own groceries while living on the taxpayer’s dime, which seems fair and is certainly not something the current occupant of the White House is dodging in any way.


And, sure, Mrs. Obama did confess that, like Kimmel’s staff, she and her husband do watch the news while playing the mental game “What if Obama had done this?” (You know, like, “What if Obama had skipped a ceremony honoring American war dead on Veterans Day and sat in his hotel eating room service and watching Fox News because it was a little drizzly?” Just speculating.) And, Kimmel being Kimmel, good sport Obama also gamely read out some prepared statements that she’d supposedly been holding back all those years when she and her husband weren’t making the nation a global laughingstock. They were all pretty innocuous. (The Obama’s used Laura Bush’s Netflix password all eight years, that sort of thing.) It was a little shocking when Obama tossed away Kimmel’s index card and asked, “Hey remember when I wore a dress without sleeves and you all lost your damn minds but you fall all over yourselves excusing the former nude model third wife of a serial adulterer for scrawling ‘I don’t really care, do you?’ on her designer jacket while visiting some of the children her husband put in cages?” Okay, Mrs. Obama did not say any of that. But c’mon.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.