As President Obama prepares to leave the White House on Friday and President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office, some of Obama’s celebrity admirers have shared what they will miss most about his presidency.
In anecdotes shared with the Hollywood Reporter, celebrities including Jerry Seinfeld, Zach Galifianakis, Kal Penn, Judd Apatow, Jay Duplass and Sterling K. Brown praised President Obama’s leadership, while some expressed hope that Trump could learn from his predecessor.
“I will miss our president’s intelligence and his sincere wish to do a good job for the American people,” said Apatow, director of comedies including Knocked Up and This Is 40. “He is not a selfish person. He does not need a gold elevator to be happy. I think we all appreciate how lucky we were to have such a kind, thoughtful person lead our country through some very difficult years.”
Seinfeld, who hosted Obama on his hit series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, said his favorite moment was when he shared a joke with the president.
“My favorite moment was when I said to him, ‘When I call you, you answer the phone, “White House,” he said. “I’ll say, ‘I’d like to speak with the president, please,’ and then you say, ‘Speaking.’ He thought that was a great joke and so we started with that.”
Brown, the star of the hit NBC series This Is Us, called Obama “one of the most charismatic presidents we’ve ever had,” while Galifianakis, who met the president when he appeared on his Funny or Die series Between Two Ferns, said his “civility will be dearly missed.”
Other stars weighing in with their final thoughts about Obama’s presidency include Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, Southside With You producer Tracey Bing, Underground actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos.
The tributes to Obama come as other celebrities wished the president an emotional farewell in a video last week. Celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Jordan, Tom Hanks and Samuel L. Jackson wished Obama the best in a video clip shared by the White House.
Read all of the celebrity tributes to Obama at the Hollywood Reporter.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum