Friday, February 21, 2014

Michelle Obama Promotes Let's Move! Campaign On 'Tonight Show' With Fallon And Will Ferrell

Mrs. Obama snuggles with "Sara" and "Stacey" in "Ew!"
Ew! - Celebrating the campaign's fourth anniversary, the First Lady shows off her comic chops in a skit as she joins Fallon during his debut week...
New York, NY -- First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the fourth anniversary celebration for her Let's Move! campaign on Thursday with an appearance on The Tonight Show, joining newly minted host Jimmy Fallon in his Rockefeller Center studio.  A steadfast soldier in Mrs. Obama's war on child obesity, the comic helped the First Lady celebrate  her second and third campaign anniversaries, too. 

This year's appearance, filmed earlier on Thursday, featured a skit with Will Ferrell before Mrs. Obama sat down to discuss Let's Move! and the Affordable Care Act.

Fallon has a running gag in which he spoofs a teen TV show titled Ew!, and Mrs. Obama joined the two drag-clad comics, playing "Sara" and "Stacy," to teach them about Let's Move!.  Exercising and eating healthy food isn't so "ew!," Mrs. Obama advised, noting that dancing is swell for the heart, and offering the "girls" a bowl of kale chips. 

Fallon and Mrs. Obama's video for last year's Let's Move! anniversary, Evolution of Mom Dancing, has now had about 17.2 million views on YouTube.  Clips from the video are used extensively by the White House to promote Mrs. Obama's campaign.

The Ew! skit obviously required some measure of rehearsal, and it's unclear when that occurred: Earlier on Thursday Mrs. Obama visited the New Museum in the Bowery to tour an art exhibit devoted to her Drink Up campaign and she also attended a Democratic National Committee fundraiser.  

The skit may have been pre-filmed at the White House, since it took place on a set designed to look like a living room.  In 2012, Fallon filmed with Mrs. Obama at the White House, and in 2013, she appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

FLOTUS and Fallon, mid-interview
Discussing Let's Move! and Health Care...
After the skit was aired, Mrs. Obama came onstage to join Fallon to cheers and applause from his studio audience.  She was chic in a black silk outfit, wearing a sleeveless top with palazzo pants, a wide black belt, and large gemstone earrings as she discussed Let's Move! and the Affordable Care Act.  She also joked about President Barack Obama's cooking and her eldest daughter turning 16 and getting a driver's license.

Earlier in the day Mrs. Obama launched a video challenge devoted to the campaign anniversary, asking Americans to share their Let's Move! stories on social media to demonstrate the "new norm" inspired by four years of her campaign.  If there's enough of a response, there will be a "surprise" involving President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, Mrs. Obama said.

"One of the things we've realized over four years is there's a new norm going on," Mrs. Obama told Fallon.  

"Y'know, when we took this issue over there were a lot of people who were critical, that you couldn't really talk about obesity, that it might not be an issue.  But now over the past four years communities have been changing so the day of a child's life is different from beginning to end."

"Daycare centers are changing what they feed kids, getting them up and moving, schools have new lunch standards, after school programs are getting kids engaged so I can see some of these things...but I can't see everything."

"So what we're asking people to do is show us how you're moving.  And we want people to Facebook it, Instagram it...I want to see how people are changing the standards."
  If enough people participate with the #LetsMove project, Mrs. Obama said, her husband and Biden will show off their own moves.

"The fun thing is...if we get enough of a response the President--and maybe the Vice President--will show us how they move," Mrs. Obama said.  

"I got a little pull," Mrs. Obama said. "I'm like yo, yo, this my thing...Yo babe, hook me up," she joked about convincing the President to show off his moves.

Pivoting to the Affordable Care Act, Fallon lobbed easy balls into Mrs. Obama's promotional court so she could explain the system.  

The White House needs people ages 18-28, the so-called Young Invincibles, to purchase insurance in order to fund the higher-risk pools.  "Do you want to tell me why young people should sign up?" said Fallon, adding that "a lot of young people watch my show."

Dubbing the younger generation "knuckleheads," Mrs. Obama declared them much in need of insurance, saying their mothers will feel better if they know their grown kids are covered.

"A lot of young people think they’re invincible," Mrs. Obama said.  "But the truth is young people are knuckleheads. They’re the ones who are cooking for the first time and slice their finger open. They’re dancing on the bar stool."***Update below***

Insurance plans can be had for "as low as" $50 month, "less than the cost of gym shoes," Mrs. Obama said.

Fallon advised his viewers to check out  "That's the website if you haven't read about it," he quipped, referencing the months-long trouble with launching the online portal.

"It's working!" Mrs. Obama said, brightly.

Life at the White House:  Can the President cook?
Turning to life at the White House, Fallon asked "can the President cook?"

"Yeah, he can, actually," Mrs. Obama said.  "He doesn't.  He claims--'yeah I can cook'...but he's cooked like five times for me." 

Asked by Fallon what was the first meal she ever cooked by herself, Mrs. Obama said it was hard to remember, since she's now 50.

"I'm sure it was some pasta dish--not Ramen noodles...I actually boiled some pasta," she said.  "I'm 50,  I'm old, so I can't remember....mac and cheese.  A mac and cheese casserole is pretty easy."

Fallon also asked about Mrs. Obama's first job and her first school dance.

Mrs. Obama also discussed her two daughters' "normal life," saying Malia turns 16 this July, and at some point will get her driver's license. 

Both girls "have to be able to function as normal people," when "we're outta here in a few years," Mrs. Obama said, so Malia will be learning to drive.  The First Lady issued a warning: "Ladies and gentlemen of DC, watch out because Malia is driving!"

Mrs. Obama will continue celebrating the Let's Move! anniversary next week.  CLICK HERE for her schedule.



Above the fold on Drudge Report on Friday
*Update, Friday, Feb. 21: By Friday morning there was a firestorm brewing over Mrs. Obama declaring young adults "knuckleheads," which included protests on social media and national headlines.  A photo of Mrs. Obama and Fallon appeared above the fold on Drudge Report, with the headline reading "DC Safe Zone On New 'Tonight Show.'" Fallon was castigated by critics for being a "puppet" serving the Democratic party, with a sub headline on Drudge reading "Jimmy Fallon, Democratic Political Asset."


*Photos and videos courtesy of The Tonight Show/NBC