President Obama loves Beyonce, 'SNL'

John Legend’s hand-held camera footage of the scene backstage at last weekend’s inaugural concert starts off strong enough, capturing a whole gaggle of megastars kidding around, then excitedly greeting the Obama and Biden families. But the video vaults to a whole other level just after the 6:45 mark, when the Obamas bump into Beyonce. Check out the exchange below. The sound is a little muffled, but the transcript goes something like this…

Michelle Obama: "Mr. President, you didn’t tell Beyonce about ‘Single Ladies’? Your rendition?"
Barack Obama: [chuckles] "Oh! I’m not like Justin. I didn’t put on the outfit. But I didn’t want my girls thinking that I couldn’t, you know…I got a lil’ something."

And then the President of the United States does the Sasha Fierce hand-twirl move from the "Single Ladies" video! (That’d be Step No. 6 in our definitive "Single Ladies" dance tutorial.) Un. Real. It’s over quickly, but President Obama’s little "if you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it" gesture certainly beats all the other "Single Ladies" YouTube tributes out there, wouldn’t you say? And how amazing is it that the leader of the free world clearly knows all about Justin Timberlake’s "Single Ladies" parody skit from Saturday Night Live?! This is sooooo much cooler than that time last year when Mitt Romney attempted to sing "Who Let the Dogs Out."

More on the pop-culture fan in chief:
Cover Story: Barack Obama, President Rock Star
EW Gallery: The Great Presidential Pop-Culture Debate ’08
Obama’s iPod: Analyzing the presidential playlist
‘DWTS’ recap: Barack and Michelle attempt the foxtrot
Freedom rings! (From the pores of Aretha Franklin’s enormous bow/hat)

UPDATE: EW’s Sean Smith points me toward a very appropriate Obama impersonator clip. I believe that guy just got officially outdone, but it still made me laugh.

Comments (33 total) Add your comment
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  • Elena

    This makes my life. Regardless of Obama’s policies or stances on political things, he’s officially the coolest person in America. When did Bush ever know anything about pop culture? (I just had the mental image of George Bush dancing to “Single Ladies.” Wow…)

  • laura

    Very. Cool. Indeed.
    What is so much cooler is the video of a backstage where Obama was talking about a $5 bet he had with Malia over the Jonas Brothers … funny!

  • anne

    I enjoyed this as well for a couple different reasons: 1) It’s funny/nice/interesting to see these huge stars so giddy and humbled at meeting Obama (a little reality check would do a lot of celebrities good) and 2) He reminds me of my dad (who is a party-line Republican). He too loves pop culture stuff and always tries to keep up with his kids, but can never live the fact down that at the end of the day he is our dad and therefore just not as cool as he wants/tries to be. With that said, I think Obama is way cool. I’ll reserve judgement (for now) on whether he will be successful or not in his current position of power.

  • walter commonwood

    How absolutely brilliant to bring the average citizen behind the scenes to see just how down to earth all of these great entertainers and politicians are. I finally feel connected. Thanks.

  • Amy

    Just when I thought I couldn’t love him any more…. Love it.

  • Anonymous

    Liked the DNC/Jonas Bros. thing better, but it was interesting seeing the performers act like kids waiting in line for lunch.

  • Lynny

    Amy- you took the words out of my mouth!

  • Greg

    I thought it was neat to see all the celebrities interacting, and it’s definitely cool to see how in touch Obama is … but isn’t insulting to black people for him to “homey up” the way he speaks when he talks to them? It seems affected and disingenuous.

  • film4future

    Fantastic! As everyone has said, it’s great to see the stars getting star-struck. We officially have the coolest and funniest president.

  • Drayton

    I know what I’m about to say is completely forbidden in the realm of liberals and their journalism, but listen up and here’s the truth:
    Look at Biden at the 9:40 mark. He stares into the camera and continues to do so until Legend tells him it’s not a flash camera. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s completely human. But had President Bush or VP Cheney done the same thing, it would have been plastered among late-night shows and been incessantly mocked. Don’t tell me that’s not the truth.

  • Shasta

    To Greg: You say Obama “homeys up” when he’s talking to black people. Switching up the way he talks to different people isn’t patronizing. Is this any different than when my Southern drawl comes out when I talk to other Southerners? I normally don’t have a noticeable accent. Does that mean I think other Southerners are stupid? It’s a way of being familiar and comfortable. Oprah does the same thing sometimes. Heck, Hilary Clinton and Palin and probably most politicians do the same thing. But because these are African-Americans, it’s supposed to be demeaning somehow?? Dude is the coolest President of all time…ever.

  • nunnya

    OMG, I am so over this.

  • wand3rful

    the biden segment was my favorite…i couldnt stop laughing. how the H was he supposed to know the camera was recording and not taking a still pic? its embarassing bc it could happen to anyone….dont worry Drayton, im sure it will circulate over the net soon enough :)

  • Ruby

    Greg, you know, I don’t agree with you completely. I mean, the guy is half black, so I don’t think him “homeying it up” (which I agree he is def doing) is talking down to them, but is relating to them. Besides, he’d be critcized if he was too “white washed.” It’s a fine line for him, but I think it’s genuine and unconsciously done. That said, I also agree with anne. I’ll hold my judgment until I see how things play out.

  • jobrobamagurl

    So adorable. I liked the JB one too…the cutest thing about the DNC/JoBros thing was that I first found it because the band favorited it on their YouTube Channel way arse back in early November! With all the awesomeness in the US now interconnected…how can things not improve?!

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