Obama on Colbert

Which president was the first to appear on a comedy show?

When President Barack Obama appeared on The Colbert Report last week — as part of the countdown to the show’s being shuttered on December 18 — some groused that he shouldn’t have.

Certainly, Obama has set a record when it comes to connecting with popular culture through niche television shows.

But who was the first president to appear on a comedy show? (Hint: it was a Republican.) The first to appear on cable entertainment? (Hint: it was a Democrat. Both were candidates for the office at the time.)

For the answers to these questions — as well as which president was the first to broadcast a press conference from the White House and who was the first to record campaign speeches for the masses — check out my story at Medium:

Politicians, campaigns and popular culture

The mass media journey from wax recordings to The Colbert Report leads directly to our internal conflict over governance.

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