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Former Tonight Show writer Diallo Riddle says Barack Obama could have been a comedian if he’d wanted to


Comedy CentralWith just weeks away from the launch of his two new series, Comedy Central’s South Side and the IFC sketch comedy Sherman’s Showcase, Diallo Riddle has a busy summer ahead of him.

However, as Riddle stops and reflects on some of his career accomplishments–including being one of the five writers for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon— the writer-actor recalls the time he had the amazing honor to work with former President Barack Obama in 2016 on Fallon’s “Slow Jam the News with President Obama.”

“Regardless of your politics–there is such a thing as objective truth,” Diallo tells ABC Radio. “The objective truth is that Barack had amazing comedic timing. Like the man could have been a comedian if he’d wanted to.”

“Thank God he wasn’t,” Riddle adds, laughing. “We needed him where he ended up.”

According to Riddle, Obama wasn’t you’re average stuffy politician when it came to poking fun at himself.

“He came in and usually we had to like work with the guests and like get them to understand, ‘Okay, well here’s the joke sir.’ And all that kind of stuff,” he said. “With Barack it was nothing like that. He said it. He nailed it the very first time. Jimmy was like ‘Do you want to run again?'”

Riddle continues, “He was like, ‘Nope. I’ve got it.’ And that was it. And we got out there and we did it. And like, I’ve rarely worked with anybody comedian or President regardless who got it as quickly as him. Like he was just [an] outstanding individual.”

Riddle’s South Side on Comedy Central airs July 25. Sherman’s Showcase air July 31 on IFC.

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