Michelle Obama has been on several talk shows this week promoting her new book, “Becoming,” including Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Ellen and Oprah. She also appeared on CBS This Morning, NBC News and Today, being interviewed by none other than Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of George W. Bush.
Obama, 54, kicked off her book tour by chatting with the queen of talk shows herself, Oprah Winfrey. The powerful duo talked in front of an audience in Chicago at the United Center on Tuesday, in which Winfrey revealed why she selected the former First Lady’s memoir as her latest book club pick.
“From the first page of this book until the last, you did it. You brought it,” Winfrey said. “You opened yourself up. You allowed us to see in and let us experience the fullness of you in a way that I don’t think anybody has ever done before. Particularly, who has been in the White House.”
On Kimmel, Obama revealed that although the rent and staff are free for the First Family, they still have to pay for their own meals.
“You know, we shouldn’t be mooching off the taxpayers, but it’s a little shocking because nobody tells you this stuff,” she said. “They let you get whatever you want. Like if you say you want, Some exotic fruit—’ ‘Yes mam we’ll get that right away.” And then we’ll get the bill for a peach and it’s like, ‘That was a $500 peach.’”
Obama also participated in a silly bit on Kimmel in which she said things the comedian had written down for her that he presumed she could never say when she was still First Lady, including, “I’ve never eaten a vegetable,” “The whole eight years we were in the White House, we used Laura Bush’s Netflix password,” “I’m not sure which one’s Sasha and which one’s Malia,” “I stole the phrase, ‘When they go low, we go high,’ from the back of a Snapple cap,” “Barry, be quiet and hold my purse,” and “Clooney is my freebie.”
In several of her interviews, Obama talked about how she and her husband just wanted to make life as normal as possible for their two young daughters, Sasha, 17, and Malia, 20, who were 7 and 10 respectively when they first moved into the White House in 2009.
“They were young and we were questioning, ‘How do we keep them grounded?’ And the first thing we thought thing we thought of is, “You know, when we’re having pancakes in the morning, it’s just crazy to have a man in a tuxedo come in,” Obama said to Winfrey. “So we canceled the tuxedos. It’s like ‘Yo, take those tuxedos off, wear some polo shirts some slacks.’ Unless we did something formal. We just loosened it up a bit.”
On Ellen, she talked about how a security detail ended up following Malia Obama to prom.
“And they get in the car, and they go off, and then like three cars follow,” Obama said. “It’s like them and then three cars with men with guns. And Barack was like, ‘This makes running for a second term all worthwhile. My daughter is being followed by men with guns to prom.’”
They also showed a skit similar to the one Ellen and Obama filmed shopping at CVS in 2016, which has garnered over 40 million views on YouTube so far. In this bit, Ellen constantly tried to interrupt Obama as she was signing books for fans by asking for foot fungus for her over a microphone, reading fake passages of her book that sounded like salacious love scenes and constantly talked over people when they were explaining how to tell spell their names.
“You don’t have to be polite,” Obama said to a lady who was being nice about Ellen being “rude” to her.
Ellen also gave a touching tribute to Obama while she was sitting on her stage, showing clips of her impressive accomplishments over her eight years as First Lady, to which she received a standing ovation from the audience.
“I hope you know what an amazing impact that you’ve had on this country and all over the world as First Lady, as just a human being that we look up too,” Ellen said. “You inspire all of us.”