Pat Cooper

My 5 Minutes with the President

Comedy legend Pat Cooper burst into the public arena in 1963 with his appearance on “The Jackie Gleason Show,” where he established his reputation as a brash, flippant comedian, making brutally honest observations about the world around him.

Pat has performed in prestigious venues, including the Copacabana, Westbury Music Theater, Trump Castle, Caesar’s Palace and the MGM Grand Hotel, among others. He has also shared his comedic commentary regularly on talk shows including “The Howard Stern Show,” “Live With Regis and Kathie Lee” and “The Late Show With David Letterman.”

Pat’s memoir, Pat Cooper: How Dare You Say How Dare Me! is on sale in bookstores today. 

ROBIN BRONK: If you had five minutes in the Oval Office with President Obama, what would you discuss with him? What issue would you like him to know about? 

PAT COOPER: I’d tell him, “Mr. President, stop sending our people away to fight in foreign lands!” I think that game’s gotta be over, no more of that.

RB: If you could give President Obama one piece of advice, what would that be? 

PC: Stop being so nice to everybody! If Germany or Japan had beaten us back in World War II, you think they would’ve left us to our baseball-playing and apple pie?

RB: If you could ask President Obama one question, what would that be?

PC: Why is Wall Street still being allowed to tear down the country—and who the hell is Snooki?!

RB: What book would you offer to lend President Obama? Why? 

PC: Read anything on Abraham Lincoln. He had the toughest job of all our presidents, but he still brought us together — Obama should try to do the same.

RB: If you were going to send the president to one place in the world for one day, where would that be? Why?

PC: Walk on any of the streets in this country, Mr. President, and ask people why they don’t have things so you can actually hear their answers. Believe me, this guy’s got the toughest job in the world — that’s why his hair went gray in the first hundred days.

RB: Who would you like to see as a candidate for this presidential election? Why?

PC: Me! Because I’d be the first Italian-American president of the United States — and the loudest!

Robin Bronk is CEO of The Creative Coalition — the leading national, nonprofit, nonpartisan public advocacy organization of the entertainment industry. Bronk is a frequent speaker on the role of the entertainment industry in public advocacy campaigns and represents The Creative Coalition and its legislative agenda before Members of Congress and the White House. She produced the feature film “Poliwood,” airing on Showtime, and edited the recently published book Art & Soul. Bronk pens this weekly column with assistance from Risa Kotek.