Will Durst

My 5 Minutes with the President

Five-time Emmy-nominated comedian Will Durst is one of our nation’s top political satirists. A popular guest on political talk shows, Will frequents Air America, CNN and NPR and has been named C-SPAN’s favorite comic. He shares his witty political commentary not only through live shows, but via op-ed pieces and blogs.

Durst will be performing live in Washington the first week of May at the Comedy Riot Act Theatre.

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?  

WILL DURST: I would probably ask him to show me where he goes when he needs to be entirely alone. Where’s your smoke hole? The issue I would impress upon him is my spearhead movement to bring back “Calvin & Hobbes.” 

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

WD: Fire somebody. Ax. Can. Dump. Sack. Ditch. Pink-slip. Eighty-six. Discharge. Downsize. Ease out. Furlough. Lay off. Outsource. Unassign. Make redundant. Give the boot. Show the door. Administer a bum’s rush. Hand someone their marching orders. Terminate with extreme prejudice. Release on their own recognizance. Assist in an accelerated career-development shift. Impose a synergy-related headcount restructuring. And do it loudly. 

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

WD: Two things. 1: Your political career has been noted by a certain amount of providence. In getting elected to the Illinois Legislature; when two Republicans dropped out of the Illinois U.S. Senate race; and when John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his VP candidate. Is it luck? Or just clean living? 

And 2: When you were preparing to debate McCain, did your team ever discuss contingency plans for what to do in case he just fell right over? 

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

WD: No. No. You got this wrong. It is I who would ask the president to lend me a book. And then I would be tardy to bring it back. And insist on paying a late fee. And then just wander around the joint looking for the librarian. 

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

WD: To the Midnight Bunny Ranch under the cloak of night. Because I want my president relaxed. I don’t want some over-stressed caffeinated finger hovering over the nuclear button. 

RB: Would you ever consider a political career?

WD: Actually I did run for mayor of San Francisco in 1987. Came in fourth out of 11. Got 2 percent of the vote. Spent $1,500. The three guys who beat me all spent over a million dollars apiece. So on a dollar-per-vote basis, I am mayor of San Francisco. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

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.