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Reuters/Phil McCarten
Obama has given Maher nearly eight years of talking to himself.
SWAN SONG

Bill Maher is about to interview the most candid version of Barack Obama

By Aimee Groth

Comedian Bill Maher finally got his birthday wish. US president Barack Obama will appear on his HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher on Nov. 4, four days before the presidential election. Last January for his 60th birthday, Maher called on Obama to finally grant him an interview on his television show, which resulted in a petition to the White House that garnered some 320,000 signatures.

“Before he leaves office, I want to get President Obama on this show,” Maher said to applause. “And let’s just say our invitation has gotten lost in the mail for seven years—which would be OK except for the fact that in that time this president has done virtually every other show in the known universe. And I don’t just mean other comedians’ shows, and other opinion-givers’ shows,” he continued. “I mean Mr. President you’ve done everything but ultimate fighting and amateur porn.”

The White House’s We The People website, which vows to respond to any petition that gathers more than 100,000 signatures in 30 days, had initially politely declined, saying it would keep an appearance on Maher’s show under consideration. In later agreeing to the interview, the White House said the 320,000 signatures came in at “an unbelievable rate.”

The nearly eight-year delay may prove worth the wait for Maher. Obama has been savoring the spotlight as his last days as president draw near, and getting funnier and looser about his election banter in the process. He’s polished up his job interview skills with Stephen Colbert, counseled his former self on how to be president on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show, and talked halloween costumes with Samantha Bee. Most recently, he threw shade at Donald Trump on Jimmy Kimmel Live for an insulting tweet. Four days before a highly contentious election, fans are expecting Obama to really tell it like it is.