President Barack Obama has made a final appearance on television’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, joking with the outgoing host about his looming retirement and the messiness of the Middle East.
The politically savvy comic will host his final show on August 6, after a decade-and-a-half in the job.
In 2010, Obama became the first sitting president to appear, and on Tuesday marked his third appearance since entering the White House.
Obama has been on the show seven times in total.
“I cannot believe you are leaving before me,” Obama said, joking that he would issue an executive order to stop Stewart from leaving.
“It’s being challenged in the courts,” he added, a wry reference to his repeated legal battles with Republican rivals.
Stewart joked: “It’s a states’ rights issue.”
When Obama made a first pitch for his diplomacy with Iran, Stewart saw an opening, asking “whose team are we on in the Middle East?” before laying out the amalgam of alliances and enmities that crisscross the region.
“That’s not quite right,” Obama joked, “but that’s okay,” before Stewart interrupted: “Who are we bombing?”
Obama went back repeatedly to the issue of Iran, using Stewart’s vast audience to make his pitch.
“I really want people to pay attention to this issue,” Obama said, urging citizens to engage by contacting their members of congress.
“If people are engaged, eventually the political system responds,” he said.
Stewart shot back: “Is that the advice that you then bequeath to future President Trump?”
Obama said he was sure the Republicans were enjoying the real estate mogul’s often controversial candidature.
“Anything that makes them look less crazy,” said Stewart.
Stewart will be replaced by South African comic Trevor Noah.