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Top Obama moments on David Letterman since 2004

President Obama isn't just the first black president. He was the first sitting president to appear on late-night television, and has been a frequent guest on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman."

Mr. Obama has clocked three appearances during his time in the White House, and appeared one last time Monday night, before Letterman retires May 20. He was also on the show five times while he was still the junior senator from Illinois before he became president.

Here are the highlights from some of the president's appearances on Letterman's show over the years.

May 4, 2015

President Obama tapes an appearance on the 'Late Show with David Letterman' in New York on May 4, 2015. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

On his eighth and final appearance on the "Late Show with David Letterman," President Obama did not read a "Top 10" list, as he has in the past.

Letterman - as he has in other interviews with the president - brought up news before humor. He asked Mr. Obama about the ongoing protests in Baltimore and the state of race relations in America.

Asked what he would do after he left office, the president quipped, "I was thinking you and me, we could play some dominoes together, go to the local Starbucks, swap stories."

Letterman, however, will get a little more time to practice his dominoes game, since he leaves his show before the president leaves office, so at the end, he told the longtime late night host that America had grown up with him, and he thanked Letterman for his years of being there for the country "to give us a little bit of joy, a little bit of laughter. It has meant so much. You're a part of all of us."

September 18, 2012

President Obama and David Letterman speak during a break in the taping of the "Late Show with David Letterman" at the Ed Sullivan Theater on September 18, 2012 in New York, New York. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages

Obama's September 2012 appearance on "Letterman" was the first time he publicly responded to a secretly taped video of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney describing "47 percent of the people" as Obama supporters who depend on government and believe they are victims.

"My expectation is that if you want to be president, you gotta work for everyone, not just for some," the president said.

"You don't meet anybody who doesn't believe in the American dream and the fact that nobody is entitled to success [and] that you've got to work hard. And so, I promise you, there are not a lot of people out there who think they're victims," he added. "There are not a lot of people who think that they're entitled to something. What I think the majority of people, Democrats and Republicans, believe is that we've got some obligations to each other, and there's nothing wrong with us giving each other a helping hand."

September 21, 2009

President Obama jokes with David Letterman during a taping of the "Late Show with David Letterman" in New York on September 21, 2009. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

In the second-ever iteration of a sitting president appearing on Letterman (President Obama also appeared on The Tonight Show in March 2009), the president famously said, "I think it's important to realize that I was actually black before the election."

He was responding to a question from Letterman about the vitriol that was being shown at town hall meetings across the country and a comment from former President Jimmy Carter that one congressman's outburst during President Obama's speech to Congress was "based on racism."

"How long have you been a black man?" Letterman responded as the audience laughed at Mr. Obama's remarks.

"The American people, I think, gave me this extraordinary honor, and that tells you I think a lot about where the country's at," Mr. Obama said. "I actually think that's what happened is whenever a president tries to bring about significant changes, particularly during times of economic unease then there is a certain segment of the population that gets very riled up."

Former President Franklin Roosevelt, for instance, was called a socialist and a communist, Mr. Obama said.

September 10, 2008

Presidential candidate and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama departs the Ed Sullivan Theatre following a taping of the 'Late Show with David Letterman' at the Ed Sullivan Theatre on September 10, 2008 in New York City. Jemal Countess/Getty Images

What to do when you've started a firestorm with an analogy that your opponents say shows sexism? Go on Letterman to defend it.

Then-candidate Obama came under fire in September 2008 when he said of opponent John McCain's economic policies, "That's just calling something the same thing, something different. But you know you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig."

Supporters of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin called foul, saying that he was being sexist. When he was asked about it on Letterman later that week, Mr. Obama said it was part of the "silly season" of politics.

"It's a common expression at least in Illinois," Obama said, "I don't know about New York City, I don't know where you guys put lipstick on here."

When Letterman asked the Illinois senator if he had actually ever put lipstick on a pig, Obama said no -- "but I think it might be fun to try."

May 1, 2008

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, addresses supporters at a town hall style meeting at the St. Joseph County Fairgrounds May 1, 2008 in South Bend, Indiana. Scott Olson, Getty Images

As it turns out, part of the top 10 list can often provide a pretty good snapshot of a moment in time. Take a look at Mr. Obama's "Top 10" list from that 2008 show - and the now-dated references:

10. My first act as President will be to stop the fighting between Lauren and Heidi on "The Hills."

9. In the Illinois primary, I accidentally voted for Kucinich.

8. When I tell my kids to clean their room, I finish with, "I'm Barack Obama and I approved this message."

7. Throughout high school, I was consistently voted "Barackiest."

6. Earlier today I bowled a 39.

5. I have cancelled all my appearances the day the "Sex and the City" movie opens.

4. It's the birthplace of Fred Astaire. (Sorry, that's a surprising fact about Omaha)

3. We are tirelessly working to get the endorsement of Kentucky Derby favorite Colonel John.

2. This has nothing to do with the Top Ten, but what the heck is up with Paula Abdul?

1. I have not slept since October.

January 24, 2008

Obama reads his first "Top 10" list of campaign promises

January 24, 2008: Then-Sen. Obama offered his first ever "Top 10" list, a list of campaign promises, including a prescient jab at future opponent Mitt Romney.

10. To keep the budget balanced, I'll rent the situation room for sweet 16s.

9. I will double your tax money at the craps table.

8. Appoint Mitt Romney secretary of lookin' good.

7. If you bring a gator to the White House, I'll wrassle it.

6. I'll put Regis on the nickel.

5. I'll rename the 10th month of the year "Barack-tober."

4. I won't let Apple release the new and improved iPod the day after you bought the previous model.

3. I'll find money in the budget to buy Letterman a decent hairpiece.

2. Pronounce the word "nuclear," nuclear.

1. Three words: Vice President Oprah.

April 9, 2007

Senator Barack Obama, D-Illinois, leaves the 'Late Show with David Letterman' on April 9, 2007 in New York City. Brad Barket/Getty Images

During his first "Letterman" appearance of the 2008 campaign, then-candidate Obama made it perfectly clear he was only interested in the top job.

"You don't run for second," Obama said. "I don't believe in that."

Asked about a potential Clinton-Obama ticket, the president asked, "Which order are we talking about?"

November 26, 2004

Barack Obama, his daughter Malia, wife Michelle and youngest daughter Sasha celebrate his victory over Republican rival Alan Keyes for the U.S. Senate November 2, 2004 in Chicago, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Mr. Obama's first appearance on Letterman was as a newly minted senator-elect from Illinois. He had already earned national attention for his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, but was enough of an unknown quantity that he and Letterman spent a while joking about ways to mispronounce his name (Obama's contributions: "Alabama" and "Yo Mama") or whether the newly elected senator should change it.

"You know, there were some advisers who told me to change my name," Mr. Obama said. When Letterman asked, "Really?" he responded, "Somebody suggested Cat Stevens, for example."

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