Episode 26: Gerald Ford Talks to his Rocketman


On Episode 26 of  TITP, we decided to jump forward in time a little bit to the Polyester Decade - the 1970s.

On July 17, 1975 the United States and the Soviet Union were both doing their bit for international peace and harmony with the Apollo/Soyuz Project. The United States and the Soviet Union both launched their most advanced spacecraft at the time with the goal of a space rendezvous and docking of the two command modules so the astronauts and cosmonauts could meet in space. 

We're not really sure what the fuss was all about, but it seemed like a pretty good idea at the time. After the two spacecraft successfully docked, the space crews toasted to a thaw in the Cold War and were treated to a congratulatory phone call from the United States only non-elected President and Warren Commission member, Gerald R. Ford. 

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You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

Episode 21 - Bill Clinton, Michael Jackson and Monica Lewinsky

Ah....the heady days of 1993....when the Internet was but a gleam in Al Gore's eye, the heady days of Clintonism were just getting underway and the Buffalo Bills became the first team in history to lose three consecutive Super Bowls. Memories....

Yes, we're slowly inching toward the 21st century with our first ever phone call from President William Jefferson Clinton.

In this weeks call, from January 31, 1993, newly elected President Clinton phones the locker room of the Rose Bowl to congratulate the Dallas Cowboys for their triumphant win over Buffalo - 52 to 17. Watching with Clinton in the White House are Texas Governor Ann Richards and New York Governor Mario Cuomo. At one point, Richards (sounding a little tipsy) starts getting threatening towards Cuomo but - as in true This is the President fashion - everything works out in the end. 

Also stick around for Harmon Leon's Presidential Impressions, This Week's Trump News, and a sneak preview of some of our upcoming episodes featuring none other than Monica Lewinsky. (We realize that was a little click-baity to put her in the title. But she's in the episode. Honest. Also, she hasn't sent out any tweets since last year.)

Got a comment or suggestion? You can drop us a line here or reach Scott and Harmon on Twitter! Oh yeah - and there's a brand new Donate button at the top. These tapes ain't going to buy themselves.  

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

Episode 20 - President Reagan Goes Back to the Future with Jerry Lewis

Howdy everyone! 

This is the President returns after a short break with one of our most celebrity packed episodes ever! 

Today's phone call is from September 2, 1984 and features President Reagan talking to none other than the celebrated French filmmaker, Jerry Lewis! 

Once upon a time, there was an event called the Muscular Distrophy Labor Day telethon. Started back in the early 1960s and hosted by Lewis (until he left under a cloud in 2010), the telethon would drag on for over twenty hours with a cavalcade of celebrities appealing to the audience to part with their cash. As the night continued, these celebrities eventually gave way to a host of B-performers and faded vaudevillian acts.  

Our phone call takes place during Lewis' famous Labor Day Telethon.

But before they start pumping for donations, the two old friends have a chance to reminisce about the olden days when they worked at rival studios and used to live down the street from each other in Pacific Palisades. 

However - not all goes according to plan - and a power struggle ensues. The end result? You'll just have to listen for yourself. 

We also take a chance to explore the Back to the Future relevance to this clip, Trump's recent wiretapping allegations, and New Jersey's next up and rising political star, Joe Piscopo

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

Episode 18 - Inauguration Special

Yes, it's really happened. 

On January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. 

But rather than deal in doom and gloom, we here at This is the President have turned back the clock back once again to take a look at inaugurations past during a simpler time.

In this case, January 19, 1973, the day before Richard M. Nixon was to be sworn in for his second term.

In this call, we'll touch on subjects such as Tricky Dick's "interesting" connection to the Marriott hotel chain, the Nixonburger and that mysterious gap in the Watergate tapes that helped bring down the president. 

As always - we'll also have Harmon's Presidential Impression, Presidential Tweets and a way too in depth discussion of the 1990 Gerard Depardieu movie vehicle, "Green Card." 

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

Episode 16 - Merry Christmas, Mr. Nixon!

Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas everyone!

We hope you enjoy our first ever Christmas special. In this episode, we feature not one but TWO phone calls from everyone's favorite disgraced president, Richard M. Nixon! But that's not all - one of the phone calls in today's episode features not one but TWO presidents! That's right - ONE phone call, TWO presidents - who will emerge victorious? 

This episode also marks Harmon Leon's first show as an official  co-host. He really kicks it off in style as he returns to bring us his best presidential impressions in his very own segment. We also touch upon fake news, the upcoming electoral college vote and presidential golf scores. 

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

Episode 15 - Robocall: Reagan vs. Trump

Your move, Creep. - Robocop

In today's episode we pit two of our Presidents who both originally got their start on the small screen before making their way to the White House. In one corner, we have the "Great Communicator", Mr. Ronald Reagan, while in the other we have "Grab 'em by the p***y" President elect Donald Trump.

Robocalls, for those of you not in the know, are those annoying automatic phone calls you get around election time. For this episode, my guest host Mr. Harmon Leon and I dug up one of the first robocalls from Ronald Reagan and compare that to one of the robocalls used by the White Nationalists who were supporting Trump's election. 

In between, we discuss the position of the 1980s seminal alternative band The Smiths and their position on Brexit and Harmon amazes with another one of his presidential impressions. 

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

Episode 14 - Have You Heard the One About the Guy with AIDS?

We're putting this episode up in honor of World AIDS Day, December 1. So, hopefully you'll see it up on the internets that day. 

Wanted to keep this one short and sweet, because there's not really much to laugh at here. What we've done is taken the three press conferences that we featured in our documentary, When AIDS Was Funny, for Vanity Fair and simply strung them all together for your listening pleasure (or displeasure). 

The press conferences in the episode start on October 15, 1982 - which was the first time that AIDS was mentioned during a press conferences, to June 13, 1983 and finally end up on December 11, 1984. What's interesting is that, in the first press conference, you can hear the Deputy Press Secretary, Larry Speakes, saying to himself (or an aide) "A I D S? I don't have anything on that" to the last press conference when he's more or less prepared on the subject. 

The reporter doing the questioning is Lester Kinsolving (that's him up there with The Gipper). Lester wasn't the biggest fan of "alternative livestyles" so he does have his own agenda by asking these questions. Be that as it may, the guy did have a pretty impressive track record before this, including marching with MLK in Selma and being the first reporter to cover Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

Episode 13 - Wear Your Long Johns

Did you know that President Reagan had a brother?

Neither did I.

But he did and in this episode of This is the President, we get to hear the two siblings talk about the legendary O'Malley brothers and the weather in Dixon, Illinois.

Did we mention the fact that these aren't all winners? 

Joining me on this episode is our guest Harmon Leon, who, in addition to his presidential phone call commentary, provides us with post election updates from the home of Donald J. Trump, New York City. 

But don't let the phone call subject matter scare you off - in this episode you'll get the inside scoop of Ronald Reagan's connection to John Cusack, hear Harmon's legendary Ronald Reagan impression and get in on the ground floor of SNL alum Joe Piscopo's Republican candidacy. 

Episode 12 - The Original October Surprise - Part 2 (Small Wonder Redux)

Be sure to check out Part 1 of the podcast here! 

The revelation of the "grab 'em by the p***y" tape from presidential candidate Donald Trump might have stymied his chances for election when it was leaked this month, but it's not the first time a candidate has been blindsided by what's become known as the October Surprise. 

The history of the October Surprise goes all the way back to 1964 - the same year that the Beatles landed on the U.S. shores - when one of President Johnson's closest aides was caught getting "friendly" with another man in the basement of a Y.M.C.A bathroom in Washington, D.C. 

Luckily for history, the ensuing telephone calls among the White House staff were all caught on tape and preserved for history - and this podcast. 

I originally did this as a video for Vanity Fair, but thought there was some good stuff that got left out, so I've packed it into a podcast with a couple of extra tidbits. 

And, yes, that's a Small Wonder reference as in the TV show Small Wonder with the little girl who's a robot from the 1980s. Believe me, it makes sense. 

Episode 10 - Boy Did I Get a Wrong Number


On September 22, 1965, President Johnson picked up the White House phone to make a call to President Khan of Pakistan. His goal was to help ease any tensions between India and Pakistan that had resulted in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965

The only problem was that, even in the 1960s, the White House had no direct line to Pakistan and had to rely on standard overseas telephone companies for connecting the parties. In this phone call, we hear President Johnson wrestling to be understood by the overseas operator and bewildered by the communications snafus. For trivia fans, this phone call is also where we get the title of the podcast. 

It's an interesting little peek into the day to day problems of being the President and trying to place an overseas phone call circa 1965. 

In this episode, I'm again joined by  Harmon Leon, a comedian here in town for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival performing, appropriately enough "Harmon Leon's Big Fat Racist Show." 

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes

Episode 1 - Of Mice and Steinbeck and LBJ

Originally thought this episode was lost, but it looks like we've uncovered it.

Another pretty interesting fly-on-the-wall moment. In this phone call, we have President Johnson calling the author John Steinbeck - yes, the Of Mice and Men guy - to get his opinion on one of Johnson's speeches. 

There's some kind of weird thing going on with the podcasts showing up in iTunes. We'll see if maybe this fixes it. 

You can download the link below or check it out on iTunes!