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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

President Obama screens TV comedy 1600 Penn at White House today

Reuters   January 09, 2013
First Published: 16:35 IST(9/1/2013) | Last Updated: 16:41 IST(9/1/2013)

A trophy wife as first lady, a hapless college-aged son who burns down a fraternity house and a daughter frantically taking pregnancy tests in a White House bathroom - this TV comedy had better be funny. On Wednesday  President Barack Obama is slated to hold a private screening at the White House with the cast and crew of 1600 Penn an NBC series about a dysfunctional first family.

The show  co-created by Jon Lovett  a former speechwriter for Obama  stars Bill Pullman as U.S. President Dale Gilchrist and Jenna Elfman as his first lady  and is named after the street address of the White House  1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

A preview of the show  which premieres on Thursday  features first son Skip played by the show s co-creator Josh Gad being rescued by the Secret Service after starting a fire at his college fraternity house. Meatball  is in the oven, an agent says into his lapel microphone  using the code name for the hapless Skip as he is hustled into a waiting black SUV.

But the show  which is apolitical  aims lower than other recent television dramas about the White House  like Aaron Sorkin s drama series The West Wing or HBO s dark satire Veep. "We really wanted to dissect what it meant to be a family in the most extraordinary of circumstances - and what s more extraordinary than being the first family?" Gad told reporters.

So will Obama laugh?
The screening in the White House s family theater is "closed press " meaning pool reporters won t be there to document whether the comedy hits home.

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