Comedian Sandra Bernhard took her one-woman show to the Howard Theatre last weekend, and it sounds like, more than anything, she wanted the Obamas to come.
“[We] reached out to the Obamas,” Bernhard told HOH, adding, “I hope that at the very least Michelle comes, but I’m not holding my breath.”
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Perhaps the sequester prevented the motorcade from heading to Shaw? But we digress.
Regardless, Bernhard adores the first lady.
“I love Michelle Obama,” she said. “I don’t know [the Obamas]. I happen to know them as my president. I haven’t met them yet, but I particularly adore Michelle Obama. ... I love him too, but she takes it to another level.”
Bernhard described the first lady as “so human, so sympathetic and empathetic. I just love her. She does such an incredible job reaching out to the American public in such a unique, wonderful way. I can’t say enough good things about Michelle Obama — and about the way she’s raising her daughters.”
One thing the women have in common, according to Bernhard, is they gave birth to daughters on the exact same day, in the exact same year.
“I keep wanting to meet [Michelle Obama] and say, ‘We were having a baby at the same time and the same year!’”
Potential proximity to the Obamas wasn’t the only reason Bernhard was stoked to be performing at the Howard Theatre, a venue that has a rich history in the District and for African-Americans.
“I’ve always been associated with black performing culture,” she said. “Having been discovered by [African-American comedian] Paul Mooney, a person who took me under his wing over all these years. [He] got me on ‘The Richard Pryor Show.’”
Mooney discovered Bernhard in the 1970s, when she was in her late teens supporting herself as a manicurist in Los Angeles.
“[Mooney] went around to all the black clubs in LA. He introduced me to black culture. I mean, I grew up around it in Michigan, anyway. ... It was sort of inherent to me — you know, the Motown experience. I just related to it. ... It was just something I felt akin to.”