Obama's Wordsmith Goes Hollywood

Marvin Joseph/Washington Post/Getty Images

Earlier this fall, Jon Lovett ditched his three-year gig as President Obama's speechwriter to try to make it in television. The New York-raised Lovett, 29, wasted no time. He's marrying the two worlds with the red-hot 1600 Penn, a White House comedy Lovett sold to NBC with The Book of Mormon star Josh Gad and Modern Family director Jason Winer.

How much will be based on your time with the Obamas?

Obviously, my experiences are going to inform what I do, but this family will have absolutely nothing to do with the president. The idea is that this is a dysfunctional family, and the first family today is so far from that, it's ridiculous.

You must have signed some sort of ironclad NDA with the president, correct?

Well, yeah. I think it's serendipitous … that I had a meeting with Jason, and he mentioned this idea that he and Josh Gad had been thinking about. I know that world and how the White House works, but this is not about me telling stories from the White House.

Looking back at your time there, what was the highlight?

Standing in the back when he [repealed] "Don't ask, don't tell," or traveling with the president when he was making his case for health care reform. And the most fun? Nothing compares to the White House Correspondents' Dinner. The great thing is that the president … relishes the chance to make fun of the absurd and superficial side of Washington.

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