Superstar athletes like Shaquille O'Neal are used to getting whatever they want, when they want it. But there are a few things not even Shaq can do -- like getting an impromptu meeting with President Obama.
O'Neal recently paid a visit to Washington and, for the third time, tried and failed to say hello to the nation's commander in chief.
On Tuesday night, Conan O'Brien pushed O'Neal for an explanation. "What's this obsession with trying to get into the White House?"
"I just want to take 30 seconds of the president's time, shake his hand, 'Thank you, sir,' and then leave. That's all I want," he said. (And why not? It worked for Elvis.)
"You know he's been kinda busy the past couple of days?" O'Brien asked. "You don't call ahead?"
"I just went up to the gate and I looked at the guy and he had a smile on his face and I was like," O'Neal said, raising his eyebrows expectantly.
It didn't work.
"He was like, 'Shaq, what do you want?' And I was like, 'Can I just say hi to the President?' He's like, 'Nah, Shaq, we can't do it.' ... I was actually quite sad about it," O'Neal said, then wiped an imaginary tear from his eye.
O'Neal may have been disappointed, but Andy Richter, for one, was amused at the White House's repeated refusals. "I like the guy at the gate is like, 'Shaq, what do you want? This again?'"
-- Meredith Blake