News / Arts & Entertainment

    Ahead of Havana Trip, Obama Films Skit With Cuban Comedian

    In a video, humorist Luis Silva, playing the elderly character Panfilo, calls Washington to find out the weather forecast for Tuesday's baseball game between the Cuban national team and the U.S. professional team Tampa Bay Rays and speaks to U.S. President Barack Obama.
    In a video, humorist Luis Silva, playing the elderly character Panfilo, calls Washington to find out the weather forecast for Tuesday's baseball game between the Cuban national team and the U.S. professional team Tampa Bay Rays and speaks to U.S. President Barack Obama.
    VOA News

    The White House has released a video of President Barack Obama joking with Cuba's most famous comedian, ahead of the U.S. leader's historic trip to the island on Sunday. 

    In the video, humorist Luis Silva plays the elderly character Panfilo, who calls Washington looking for a weather forecast for Tuesday's baseball game between the Cuban national team and the American professional Tampa Bay Rays team.

    But instead of getting a meteorologist, he ends up reaching the U.S. president.

    "Yes, this is the real Obama. Who's this?" the president asks.

    "I'm Panfilo from Cuba," comes the response.

    "The real Panfilo? From the TV show?" Obama asks.

    Panfilo then voices shock that the president knows him, and Obama is seen acting equally starstruck with the Cuban star.

    Panfilo goes on to tell Obama that he and first lady Michelle will enjoy their visit. "You can have a beer, play domino. [But] I won't throw a party," he says, "because I won't have enough time."

    Cuban television audiences are known for building their Monday evenings around Silva's wildly popular show Vivir del cuento, a title that roughly translates into Surviving By Your Wits.

    The program is broadcast on Cuban state television but has gained a reputation for comedy that pushes the limits in joking about corruption and economic struggles.

    It remains unclear if Obama’s segment with Panfilo will be carried by Cuba’s broadcasters. 

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