‘1600 Penn’ producer compares Gilchrist and Obama families

(Top L-R) Actors Amara Miller, Benjamin Stockham, Jason Winer, Executive Producers Mike Royce, Jon Lovett, (Bottom L-R) Andre Holland, Josh Gad, Jenna Elfman, Bill Pullman, and Martha MacIsaac speak onstage at the \'1600 Penn\' panel session during the NBCUniversal portion of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour- Day 3 at the Langham Hotel on Jan. 6, 2013 in Pasadena, Calif.. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Dysfunction in the White House

wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 5:50 pm

WASHINGTON – While “1600 Penn” is about a family living in the White House, the show’s Executive Producer Jon Lovett says the Gilchrist family is nothing like the Obamas.

“(The Obamas are) a really weird family in that they’re almost perfect,” Lovett told WTOP Thursday.

After leaving his job last year as a speech writer for President Barack Obama, Lovett created NBC’s sitcom “1600 Penn,” which premiered in December.

The sitcom follows the Gilchrists, who Lovett describes as “an ordinary, normal, dysfunctional American family that just happens to live in the White House.”

While the show often draws on politics, the writers base the plot on family issues everyone can relate to, rather than stories based off Lovett’s experiences in the White House. The Gilchrists’ problems include rebellious kids, a stepmother trying to win over her stepchildren and a father trying to figure out how to relate to his son.

Lovett points to the White House correspondence dinner speeches he wrote with the president as one similarity between his former job and new job writing comedy. While the two types of writing are very different, they are both about telling a story in the best and most efficient way, he says.

“It’s all about being true to the voice of whatever you’re trying to create while dealing with


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