Chelsea Clinton has reflected on the challenges of growing up in the spotlight as the child of a sitting president.
The now 42-year-old daughter – and only child – of former US President Bill Clinton and former First Lady Hillary Clinton was 12 when she moved into The White House after her father was elected in 1993.
In the premiere of the eight-episode Apple TV+ series Gusty, which Clinton hosts alongside her mother, she is asked if she would ever consider doing stand-up comedy.
“I had a different experience with comedy in some ways than a lot of people, because I was made fun of so much as a child, by people who were professional comics,” she responds.
Clinton explained that comments made by conservative pundits like Rush Limbaugh were easier to brush off because they were typically aimed at her parents rather than her.
“But when SNL made fun of me, I was like, ‘Wow, a group of adults sat in a room, all decided this was a good idea, nobody thought maybe we shouldn’t make fun of children’,” she added.
“I was like, ‘Oh, I just don’t think that’s funny or OK, so I just don’t think comedy’s funny or OK’.”
During a 1992 episode of Saturday Night Live, a “Wayne’s World” sketch saw Mike Myers and Dana Carvey list the top 10 things they love about the president. One of the selections was Clinton, prompting them to make remarks about the then 13-year-old’s appearance.
After it aired, Myers issued an apology letter to the Clintons, and the joke was edited out of subsequent reruns of the sketch.
In 1993, the president told People in an interview that “you gotta be pretty insensitive” to joke about a child.
“We really work hard on making sure that Chelsea doesn’t let other people define her sense of self-worth,” he said.
Gutsy is available to stream on Apple TV+.