"What were you doing, getting your teeth whitened?" asks Jay Leno

By Monica Rizzo
March 25, 2009 02:00 PM

Too busy for President Barack Obama? That’s what Simon Cowell claimed on Monday’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

“He wanted to have dinner, and our diaries didn’t quite match,” said the acerbic American Idol judge, 49. “He wanted to do eight [o’clock], I was free at nine. We didn’t quite connect.”

The remarks came four days after Obama appeared on the NBC late-night talk show and told Leno that since taking on the responsibilities of commander-in-chief he’s found Washington, D.C., to be a lot like American Idol – and everyone is a Simon Cowell.

“I think what he was trying to say was Washington’s becoming more intelligent,” Cowell deadpanned.

Idol host Ryan Seacrest, who was sitting next to Cowell, piped up, “I’m not quite sure it was a compliment.”

Shot back Cowell: “That’s how I interpreted it.”

When Cowell had said he was too busy to meet with Obama, Leno had asked, “What were you doing, getting your teeth whitened?”

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