Episode 601

Homeland star Damian Lewis told a British talk show he sent a Muslim joke to president Barack Obama.

During an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show Saturday night, the Emmy-winning actor says the president wanted a signed DVD box set of the Showtime hit to give to the Teamsters labor union (the president has previously revealed Homeland is his favorite show). Lewis says co-star Claire Danes wrote something along the lines of, ”I was a fan of yours long before you were a fan of ours.” But when it was the British-born Lewis’ turn, the actor says he jokingly wrote: “From one Muslim to another.”

“I thought I’d think of something great and funny … and wrote: ‘From one Muslim to another’ in an indelible Sharpie,” the actor recalls. “And I couldn’t take it back … I was then writing emails for the whole of the next week going: ‘I do hope he understands irony.”’

Lewis’ character on Homeland is an America POW who was tortured while in captivity and converted to Islam. Now back in the United States, he’s wrestled with a terrorist agenda and keeps his religion a secret. Obama, of course, has been pestered by unsubstantiated conspiratorial theories suggesting he’s a Muslim.

Lewis adds that he asked the president during a dinner how he finds time to watch the show. “Aren’t you busy running the free world?” the actor recalls asking. Lewis, while impersonating the president’s speech cadence, says Obama replied: “On Saturday afternoons. Michelle, she takes the two girls, they go play tennis. I go into the Oval Office. I pretend I’m gonna work and I switch on Homeland.”

Here’s the clip (Obama conversation starts around 7:10):

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Episode 601
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