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Comedian Robert Klein Recalls Meeting Late Nancy Reagan

Nancy Reagan and Klein.jpg

A younger Klein meeting Nancy and Ronald Reagan (Photo: Screenshot,

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan, who popularized the anti-drug slogan “Just Say No,” passed away Sunday morning at age 94 from congestive heart failure.

Klein remembered speaking with Reagan at the height of her campaign against drug abuse in an interview with Jerry Seinfeld, host of online show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

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Jerry and Robert talking about meeting Nancy Reagan. (Photo: Screenshot,

He told Seinfeld he initially disliked the First Lady and her campaign, but that changed after one of his comedy sets.

“She I never liked because I thought she’s highfalutin and she had to choose a disease so she chose ‘Just Say No.’ Remember? Every First Lady had to choose a disease. But she was laughing at my hippest stuff and afterwards she said you were so brilliant. I said I just love that ‘Just Say No’ campaign. I just think it’s marvelous. I know several people who said no. You saved many lives.”

First Lady Reagan’s campaign was initially scrutinized for its simplistic approach to the drug epidemic. But former Baltimore County Drug Czar Mike Gimbel said she was passionate about keeping children from drug addiction.

“She took it [the slogan] to thousands of schools and talked to little kids. She loved the little kids,” Gimbel told FOX Baltimore station WBFF.

He also believes that the First Lady’s slogan, though plain, was extremely effective.

“People made fun of it because they thought it was so simple. But in reality, that’s what worked with a lot of young kids.”

Reagan will be buried in Simi Valley, California next to her beloved husband President Ronald Reagan. She is survived by her two children, Patti Davis and Ronald Reagan Jr.

See the interview here: 


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