Joe Biden celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day paying tribute to Dr. King by attending the National Action Network’s annual MLK breakfast on Monday. Which just so happened to be the birthday of Arndrea Waters King, wife of Martin Luther King III and daughter-in-law of the late civil rights icon. So, as Jimmy Kimmel shared on Monday night, the president was kind enough to shine some of the spotlight Arndrea’s way by leading the crowd in a rousing “Happy Birthday” serenade… which took an unfortunate turn.
While delivering the keynote speech during Monday’s breakfast, Kimmel noted that the president’s “eggs got a little scrambled and the ol’ Amtrak went a little off the rails.”
While at the podium, Biden shared that his wife Jill has “a rule” in their family: that when it’s someone’s birthday, you sing “Happy Birthday” to them. Which seems more like just a normal thing you do versus a “rule,” but we’ll let Joe call it whatever he wants.
Though the singing itself was horrendous, that wasn’t even the embarrassing part: it was when Biden got to the line in the song where you insert the name of the person whose birthday it is, i.e. “Happy Birthday dear Arndrea.” Except it was at this moment that Biden either forgot who he was singing to or realized he didn’t know her name in the first place. So “Arndrea” came out as something that sounded more like “Valley?” (even the closed-captioning agreed):
“Vel-meh was really actually very touched by the… whatever your name was,” Kimmel said. “Joe Biden is the Finding Dory of presidents.”
You can watch the full Kimmel clip above, beginning right around the 2:00 mark. Or get straight to the mortifying birthday snafu, which C-SPAN caught, below.