As the nation’s leading spokesperson on public health matters, Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy speaks out to promote the health of Americans and reduce risk of illness and injury. He frequently meets with groups to discuss topics such as prevention, healthy eating and active living. It’s all part of the job that comes with a uniform.
Murthy may wear an admiral-style uniform as Surgeon General, but he also brings a distinctive personal style to the role. Check out his endearing charm offensive in these recent public appearances on radio, TV and stage.
1. Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! Brings His Comedic Stylings To Light.
— NPR (@NPRextra) July 24, 2015
The most recent episode of NPR’s weekly hour-long quiz program Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! had the Surgeon General on as a guest. For the Not My Job game (“the game where we ask important people about unimportant things”) he was quizzed on the long-running ABC soap opera General Hospital. Murthy got two of the three questions right, suggesting he’s watched his share of GH and/or he’s a good quiz-taker. He took some ribbing from the host Peter Sagal (who later nicknamed him The Nation’s Jewish Mother) about the length of his pants and his lack of C. Everett Koop-style facial hair. Murthy’s response to the latter comment: “As an Indian American, I have tremendous potential to grow facial hair.” Read the transcript or better yet, listen to the segment online to get the full effect of his comic timing with that line and “Are you going to show me a rash?”
2. His Bhangra Moves Are Smooth And Funky.
Last week at the Kennedy Performing Arts Center the Surgeon General busted out some bhangra fusion dance with Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk” and funky dhol beats playing to teach 150 kids that dance is a great way to stay physically active. He also showed us that no uniform can get in the way when you feel the bhangra. Murthy performed bhangra in school and learned salsa during his residency. On Twitter he also shared that it helped him focus and won points with his fiancée Alice Chen. Watch a video clip of his dance steps below.
I had the best time teaching over 150 DC-area kids how to dance as part of #LetsReadLetsMove led by Secretary Arne Duncan and the First Lady @michelleobama’s Let’s Move initiative. We started out by reading “Giraffe’s Can’t Dance” and then got the kids moving with some Bruno Mars and fusion Bhangra. Dancing is a great way for everyone–young and old–to build #PhysicalActivity into their lives. Props to my dance partners Dholi Ram @therealramv, Bilal and Swi for lending a hand (and a drum)! A video posted by Surgeon General Vivek Murthy (@u.s.surgeongeneral) on
3. Elmo Brings Out Murthy’s Quirky Side In This Vaccine PSA.
The Surgeon General grew up watching Sesame Street and got the chance to meet muppet rock star Elmo in April. The two of them worked together to create PSAs about the importance of getting vaccinated to help ensure that children are protected from easily preventable diseases.
Murthy: Do you carry an umbrella when it rains?
Elmo: Why of course. Elmo wants to stay dry.
Murthy: Do you wear a helmet when you ride a tricycle?
Elmo: Of course. Elmo wants to stay safe.
Murthy: Do you pretend a piece of broccoli is a tree and you’re the world’s largest lumberjack?
Following that last just-for-jokes question, the Surgeon General tosses a stalk of broccoli away like a quirky aside to get to the PSA’s main point about the importance of vaccinations.