Obama's sit-down with host Jay Leno will no doubt include some banter. But the goal is to build support for his economic plan, NBC said.
Obama has given interviews since taking office to Arab-world network Al-Arabiya (his first in a symbolic gesture); Canadian broadcaster CBC; the anchors from the three leading broadcast news in the wake of nominees withdrawing over tax problems; and The New York Times aboard Air Force One.
At one point during the 2007 campaign, Obama pledged to tell the American public "what you need to know," and suggested that a more transparent presidency would be coming.
While Obama's Leno appearance will be a first for a president in the White House, Vice President Al Gore memorably appeared on "The Late Show with David Letterman" in the fall of 1993. Bill Clinton also had a notable appearance in late night, playing the saxophone on "The Arsenio Hall Show" as a 1992 candidate.
Obama is not a "Tonight Show" neophyte, having appeared once before--in late 2006, two months before he announced his presidential campaign.