Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis is a comedy interview show on the website Funny or Die. It’s essentially Galifianakis’ humor distilled: A weird, combative talk show that has the feel of bad public access. It’s also frequently hilarious, with Galifianakis chatting up guests like James Franco, Bruce Willis and Justin Bieber.
And, this morning, President Barack Obama.
It’s quite funny, too! Obama’s top-notch political skills — dodging awkward questions, quick off-the-cuff replies — are kind of perfect for this type of interview. My favorite question is, I think: “Do you go to any websites that are dot-coms or dot-nets or do you mainly stick with the dot-govs?”
The New York Times has the scoop on why Obama did the show.
The pop-culture appearance is the latest public relations gamble that Mr. Obama and his aides have taken in their pursuit of new ways to deliver their message to the connected-but-distracted generation. […] “We have to find ways to break through,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the president’s senior adviser and chief communications strategist. “This is essentially an extension of the code we have been trying to crack for seven years now.”
Aides said Mr. Obama’s immediate reason for subjecting himself to Mr. Galifianakis is to urge young people to sign up for health insurance on the government’s website, healthcare.gov.
That’s right: This comedy appearance was all just a ruse to get people to buy health insurance! Eh, it turns out pretty funny. The “dot-gov” question actually leads into a spiel for the sponsor, which an exasperated Galifianakis then deals with for the rest of the show.
The ending is also really clever, but I won’t spoil it.