Zach Galifianakis Interviews President Obama on Between Two Ferns
Posted on March 12, 2014President Obama is concerned about getting young people to sign up for health insurance at healthcare.gov and agreed to be a guest on Zach Galifianakis' irreverent, hilarious talk show Between Two Ferns to get the message out that the deadline for enrollment is the end of March. The gag is that Zach is always incredibly rude to his guests and bizarre things usually happen, such as when he delivered some corporal punishment to Justin Bieber.
After this video aired, the White House said that the president was already familiar with the format of Zach's show and told Zach not to worry. Zach had expressed some nervousness about being disrespectful to the president, but the staffers told him "not to hold back, the president can take it.") And boy were they right. From the get go, the president is on the edge of his seat, engaged and ready to rumble. He's polite, of course, but he knows how to deliver a great zinger. Zach asked the president about sending Ambassador Dennis Rodman to North Ikea and wondered if next he was going to send Hulk Hogan to Syria, or was that more of a job for Tonya Harding? Zach asked him what it was like to be the last black president, to which the president replied, "What's it like to know this is the last time you'll ever talk to a president?" And it just gets better from there. At the end, the president pushes the red button, over Zach's protestations, revealing where these interviews have been taking place all these years. Take a look:
There is a long tradition of politicians doing guest shots on popular comedy shows, ever since former vice president and soon to be president Richard Nixon appeared on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In in 1968 to deliver the show's popular line, "Sock it To Me!" against the advice of his advisers. It helped his image with the younger generation and he got elected. Since then such appearances are just another way to get the message out. This one worked, by the way. Traffic to healthcare.gov soared after this video went viral.