Between Two Ferns, the Emmy-nominated online interview show hosted by Hangover comic Zack Galifianakis, snagged an A-list guest for its most recent edition — the President of the United States Barack Obama.
Aside from matching wits with Galifianakis — and Obama more than holds his own — one might wonder why the president would appear on Between Two Ferns, a six-and-half-minute web clip that has the production values of a late-night public access cable show.
In fairness, the chintzy set, which quite literally consists of two ferns and the guests on chairs between them, with a black backdrop, is part of the joke. So is the hyper-annoying, obnoxious persona adopted by Zack Galifianakis in his role as mostly clueless Between Two Ferns interviewer.
But Obama’s purpose in visiting Between Two Ferns, in a video that has gone viral in a massive way Tuesday morning, was to get in a plug for Healthcare.gov, the federally operated health exchange site, that Obama wants young people to use to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
After Galifianakis refers to the Affordable Care Act as “that thing that doesn’t work,” and asks the president “why would you get the guy that created the Zune” to create the health care site, Obama responds that Healthcare.gov “works great now.”
Of course, when Obama tells Galifianakis that young people often fail to purchase health insurance because “they think they’re invincible,” the comic’s reply is, “Invisible?”
But before diving into his Obamacare endorsement, the president gets in a few good zingers with the Between Two Ferns host, which runs on the Funny Or Die online network, a comedy site started by comedian Will Ferrell and his creative and business collaborator Adam McKay.
“What is it like to be the last black president?” Galifianakis asks.
“What’s it like for this to be the last time you ever talk to a president?” Obama shoots back.
Check out the whole Between Two Ferns interview below, and stick with it until the end, where there’s actually a surprise.