‘What’s It Like To Be The Last Black President?’ Obama Sits ‘Between Two Ferns’ With Zach Galifianakis

March 11, 2014  |  

Update: This clip has generated 5.6 million views in just one day. And, according to the White House senior communications advisor on healthcare Tara McGuinness, it’s the top referral source for today. As Mediaite points out, those people (presumably young people) need to enroll for it to make a difference. So far 19,000 people have followed the link from the video to Healthcare.gov, a .6 percent conversion rate. That’s definitely not great, but it’s also been a work day. Optimistically, we’re going to say that many people will want to be at home after hours before they start this process. So a bigger outcome awaits.


Much has been made about President Obama’s past appearances on Jimmy Fallon, The View, and other shows where he gets to talk a little policy and show his charisma.

But it was a shock to everyone this morning when we were treated to a clip of President Obama sitting on the web series “Between Two Ferns,” hosted by Hangover star Zach Galifianakis. The comedy show, which is housed on the Funny or Die website, is a send-off of traditional, though low-budget, talk shows, with Galifianakis asking celebrities awkward questions and otherwise making us laugh and cringe at the same time. Among the questions he asks Obama are, “What’s it like to be the last black President?” To which President Obama says, “If I ran a third time, it would be sort of like doing a third Hangover movie. It didn’t really work out very well, did it?” Zing!

And on whether or not the President is a nerd: “Do you think a woman like Michelle would marry a nerd?” To which Galifianakis asks if he can speak with her about it. “No way,” responds the President. “I’m not letting her near you.” Hi-lar-ious.

But really, the point is to push the President’s healthcare program. There are just a few weeks left for people to enroll, and the program will work best if younger people participate. Obama’s appearance is a direct appeal to this audience who are familiar with and fans of “Between Two Ferns.”

According to The New York Times, there was much discussion about whether this was a step to far in an attempt to reach the target audienceOf course, there are critics of this tactic, with Bill Clinton’s press secretary Mike McCurry worrying about the “dignity of the presidency” with this appearance. Given the way media is today — and the fact that the presidency has been compromised long ago — this could be just the thing that will drive this demographic to the Healthcare.gov site.

[via The Daily Beast]

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