Barack Obama on Between Two Ferns: President roasts Zach Galifianakis on spoof chatshow
"Is this what they mean by drones?"
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Tuesday 11 March 2014
In what some may consider his riskiest interview to date, US President Barack Obama has appeared on Between Two Ferns, a spoof chatshow hosted by Zach Galifianakis, star of The Hangover.
Scroll down for the video
Galifianakis’s show, which is broadcast online by the comedy website Funny Or Die, has earned cult status for its uncomfortable celebrity interviews. “Is it going to be hard in two years,” he asked Mr Obama, “when you’re no longer President and people stop letting you win at basketball?”
According to a report in the New York Times, the show’s executive producer Mike Farah approached the White House last summer to suggest the President submit himself to Mr Galifianakis’s questioning, in order to promote the Affordable Care Act, the controversial new healthcare law better known as Obamacare.
The President agreed, and the six-minute interview was recorded two weeks ago. His appearance has generated significant social media attention since it debuted online on Tuesday morning. Previous episodes of Between Two Ferns have drawn as many as 30 million views. “When I heard people actually watched this show, I was pretty surprised,” Mr Obama told its host.
The appearance was consistent with the administration’s efforts to engage millennials, and to encourage them to take advantage of the Obamacare provisions. The President used his appearance to urge young people to sign up for health insurance at the website healthcare.gov, which is now in full working order following its disastrous launch in October 2013.
Mr Galifianakis asked the President: “You said if you had a son, you would not let him play [American] football. What makes you think that he would want to play football? What if he was a nerd, like you?” Mr Obama replied: “Do you think a woman like Michelle would marry a nerd?”
Asked if he wished he could run for President a third time, Mr Obama said, “If I ran a third time it would be sort of like doing a third Hangover movie. Didn’t really work out very well, did it?”
Mr Farah told the New York Times that the President and his aides were amenable collaborators. “They were definitely easier than working with most Hollywood publicists,” he said.
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
Nepal earthquake: The race is on to help thousands trapped under rubble around Kathmandu, while remote villages face a long wait for help
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...