Typically on Between Two Ferns, Zach Galifianakis’s long-running fake Internet talk show, either the guest ends up looking ridiculous while the host remains coolly detached, or vice versa. Guess which style the show went with for most recent guest, President Barack Obama.
As Between Two Ferns co-creator Scott Aukerman mentioned in an interview with us, the show has been rather successful with brand integrations in the past. President Obama’s interview is meant to hawk something of a brand too, albeit one with substantially higher stakes: Healthcare.gov. Just as with Speed Stick and the other brands that have appeared on the show, the plug is delivered as a self-aware meta-plug.
The interview starts off much like the others in the series, with Galifianakis and the sitting president of the United States of America flinging barbs at each other. (“Obama likens running for a third term as a bad idea on par with making a third Hangover movie,” which, if you’re keeping score, is a thing that happened.) Around the 3:30 mark, Galifianakis has a long exhale and allows that it’s time for the president to do his plug, which he does in a rather straightforward way, occasionally interrupted by the host’s insults. (“Is this what they mean by ‘drones?'” Galifianakis asks, looking very bored.)
The appearance is only the latest in President Obama’s attempts to reach younger Americans. In 2009, he became the first sitting president to appear on a late night talk show, although The Tonight Show With Jay Leno hardly qualifies as a place where young people want to be. Going on Between Two Ferns, however, is more akin to being on Saturday Night Live, which only one sitting president (Gerald Ford) has ever done. Considering that Obama is the first president to be Twitter-literate, it’s no wonder his latest sketch show choice is even savvier than SNL.