VIDEO: Zach Galifianakis interviews Barack Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the situation in Ukraine from the press briefing room at the White House in Washington, February 28, 2014.
President Barack Obama guest starred on a recent episode of “Between Two Ferns.” Credit: Reuters

The Obama administration has done everything to promote signing up for Obamacare: Speeches. Ad campaigns. A startling number of anxiety-inducing emails. (I signed up, Obama. Call off your goons.) But there’s one thing Obama hasn’t tried yet: Shaming Zach Galifianakis for making “The Hangover III.” Well, he can now check that one off the list, too.

Today President Obama appeared on an episode of “Between Two Ferns,” Galifianakis’ deliberately awkward, hostile faux-talk show. Unlike many actor guests, who initially appear blank and uncomprehending, the president got mean immediately. “When I heard that people actually watch this show, I was honestly pretty surprised,” he said.

Obama was there, of course, to plug and to reach The Youth the only way he can: through a “Funny or Die” web video. But before he did that, he and Galifianakis spent several minutes trading barbs, including over Zach’s movie career. “It must kind of stink that you can’t run [for president] three times,” Zach said, to which Obama responded, “I think it’s a good idea. 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.”

It’s honestly fascinating to watch a president appear on a program like this — the show’s format requires him to look unpolished and a little mean, very different from how a president normally acts. I’m sure that every moment was carefully vetted by his team, which makes it even weirder to watch and adds a whole new meta-layer of awkwardness. Take notice, Millennials. He’s letting a pudgy comedian rib him about his basketball prowess for you.


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