Obama's Interview with Zach Galifianakis Is Terrific / Completely Awkward

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Demonstrating perhaps that there are few things he will not do to spread the word about Obamacare, President Obama made an appearance on Zach Galifianakis' fake web talk show Between Two Ferns. And as you would expect of an episode of Between Two Ferns, it was horrifying and great.

The key to the show is Galifianakis's probably-not-entirely-artificial awkwardness in the interview, and so excerpts won't entirely do it justice. But the segment contains all of the best aspects of a Between Two Ferns episode: jokes about Galifianakis's weight, combativeness, Galifianakis telling his guest to be quiet.

Obama's go-to line is a puzzled, "Seriously?," offered in response to questions about his running for a third time ("If I ran a third time it would be sort of like a third Hangover movie. It didn't really work out, did it?") and when asked what country he was rooting for in the Olympics.

Other topics that come up: Obama's turkey pardons, Dennis Rodman's diplomacy, Obama's birth certificate, and, of course, Obamacare. The administration has consistently put an emphasis on encouraging young people to sign up for Obamacare because they're key to making the economics work. More young (and relatively healthy) people paying into the system keeps costs lower for everyone else. That's obviously why Obama chose to appear on Galifianakis's show, which is probably less popular among retirees. So, Obama launches into it. "Have you heard about the Affordable Care Act?" "Yeah I heard about that," Galifianakis responds. "That's the thing that doesn't work. Why would you get the guy who created the Zune to make your website?" As Obama goes on, Galifianakis asks, bored: "Is this what they mean by drones?"

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Spoiler alert: The conclusion to the show is sensational. There's a large red button on the table between them, which Obama decided to press. The backdrop falls away, showing a room in the White House. "Thanks for doing my show and thanks for letting me shoot my show here all these years," Galifianakis says. "Seriously? You've been shooting these shows here in the Diplomatic Room? Who gave you the permission to do that?" Obama asks.

Galifianakis replies, "Bush."

Update, 12:30 p.m.: The marketing effort worked like a charm.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.