Zach Galifianakis Jokes With President Obama About Hilarious Stuff Like Drones, NSA Spying

Funny Or DieFunny Or DieThis morning, FunnyorDie.com aired a very special episode of Between Two Ferns, the absurdist web series hosted by actor Zach Galifianakis. On today's episode, Galifianakis sat down with none other than President Barack Obama. The whole thing starts innocuously enough, with Obama poking fun at The Hangover films and Galifianakis dissing Obama's basketball skills. But then, almost inconspicuously, things take a turn for the infuriating. 

About half way through, Obama begins his plug for the Affordable Care Act, which is ostensibly the reason for this particular POTUS appearance. Funny or Die is a hotbed of Millennials, whom Obama urges to visit the Healthcare.gov and get insured.

"Healthcare.gov works great now, and millions of Americans have already gotten health insurance plans," says Obama (in one of the video's more humorous bits). Then Galifianakis, feigning boredom, asks, "Is this what they mean by drones?"

Zing! Get it? Because the Obama administration kills innocent people with drones? And now Obama is droning on? AHAHAHA—wait. That is not really very funny at all. In fact, it seems kind of sociopathic to joke about.

Obama ignores the comment and continues talking about how young people should purchase insurance. He gives folks an 800 number they can call if they don't have computers. "Uh, I don't have a phone. I'm off the grid. I don't want you people looking at my text, if you know what I mean," responds Galifianakis.

"First of all, Zach, nobody's interested in your texts," Obama quips. 

It was a lighthearted little rebuttal, which Obama played for humor with his tone and timing. But, of course, the National Security Agency is not only interested in Zach's texts but the text messages of millions of others, too.  

Predictably, the Twitter response to President Obama's sit down with Galifianakis has been largely positive. This is the kind of appearance that will definitely earn him cool points with a lot of the digerati. I was, begrudgingly, almost taken in too—until the drone and NSA spying comments, that is. When you remember what kind of civil liberty abuses the Obama administration is perpetrating, it's kind of hard to be amused, even between two ferns. 

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  • Snark Plissken||

    It's nice to see that Obama is willing to sit down and do interviews with hard-hitters that won't simply toss him softballs.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    He did Bill-O on Super Sunday - Fox News' go-to henchman.

  • Snark Plissken||

    When I think of people who are willing to ask truly probing questions about drones, WoD, NSA, etc, I think Bill O'Reilly.

  • Dweebston||

    Because O'Reilly wants to ensure that the administration never again offers itself up to be gored on his program.

    No, O'Reilly's going to lob nice, fat softballs squarely across the plate and call himself a pitcher.

  • Evan from Evansville||

    I believe that I will be unable to sit through that vid without retching.

    Someone bite bullet for me. Evan be thankful.

  • Juice||

    Are you sure he didn't mean that the people signing up for Obamacare were drones?

  • Ronny Paulino||

    lol so funny, even better than when he slow-jammed the news LOL such funny Obama

  • Sunmonocle Backwards Tophat||

    What, no lulz about doing drugs?

    I don't understand; don't people feel insulted being pandered to? Between Two Ferns isn't the most sophisticated comedy Galifianakis has done, but it's still intelligent enough that you'd think viewers would pick up on the condescencion of a politician's appearance. And if you were interviewing, regardless of your political beliefs, and you realized you were being used as a tool, why would you stay civil?

    Also, how easy is it being Zach Galifianakis right now? He has the same schtick everywhere he goes: the "everyman" who doesn't realize he's a weirdo. He can say throwaway lines like "Is this what they mean by drones?" and it's seen as funny because we're supposed to think he's trying hard. Bored to Death was his last glorious show.

  • wareagle||

    don't people feel insulted being pandered to?

    they don't realize it's pandering. It's President Cool and he's a on a show with that guy from that movie.

    Zach is an actor/comedian, devoid of the self-awareness gene that would allow him to realize Obama came on the show to play him. He's likely more impressed that he can claim "we had Obama on the show" than with any bullshit POTUS came to spread. Besides, Obama wasn't expecting tough questions from an entertainer who likely voted for him.

  • Sunmonocle Backwards Tophat||

    Yeah, I just read that Zachary does Obama fundraisers. Real edgy comedians, these guys.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I have no problem with this. I admit it. The show is done for humor, and I generally don't begrudge anyone poking fun at anything. The separate issue is, of course, that not many actual journalists are requiring Obama to account for his actions and their consequences. I'm not looking to Galifianakis to fill that void.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    And the ACA is kinda funny too, right?

  • Loki||

    And the ACA is kinda funny too, right?

    Not yet, but in 22.3 years it will be. Kind of like AIDS.

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    Yeah, I mean, I couldn't decide if I was overreacting or not. But then I looked at Twitter and saw all these people talking about how hilarious the video was. And it just bothered me that this is the kind of thing a lot of young people (including some of my friends) were going to think was just awesome and So Cool of President Obama to do, and yet here was Obama joking about NSA spying. It was just a minor and casual comment, but every time we gloss over stuff like that, it helps normalize the idea of government spying and make it seem like no big deal.

  • ||

    I was, begrudgingly, almost taken in too—until the drone and NSA spying comments, that is.

    Why? God, why?

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    Obama can do deadpan fairly well. And it's always interesting to see how presidents attempt (and execute) humor... I don't know. At first it just seemed silly but harmless.

  • MJGreen||

    I was, begrudgingly, almost taken in too

    You're a stronger woman than I. (wait...) I really like Galifianakis and Two Ferns, but I simply can't tolerate watching Obama, especially when he's trying to be hip. Maybe some day, when he's no longer in office, he could be tolerable in this sort of thing. Also assuming he is not pushing some political agenda, and he can honestly take a joke about himself. But I'm not sure those latter conditions will ever apply.

  • Snark Plissken||

    and he can honestly take a joke about himself.

    I really can't see him getting any less thin-skinned as he ages and is no longer in the limelight. If you can't genuinely laugh at yourself by age 50 that ship has sailed.

  • wareagle||

    the mirror twin of Palin, which is fun to say to devotees of each, if only to watch their heads explode.

  • ||

    and he can honestly take a joke about himself

    I actually thought the video got way awkward long before the drones remark because you couldn't tell whether Obama was actually peeved at Galifinakis or just playing peeved on webtv.

  • Scotticus Finch||

    There is zero chance any of that was spontaneous. I guarantee that was the result of 10 script revisions and 20 takes, then 10 more final cut reviews.

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    The word "tool" fits in so many ways.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    This is the kind of appearance that will definitely earn him cool points with a lot of the digerati.

    Cause nothing says cool like a boring insurance sales pitch.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    So smug!

    You're getting there. Now to get the other.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Oh, well now it's a video instead of a screenshot...

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Tell me again why Biden would be worse.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Alt-text and an outward disgust toward Obama?

    You're alright ENB.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    She's learning quickly.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "Healthcare.gov works great now, and millions of Americans have already gotten health insurance plans," says Obama

    Did he then say, in his best Foghorn Leghorn voice, "That's a JOKE, Son. Pay attention when Ah'm talking to ya."

  • Lord Humungus||

    it is amusing that a prez has to shill for his own cruddy bill.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I actually expect a prez to shill for his own shitty bills.

    What I find pathetic is that he is shilling for a LAW. And a law he's already illegally suspended sections of.

  • Loki||

    If only Galifianakis had accidentally on purpose flubbed his name.

    "I'm here with president Bush, er, I mean Obama..."

  • Outlaw||

    Should've gone with President Mandela.

    Cuz they're both black.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Obama can do deadpan fairly well.

    It's a skill he honed relentlessly in a previous life, when we knew him as Andy Kaufman.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    It...it all makes sense now.

  • creech||

    I saw one of those "sign up" ads where an annoying young woman says she got health care insurance, "including dental and vision", for under a $100 per month. In what world is this possible? Maybe the world where you and I and other taxpayers kick in the $400 more needed to make sure this doofus doesn't have to pay for her own birth control, teeth straightening or designer sun glasses?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Well yeah, she's definitely on a subsidy.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Well, that doesn't sound funny. What was the other option for the show?

  • JEP||

    God, this is like an adult version of Sesame Street.

    Hey kids(sheep)! This episode is sponsored by the letter 'Q', and make sure cookies don't spoil your dinner.

  • Jayburd||

    Yeah I heard the Children's Television Workshop is working on new SAT tests.

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