Here's How Funny Or Die Landed Obama As A Guest On 'Between Two Ferns'

Obama Zach Galifinakis Between Two FernsFunnyOrDie/’Between Two Ferns’Executive producer Mike Farah says the White House has long supported Funny or Die.

On Monday night, President Barack Obama appeared as a guest on Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns” — the Funny or Die web series that parodies celebrity interviews.

The 6-minute video passed more than 2 million views after just three hours online.

Today, “Ferns” executive producer Mike Farah is explaining how the low budget web show — which has been visited by Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Justin Bieber, Natalie Portman, among many others — landed its most powerful guest ever.

Last summer, Farah tells Variety that he was “among the industry figures to attend a meeting with White House advisers where the topic was how Hollywood could help get the message out about healthcare reform.”

It was here he came up with the goal of getting Obama on the show — but he didn’t approach the president directly.

Instead, Farah broached the subject with Obama’s senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett,
when she was visiting Los Angeles in September. And she liked it, they just had to wait until the timing was right.

Fast forward to Obama wanting to promote enrollment in the Affordable Care Act to a younger, social media savvy audience ahead of the March 31st deadline to sign up for coverage.

From there, Farah says the zinger-filled script — that included jabs about Obamacare and his “home country of Kenya” — “came together pretty quickly. I can’t say it was a very belabored process.”

Farah tells Variety he thinks he was able to land the POTUS as a guest because in D.C., “People are so used to going to meeting after meeting, and nothing ever happening,” but Funny or Die allows for a speedy
turnaround time.

It also doesn’t hurt that the White House was already familiar with Funny or Die thanks to previous political satire skits about healthcare reform, including one starring Jennifer Hudson.

“We built a great working relationship with the White House,” Farah said. “I think it is a smart move [on the White House’s part], and hopefully it helps in some small way.”

Overall, Farah calls the whole “Two Ferns” experience “surreal” and tweeted that it was “a great day.”

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