Comedian and actor Zach Galifianakis does a mock celebrity interview show for the Funny or Die website known as ‘Between Two Ferns.’ Typically, he gets a well-known personality on and asks them inane or embarrassing questions while also showing a lack of knowledge on any subject they discuss. The whole bit revolves around him being a totally inept interviewer for a low-budget show who somehow gets high-profile celebrities to come on.
On Tuesday, a new episode premiered on the website with Galifianakis interviewing the President. The thought of an active politician, let alone a sitting president, doing a comedy bit is in itself cringe-worthy. Making this even more potentially awkward for the President is Galifianakis’ style of comedy. He is less conventional and tends to push the envelope in regards to what’s funny. Typically, he tries to see how uncomfortable he can make the audience or even the participants in a given skit or bit. For the President, this is nowhere near the same as going on The Tonight Show or even Saturday Night Live.
Below is the video:
As you can see, the President not only avoided looking like a stiff, but he was able to roll with the punches and throw some haymakers of his own. What is amazing here is just how good Obama’s comedic timing really is. Another thing to notice with this bit is the subtle way that the President was able to use Galifianakis’ silly and outrageous questions to highlight the absurdity of Republican talking points that have been used against him during his time in office.
The President is obviously a very good sport and is willing to drop his guard and allow his image to be subjected to a little comedic mockery. He can take jabs and digs and not come away with hurt feelings. That is because the man is extremely confident and has great self-awareness. He doesn’t have low self-esteem. The President doesn’t need constant positive reinforcement. He doesn’t need his ego stroked at all times. Instead, he can poke fun at himself and be comfortable with others doing the same.
On the flip side, do you think President George W. Bush would have done something like this? Do you think his ego could have handled an alternative comic lambasting him with questions or one-liners about touchy and sensitive subjects? Do you think he could have successfully traded off lines and barbs with a comedian without it coming off as forced? I think we all know the answer to that.
Video Courtesy of Funny or Die
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).