Zach Galifianakis‘ “Between Two Ferns” interview style can be pretty intimidating, but President Barack Obama says Galifianakis was the nervous one during their Funny or Die showdown that went online earlier this week.
“Zach actually was pretty nervous,” Obama told Ryan Seacrest in a radio interview (below) on Friday. “It was funny to watch because this whole ‘Between Two Ferns’ schtick — which I wasn’t familiar with before my staff told me that we had been pitched to do this — his whole character is to go after the guest, and I think he was looking around and seeing all these Secret Service guys with guns and thinking, ‘I wonder what happens here if I cross the line?’ But we had a great time.”
The appearance on the fake talk show was aimed at encouraging more young people to sign up for health coverage through HealthCare.gov by the end of the month. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the plan worked, and the website saw a 40 percent boost in traffic after the video went live on Tuesday.
Obama admitted he was not familiar with “Between Two Ferns” — which has had a number of high-profile celebrity guests over the years, but never a Commander in Chief. His 15-year-old daughter, Malia, however, has seen every episode.
“And as I said, I wasn’t familiar with this thing, but when I was at the dinner table with the girls and I said, ‘Well today I did something with Zach, it’s called ‘Two Ferns,’ I think,’ Malia was so excited,” Obama continued. “She had seen all the previous episodes, so I figured it was going to reach our target audience, which is a lot of young people, and it turns out we’ve had close to 15 million hits. And the amazing thing is afterwards people actually did link to healthcare.gov and people actually signed up for health insurance, so it ended up working, but I think I have to keep my day job.”
Listen to the entire interview below: