Digital Prospector: Between the ferns with Zach and Barack

Obama steals the show with his deadpan delivery. Is he angling for a post-presidential sitcom career?
Obama steals the show with his deadpan delivery. Is he angling for a post-presidential sitcom career?


The president lives up to his “No Drama” Obama rep with a fine piece of deadpan in the latest installment of Between Two Ferns, the community access TV spoof from comic Zach Galifianakis. Beginning with the host’s apologies for having to reschedule the interview because his “mouse pad broke,” and continuing onto a push by the prez to promote before the March 31st deadline, Obama is clearly clued in to Galifianakis’s clueless shtick. “When I heard that people actually watched this show I was pretty surprised,” Obama admits, while Galifianakis struggles to keep even two steps behind the president. “What should we do about North Ikea?” he asks, before his guest tells him to move on.
This is the 18th installment of Between Two Ferns, a show Galifianakis was born for, with its fake plants and hastily duct taped lapel mics. His interview with Justin Bieber is legendary, at least within the age of the Internet, and he always manages to land the unexpected zinger. “You know what I would do if I was president, Mr. President? I’d make same sex divorce illegal, then see how bad they want it.” When Obama gets around to plugging the Affordable Care Act (“Why else would I come on this show,” he asks), Galifianakis responds with the million-dollar question: “Why did you get the guy who created the Zune to make your website?”
Obama’s performance follows last year’s sketch at the White House Correspondents’ dinner in which he played Daniel Day-Lewis playing Obama in a production of Steven Spielberg’s Obama. This two-minute meta-masterpiece features the president in a send-up of his own aloof persona, practicing gestures and greetings (“Hello, Ohio!") in front of a mirror. 
And then there’s the First Lady’s recent cameo on Saturday Night Live, joining Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell for a slumber party sketch called Ew!, plugging her hip-to-be-fit campaign. Could the Obamas be angling for a sitcom a la The Cosby Show once his lame-duck, and humor-challenged, last term ends?
For more nuggets from the Digital Prospector, go here.

Please support independent local news for all.

We rely on donations from readers like you to sustain Crosscut's in-depth reporting on issues critical to the PNW.


About the Authors & Contributors

Rustin Thompson

Rustin Thompson

Rustin Thompson is a filmmaker, film critic and indie radio deejay. He enjoys strong coffee, red wine, IPAs and his wife and grown children. He is comfortable with the fact he will never be rich, but grows petulant if he thinks too much about it.