Earlier this week, comedian Zach Galifianakis welcomed an especially high-profile guest – President Barack Obama – on his popular web series, Between Two Ferns. And while Galifiankis maintained his typically awkward screen presence during their interview, the Commander-in-Chief says the hilariously droll interviewer was squirming inside.
“Zach actually was pretty nervous,” the president told On the Air With Ryan Seacrest during a brief interview Friday morning. “It was funny to watch you know, ’cause this whole Between Two Ferns shtick…his whole character is to go after the guests. I think he was looking around seeing all these Secret Service guys with guns and thinking, ‘I wonder what happens here if I cross a line?'”
While Obama admits he wasn’t hip to the series before his appearance, he says his daughter Malia was particularly excited about her dad’s moment in the comedy spotlight.
“When I was at the dinner table with the girls, and I said, ‘Today I did something with Zach; it’s called Two Ferns, I think,’ Malia was so excited,” he continues. “She, you know, had seen all the previous episodes.”
Of course, Obama wasn’t just flexing his comedic muscles. He had another motive for reaching the nation’s youth – to remind them about the looming deadline for the Affordable Care Act. “I figured it was going to reach our target audience,” he says, “which was a lot of young people.”
While his appearance was ultimately a success, bringing a flood of web traffic to the HealthCare.gov website, Obama says he’s avoiding a side-career in comedy: “It ended up working,” he says, “but I think I better keep my day job.”