In case you have been living under a rock, or just came out of a 7-year-long coma caused by can of tomato soup falling on your head while you were cleaning out the pantry, or have been traveling through the Himalayas while strapped to the back of your trusty sherpa, then you know that President Obama appeared on Zach Galifianakis' always super-awkward sketch talk show "Between Two Ferns" for Funny or Die (click the link to see the video). While it was under the guise of simply dropping by, in reality it was to plug the Affordable Care Act and urge the younger demographic of Funny or Die's audience to sign up for health care by the March 31st deadline.
The pair traded jabs back and forth, with the President getting in some well-timed zingers at oblivious host Galifianakis, who swung right back with questions like, "How does it feel to be the last black President?" and "Why would you get the guy who invented Zune to design your website?"
While B-Rock (that's my nickname for him; we're tight like that) has flashed his comedic chops before in such places like the White House Correspondents Dinner and it's met with generally positive results, this time Twitter was a house divided as to whether or not this was a respectable showing for the POTUS or a sketch that was beneath the gravity of the office, and whether or not this was savvy move by a progressive President or a desperate pander to young adults.
What's interesting is that the very people who have been mocking the President's attempt to connect with the generation of young Americans starting their lives, most of that derision is coming from the middle aged to older demographic - not the younger. Search "#funnyordie" on Twitter, and the responses are overwhelmingly positive from younger, pro-social media types. Which...is exactly who the President was aiming for.
What's more, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the Funny or Die sketch was the number one referral service to healthcare.gov, bringing nearly 3 million visitors to the site since the sketch:
Guess the joke's on them, the cranky media types stuck in their old ways - because that was exactly the point that flew over their heads. The sketch wasn't for them, it was for our internet and social media savvy generation, and it worked. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have built empires on satirical platforms exactly like this to become two of the most influential voices in the collective ear of the generation poised to take over the country, and President Obama is absolutely aware of this. A savvy move? Embarrassing? Disrespecting the office? Desperate? None of it matters - because it worked. The President's appearance on "Between Two Ferns" was meant to drive numbers to healthcare.gov, and it did exactly that.
Looks like it was a savvy move, after all.
The POTUS appearing on Funny or Die was...
(Source: Funny or Die)