In the 24 hours after President Obama made his surprise appearance on Zach Galifianakis’ Funny or Die web series Between Two Ferns, there has been much reaction, with a lot of it falling under general partisan lines. Some say Obama has somehow debased the presidency by agreeing to appear in such a comedy bit, although in fairness the sort of people saying this are the ones who tend to denounce the president for every single thing he says and does.
Take Bill O’Reilly, for instance, who drew much mockery when he said this on his show Tuesday night:
If you ask me, Obama agreeing to be interviewed by O’Reilly after the Super Bowl was a much worse decision than the “Funny or Die” bit. The latter was funnier, too.
Twitter had something of a field day in discussing the outrage, and the interview itself:
THE DIGNITY OF THE OFFICE: all presidents must sit in diners and listen to elderly people grouse at length about things from email forwards.
— David Roth (@david_j_roth) March 12, 2014
Not only would Abe Lincoln have gone on a comedy show to sell a pet program, he’d have fucking KILLED. — Matt Zoller Seitz (@mattzollerseitz) March 12, 2014
Obama degraded the presidency by allowing Zach Galifianakis to interview him. What’s next, Sean Hannity? — Grand Old Parody (@GrandOldParody1) March 12, 2014
SHOCKED at Obama interview with clown from comedy organization. No presidential dignity! Should NEVER have talked to O’Reilly — Thers (@Thers) March 12, 2014
The most infuriating thing about Obama/Galifianakis video for conservatives is realizing that he found a way to talk to people under 60. — Scott Renshaw (@scottrenshaw) March 12, 2014
Obama is killed (not altogether unjustly) for being cold, aloof and ivory-towerish. So he goes to actually reach out and … that’s bad? — Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) March 12, 2014
I guarantee that the people accusing Obama of debasing the presidency by doing comedy don’t think Between Two Ferns is funny.
— Sam Adams (@SamuelAAdams) March 12, 2014
The President’s “lack of dignity” prompted a friend to check out https://t.co/bwj2IfjUy8 and discover he’s eligible for coverage.
— Matt Zoller Seitz (@mattzollerseitz) March 12, 2014
Only skimmed my Facebook feed: Obama and Zach Galifianakis are strangers and there is video of them kissing? — Max Silvestri (@maxsilvestri) March 11, 2014
Wait, we’re freaking out NOW about Obama doing Between Two Ferns? Oh, Fake Outrage Machine, you’re getting slow in your old age. — James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) March 12, 2014
Lighten up, conservatives. It’s ok to admit Galifinakis is good at his job while acknowledging Obama isn’t. http://t.co/absgj25DIY
— Chris Stigall (@ChrisStigall) March 12, 2014
Paper proposal: “Bieber to Barack: The Cultural Impact of the Awkward, Staging, and Appalachia.” http://t.co/E5MTSplN1t
— Andy King (@itsAndyKing) March 12, 2014
From memory: Obama done 2 sit downs w/celebs so far in 2014 (Barkley, Galifianakis) & just 1 w/ newsperson (O’Reilly). Am I missing any? — Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) March 11, 2014
Let’s pay Daniel Day-Lewis whatever the fuck he wants to shoot a Lincoln episode of BETWEEN TWO FERNS, just to give O’Reilly an aneurysm.
— Mike Sweeney (@Courier12) March 12, 2014
At any rate, the ‘Ferns’ visit appears to have achieved its intended purpose: Visits to healthcare.gov surged, with Funny or Die the top web referrer.