Obama with Galifianakis on ‘Between Two Ferns’

Just thought you might enjoy this. It’s the leader of the Free World (do we still say that, after the Cold War?) on Zach Galifianakis’ mock talk show on Funny or Die, “Between Two Ferns.”

Slate reports that the episode “works pretty well not only as a pitch for healthcare.gov, which gets an extensive plug, but also as an episode of Between Two Ferns.”

See what you think. Personally, I found it a little disconcerting to watch POTUS trash-talking a little fat guy whom we’ve been conditioned to feel sorry for. Maybe, since it’s a fake talk show, they should have fake presidents as guests. Such as Josiah Bartlet, or Garrett Walker.

The world has just gotten weirder and weirder ever since SNL introduced irony to television in the ’70s…

27 thoughts on “Obama with Galifianakis on ‘Between Two Ferns’

  1. Bryan Caskey

    Haven’t seen the interview, but I’ll watch it later tonight. (No sound on my work computer)

    In related news, since going on “Funny or Die” I heard that the “Death” will be renamed “Funny or Death” panels.

  2. Doug Ross

    I’m not sure I feel better about the President of the United States performing in these types of skits. Same goes for watching Michelle Obama in a skit with Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell last week. We’ve come a long way from Richard Nixon saying “Sock it to me!” on Laugh In.

    I mean I guess there aren’t more important issues a President could be working on… some of those pesky issues are REALLY HARD and NO FUN!!!!

    What’s next as we travel down the slippery slope to Idiocracy?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah, you know, even as I was typing that SNL introduced irony to TV, I thought of “Laugh-In.”

      And really, even though it lasted only a second, having a perplexed Nixon say “Sock it to ME?” was every bit as weird as this.

      But it wasn’t quite the same.

      SNL introduced the National Lampoon sensibility to a mass audience. It was immediately recognizable as a new thing, as something we hadn’t seen on the tube before. You might call it the Michael O’Donoghue difference.

      “Laugh-In” was kooky and zany. SNL was college-level smart-ass.

        1. Doug Ross

          O’Donoghue got his start with the National Lampoon… a magazine that came along at just the right time for a blossoming young cynic with a sick sense of humor.

          The progression was:

          Mad/Cracked -> National Lampoon -> Spy Magazine

    2. kc

      “I mean I guess there aren’t more important issues a President could be working on”

      Yeah, God forbid he should take part of a day to promote healthcare in a format that’s likely to reach a lot of people.

      1. bud

        Good point. Given the viral nature of the “interview” hundreds of thousands of people are taking a look at the ACA website.

        1. Doug Ross

          You know this for a fact, bud? That hundreds of thousands of people are going to the website NOW after watching the video? Do you have a reference for that fact?

          1. Bryan Caskey

            Only 19k clicks? Heck, he should have just tried to get an Instalanche. He would have done much better.

            Oh, and let me know how many sign ups that gets.

      2. Doug Ross

        If Obama has to go on a Youtube video tossing out pre-written laugh lines to push Obamacare, it’s doomed.

        If someone needs to watch a Youtube clip to understand they need insurance, I’m guessing they aren’t going to be paying for their own insurance.

    3. bud

      What’s next as we travel down the slippery slope to Idiocracy?

      We could elect Mr. Plagerist, Rand Paul. Did you hear his proposal for solving the Ukraine crisis? Probably the single dumbest idea I’ve heard in many a day. He suggested that we should drill everywhere for oil and natural gas then send the surplus to Europe so they won’t be beholden to Russia for their energy needs. Seriously? And this guy actually won the CPAC straw poll.

      1. Doug Ross

        I’m sorry the theory of economics is too difficult to comprehend versus a Youtube clip of Obama and a comedian.

        1. der deutscher Flußgabelunger

          How is the Rand Paul’s natural gas plan economically feasible. Russia’s natural gas industry is far more competitive in Europe than America’s. Not only does Russia already have the infrastructure to deliver the gas, Gazprom being a gov’t monopoly can easily prevent market entry by taking loses in the short term (by lowering their prices below market value) to keep out competitors in the long term.

          Russian natural gas also has lower transportation costs compared to the US, which would require US companies building new delivery systems to Atlantic ports than load the gas on boats sail to Europe and then offload the gas into brand new pipelines. US companies would require billions in subsidies and tax breaks from the gov’t (which last time I checked was verboten among libertarians) just to compete with Gazprom.

          This is more “drill baby drill” idiocy.

  3. Bryan Caskey

    Meanwhile, the countries of Eastern Europe are begging for help to break the near monopoly Russia has on their gas supplies. Heaven forbid we take action that would increase US exports, help our allies and diminish Russia’s influence. That’s just crazy talk.

    And here’s the kicker: This is what the USA is good at. We can out-produce the hell out of Russia, sell Eastern Europe all the LNG they have the cash to pay for, and everyone wins except for Russia. It would add REAL wealth to our economy, instead of the false, future destroying wealth of printed “stimulus” money.

    But that’s just crazy winger-type talk, right?

    1. Doug Ross


      I’ll wait for the Youtube explanation.. .maybe you can get Justin Bieber and Keyboard Cat to sing a little ditty that explains it for me. Meanwhile, let me get back to watching Harry Reid on The View.

    2. bud

      Only one problem, we don’t have nearly enough natural gas to make any sort of difference. And there is zero possibility of ever developing enough. We just simply have too much demand for the stuff at home. And with the phasing out of coal fired plants that demand increase will only accelerate. We need to be thinking about a future without fossil fuels, not re-fighting the battles of the 70s.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that they know aren’t so .”

        It’s not our supply that is the limiting factor. That’s not a winning argument because it’s simply factually wrong. I used NPR as the source simply because it’s accepted by leftists, but the fact remains that the ol’ USA is basically the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. I could have used about a hundred other sources. Unless you’re talking to a nihilistic environmentalist who wants everyone to go back to living in caves, the USA being the world’s largest producer of LNG is a good thing.

        However, if I was playing your side of the chessboard, I would say “There’s no cost effective way to get LNG to Ukraine and Eastern Europe in the short term. It’s cumbersome to deliver it to Europe. You have to liquify the gas for transport via ship, whereas Russia has evil pipelines (like the one that Canada wants to build here). Accordingly, we won’t be able to undercut the Russians on price, as our transportation costs are higher.

        That’s your better argument.

        However, supply and demand are going to work in our favor, as simply giving Eastern Europe another option (albeit higher priced in the short term) will lessen Russia’s influence.

        In accordance with Brad’s Shorthand Argument system, I hereby designate my argument of “supply and demand works with free markets to promote good outcomes” as Bryan Caskey Argument 12(b)(6).

        By the way, when are we gonna play a chess game? Lately, I’ve been really enjoying playing black with the French defense in my games. It’s not quite as “sexy” as the Sicilian, but it seems to make for fun middle games.

        1. Doug Ross

          re: Bryan Caskey Argument 12(b)(6).

          which is an offshoot of Doug’s Argument 1(a) : Read an economics book

        2. bud

          The NPR article was a bit dated. I went straight to the source, EIA, to see what’s the latest on natural gas prices. Indeed they did get really cheap in 2012 bottoming out at 2.56/thousand cubic foot. But they’ve doubled since. That reflects the reality that the market can only be supplied properly if prices increase to reflect the marginal cost of producing the stuff from expensive shale deposits. Indeed many sources suggest supply increases until 2040. That seems like a long way off but it really isn’t and frankly I’m highly skeptical. Fracking supplies tend to peak and decline very rapidly. But we shall see.


          1. Bryan Caskey

            A bit dated? It’s from October of 2013. According to the scratches on the wall of my cave, that was 5 months ago. The EIA report (from whence the NPR piece was sourced) estimates that for 2013, the US would be the number one producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons.

            FACT: The USA is a major player in LNG production. Specifically, we were the top dog in 2013, and we’ll probably be the top dog this year.

            I don’t know why this is difficult to acknowledge. Heck, I figured that you would be happy that natural gas production is increasing since you’re very concerned about humans releasing carbon into the atmosphere due to energy needs.

            In general, mankind has been naturally moving away from carbon in terms of energy production since…oh about the reign of Queen VIctoria. As a vast oversimplification, the more carbon in your fuel, the more you release into the atmosphere.

            For a very long time, until about the early 1800’s, man used to burn wood for energy, which had an extremely high carbon to hydrogen ratio; 10:1. It was also very heavy. Then guess what?

            Along came coal. It was lighter than wood by volume so it was easier to transport, burned cleaner, was more efficient, and it had a lower carbon to hydrogen ratio: 2:1. Then guess what?

            Along came oil. It was lighter than coal by volume so it was easier to transport, burned cleaner, was more efficient, and it had an even lower carbon to hydrogen ratio of 1:2. Then guess what?

            Along came natural gas. Natural gas is now displacing oil. Over the coming decades, natural gas will be the big winner, a result of its 1 to 4 C:H ratio. Natural gas burns forty times cleaner (in terms of carbon emissions) than wood.

            Natural gas will be dominant for a time. And then something better will replace it…once there’s something better. Maybe solar, Maybe nuclear. Maybe something else that hasn’t even been thought of yet. Who knows what the future will hold?

            So that’s great, right? We’re naturally moving towards cleaner and more efficient fuels over the long run. And it’s all been done without government mandates, central, planning, lawyers, Al Gore, the NRDC, or the SIerra Club.

            So not to digress too much from the original point, we have lots of natural gas here in the USA.

            Will offering to export some of it to Eastern Europe help weaken the influence of the dictator currently running Russia? I don’t know for sure, but it might. Is there a compelling reason why we shouldn’t? I can’t think of one.

  4. susanincola

    I watched part of it and had to kill it. That was so incredibly disrespectful of the office of the President, I couldn’t keep watching. Nothing funny about it.

  5. Bryan Caskey

    Unfortunately, I sat through the whole thing during a few minutes at lunch today. There goes a few minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.

  6. bud

    Bryan you have certainly done your homework on the nat gas issue, but so have I. Sure we’re producing about 30% more than we did at the end of 2004. And since it is much, much cleaner than oil and much, much cleaner than coal that’s a good thing.

    But before we get too giddy about this there are a number of concerns that we simply must address. First, even if you think the environmentalists are a bunch of complete wackos, un-American or worse it is an issue for producers that battles are being waged against nat gas production from shale sources. Frankly the concerns are well grounded when it comes to a variety of concerns like earthquake, chemicals, extreme water usage and pollution of water supplies. Those things must be addressed going forward.

    Second, even if we continue to increase production AND keep prices low (2 enormous ifs) most of the added production will go toward domestic consumption in the form of industrial uses, emerging transportation modes and especially electricity generation. Coal fired plants are rapidly being phased out and the only currently viable option is nat gas. With all that increased demand there just simply won’t be that much left over for export.

    Third, the EIA is a good source of information but there are many skeptics that don’t readily accept the rosy production outlook going forward. Not because of environmental or political considerations but simply geological constraints. The current boom is entirely the result of fracking techniques that are expensive. True they are not as expensive as they once were but still they require a great deal more resources. And once a well is producing it reaches peak output quickly then declines very quickly. That means that in order to continue increasing overall production well have to be completed at brought on line at a prodigious pace. Perhaps if we ignore the environmental constraints that can be done without regard to externalities but really is that even realistic.

    Ultimately, nat gas production will peak and decline just like all resources that have a fixed quantity in the ground. That is just a geological fact. But we don’t know when. Keep in mind most analysts suggest a peak around 2040. Wow that’s a long time off right? Only 26 years. Does that really seem so far off?

    None of this is to diminish the importance of natural gas as an important source both now and in the future. But it is important that we don’t get so engrossed in a few graphs that are projections based on a great deal of unknowns and clouded by a world full of constraints. I suggest that we don’t squander this valuable resource on foreign political adventurism. It will still be a useful fuel well into the future even if we leave much of it in the ground for now. Frankly a much better source of energy for our future is the sun and wind. Neither will ever deplete.

    Here a links to a couple of pages from the EIA that show natural gas production and consumption over the years:

    Natural Gas:
    – December, 2013: 2,626,975 (Million Cubic Feet)
    – All of 2013: 30,167,197
    – December, 2004: 2,023,680
    – All of 2004: 23,969,678
    Difference: (+603,295) +29.8%
    Difference: (+6,197,519) +25.9%



    2013: 26,034,354
    2004: 22,402,546
    Difference: (+3,631,808) +16.2%


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