If you have six minutes and 30 seconds to spare use it to watch the howl-out-loud hilarious “Funny or Die” video featuring President Obama and off-beat actor Zach Galifianakis. “Between two ferns” has the look and feel of a public access show from the 1980s. The humor is oh so dry with the two men hurling gasp-worthy zingers at each other. And it’s all to get young people to sign up for health care through Healthcare.gov.
What’s brilliant about this effort is that the sales pitch doesn’t come until 3:29. Before you get to it, you hear Obama and Galifianakis trade some pretty amazing barbs that are superb simply because of who is delivering them.
“What is it like to be the last black president?” To which the first black president responds, “Seriously?! What’s it like for this to be the last time you ever talk to a president?” (1:15) “Where are you planning on building your presidential library, in Hawaii or your home country of Kenya?” Galifianakis asks. “That’s a ridiculous question,” Obama retorts before the actor starts in on the whole birth certificate issue. (2:23) “You said if you had a son you would not let him play football,” Galifianakis says. “What makes you think that he’d want to play football? What if he was a nerd like you?” Obama smirked his reply. “Do you think a woman like Michelle would marry a nerd?” When Galifianakis takes Obama up on his assertion that he should ask the first lady himself, the president said, “No. I’m not going to let her near you.” (3:02)
Obama touts the success of Healthcare.gov now that all that bugs and kinks have been worked out. Using Galifianakis’s snarky comments about the websites problems, Obama tells viewers, particularly young people, the importance of signing up and how to do it. The deadline is March 31.
According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index released Monday, the number of uninsured has dropped 1.2 percent from 17.1 percent in 2013 to 15.9 percent so far this year. The AP reports that “translates to about 3 million people gaining [health] coverage.” And a story from Kaiser Health News noted that “only about 25 percent of adults who have signed up are younger than 34 [years old]. The federal government is hoping to nudge that proportion closer to 40 percent.”
One of the best ways to reach the youngin’s these days is through humor. Just ask Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. With “Between Two Ferns,” Obama and Galifianakis gave it their best shot to ensure the “young invincibles” get insured.
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