Pop culture

President Obama zings Zach Galifianakis on 'Between Two Ferns'

March 11, 2014 at 8:27 AM ET

During an interview on the Zach Galifianakis-hosted "Between Two Ferns," President Barack Obama showed off his comedy chops with zingers about his host's "Hangover" films and repulsion at his spider bites, all while promoting his Healthcare.gov website, which he insisted "works great now."

The president gave as much attitude as he got in the awkward chat.

"What is it like to be the last black president?" a shaggy-haired Galifianakis asked. 

"Seriously?" Obama shot back. "What is it like for this to be the last time you ever talk to a president?"

During the six-and-a-half-minute sit-down, which was was recorded two weeks ago, Galifianakis was frequently flip and surly with the president, asking if he'd sent "Ambassador Rodman to North Korea" and wondering if in two years it'll be hard when Obama is out of office and no one lets him win at basketball any more.

But the president was just as low-key combative, dissing the "Hangover" movies Galifianakis starred in with Bradley Cooper. When the actor asked Obama if he's sorry that he can't run for a third term, the president snarked, "I think it's a good idea. If I ran a third time it would be sort of like doing a third 'Hangover' movie. It didn't really work out very well, did it?"

Galifianakis shot him a low-browed, furious look.

And, the president noted, Cooper "kind of carried" the "Hangover" movies. "Good looking guy," he noted.

But soon, the two got down to business. Obama noted he wouldn't have appeared on the popular web series without something to plug, and it was the Affordable Care Act. The president assured that the site is functional, and encouraged Americans to sign up.

Galifianakis asked about his own pre-existing condition, rolling up his sleeve to show his inner arm. "Spider bites," he said. 

"That's one of the most disgusting things I've ever seen," said the president, encouraging him to go to Healthcare.gov. 

Then, as the show wrapped up, he couldn't resist pressing the big red button sitting on the table between them. The black backdrop curtain fell, revealing the interior of the White House's Diplomatic Room.

"Thanks for the interview and thanks for letting me shoot my show here all these years," said Galifianakis.

"Who gave you permission to do that?" demanded the president.

"Bush," replied Galifianakis.

The exchange had TODAY anchors laughing hard as Carson Daly showed clips from the Orange Room Tuesday. Daly gave the president props: "He is amazing in this."


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