Say what you want about his politics, but President Obama definitely has a sense of humor.
The leader of the free world appeared on Funny or Die’s Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis to promote the Affordable Care Act, and EW talked with director/producer Scott Aukerman, who co-created the series in 2008, about filming in the White House, Obama’s improv skills, and how they thought the whole thing wasn’t going to happen until the last minute.
The viral video has already racked up more than 6 million views in less than one day on the Funny or Die website. Aukerman was on a plane Tuesday morning and was shocked to see such a large reaction right away. “That’s super nuts! It’s hard to imagine 6 million people watching something in less than six hours,” Aukerman told EW. “How many people are there in the country though? 300 million? We still got a little ways to go.” Aukerman and Galifianakis had been chasing down Obama as a Ferns guest for years, hoping he would follow in the footsteps of Bradley Cooper, Justin Bieber, Natalie Portman, and Michael Cera, among others, who have all appeared on the show. Rumors from the White House that Obama may be interested in doing something “like this” circulated, but nothing ever came of it. “There was a series of false alarms,” Aukerman said.
In July, Aukerman and a group of Funny or Die creators met with Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett with the intention of creating viral videos to promote the Affordable Care Act. Aukerman suggested again that Ferns would be a perfect opportunity for Obama and his platform but didn’t hear anything until just three weeks ago. “They said if it were ever to happen, it would be now so start preparing.” Aukerman and Galifianakis were still suspicious that the shoot would get canceled again, even after a specific date and time was set and plane tickets had been purchased for D.C. It wasn’t until the pair were actually in the White House when it finally hit them. “I think this might actually be filmed!” Aukerman joked to Galifianakis at the time. “I remember I stood outside that building when I was 13. I never thought I would be invited in and meet the President.” READ FULL STORY