I am not sure how many people are familiar with this online show on the comedy website Funny or Die, where Zach Galifianakis plays a boorish and ignorant host who interviews celebrities and both host and guest are mutually passive-aggressive and backhanded in their insults, and the cringe-worthy exchanges are interspersed with awkward moments of silence.
In this episode his guest is president Obama who comes on to plug the Affordable Care Act. It is a pretty funny segment and clearly aimed towards the audience of young people that the ACA is targeting. (Seth Fiegerman explains how this ‘interview’ came about.)
The strategy seems to have worked since apparently the clip is setting viewing record for Funny or Die videos. Already over five million people have watched it since it debuted today and the White House says it is driving a lot traffic to the website. You can be sure that those who hate Obamacare and have been discouraging young people from signing up are going to be furious and will hit back.
Time media critic James Poniewozik worries that older people may not get the edgy humor and think that Obama is genuinely annoyed and reporters have questioned whether the interview hurts the ‘dignity of the office’. I doubt it. I am a really old guy and while some may not like this kind of humor, we are not as unaware of current trends as people may think.
See it and judge for yourself.