Obama: Galifianakis was 'pretty nervous' during 'Ferns'

5:04 PM, Mar 14, 2014   |    comments
President Obama used his appearance on "Between Two Ferns" to encourage young people to sign up for health insurance before a key deadline on March 31.(Photo: Funnyordie.com)
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(USA TODAY) Sitting across from the president -- even when it's a joke -- can be pretty stressful.

Just ask comedian Zach Galifianakis, whose latest episode of Between Two Ferns featured President Obama. The clip went viral, created tons of buzz and generated plenty of laughs, but the actor was a bit rattled, the president told Ryan Seacrest.

"Zach actually was pretty nervous," Obama revealed. "His whole character is to go after the guest and I think he was looking around and seeing all these Secret Service guys with guns and thinking, 'I wonder what happens here if I cross the line?' ... But we had a great time."

Obama says his daughter Malia was thrilled to hear he'd done one of her favorite shows, even though he -- like so many clueless dads of teens -- didn't know anything about Ferns beforehand.

"I wasn't familiar with this thing, but when I was at the dinner table with the girls and I said, 'Well today I did something with Zach, it's called Two Ferns I think?' Malia was so excited! She had seen all the previous episodes, so I figured it was going to reach our target audience, which is a lot of young people and it turns out we've had close to 15 million hits."

Ultimately, Obama got what he wanted out of the appearance, too: More young people to register for Obamacare.

"Afterwards people actually did link to healthcare.gov and people actually signed up for health insurance, so it ended up working."

He does realize, however, that comedy is not necessarily in his future. "I think I have to keep my day job."

Yeah, you do.

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