Obama Pitches His Health Care Plan on Funny or Die
The president urged young people to sign up for the new health care plan through an appearance posted Tuesday on the comic website Funny or Die, bypassing the news media and even previous favorites like TV talk show titans
The video reached 1 million views within three and a half hours of posting and was adding more at a pace of 1 million per hour in the middle of the day, according to Funny or Die. The website was briefly the number one source of referrals to Healthcare.gov, the Obama administration said, with some 19,000 people navigating directly from the video to the health care website in the first few hours.
"Gone are the days when your broadcasts — or yours or yours — can reach everybody that we need to reach," Obama press secretary
With 4 million viewers, Obama exceeded in six hours the typical audience he would get by appearing on television shows hosted by Letterman, Fallon,
As hip as Fallon and Kimmel may be in some circles, their audiences skew older — a median age of 52.7 for Fallon and 56.2 for Kimmel during the last week of February, the
For Web entertainment, it's a moment that rivals Emmy or Golden Globe nominations for
In the clip, Galifianakis peppered Obama with awkward questions, including whether he'd locate his presidential library in
"What's it like to be the last black president?" he asked.
"Seriously?" Obama said. "What's it like for this to be the last time you ever talk to a president?"
Galifianakis feigned annoyance when Obama, about halfway through the 6-minute clip, began urging young people to sign up for health care, sighing heavily before muttering, "Here we go."
"I think it's fair to say I wouldn't be here today if I didn't have something to plug," Obama said. As he went on, the "Hangover" star asked: "Is this what they mean by drones?"
Funny or Die was launched by
Television talk show appearances have since become an accepted part of the political circuit. The Obama administration hasn't ignored this: First lady
He's done interactive Web appearances with Linked In,
"The video enabled the president to deliver his message very clearly but in a way that's fresh and appealing to a young audience," said
"What I really love about the video is that it's a funny 'Between Two Ferns' first," Farah said. At the end, the interview's black backdrop collapses and it's revealed the
In the first few hours, 96 percent of the site's visitors judged the video funny, meaning it had reached immortal status on the site, he said.
As 2016 approaches, no doubt other politicians will be watching its impact.
Not everyone was amused, though. On
Carney was asked whether some presidential dignity was compromised.
"We obviously assess opportunities that we have and, you know, look at whether they're going to be successful and wise," he said. "And I think we made the right call here."
|Television President Barack Obama|