Obviously there’s a strange tension whenever a political figure — especially one who’s in the midst of campaigning — appears on a comedy show, as it plays deeply into the emphasis on politicians as personas as opposed to policymakers. (Recall, which I’m sure you can, the frighteningly warm interview Jimmy Fallon gave with Trump as a means of messing up his hair.) That being said, of all the viral video pop-cultural, light-spirited plugs for a politician to partake in, Funny or Die/Zach Galifianakis’ Between Two Ferns is one of the most legitimately funny. (And also the smartest from a persona standpoint — because rather than requiring politicians to try to make themselves look as “normal” and “cool” as possible — like SNL, perhaps — it merely requires them to try to act super-serious and uncomfortable while scripted-ly responding to the most hilariously inane questions they’ve ever been asked.)
Hillary Clinton appeared — announced with the subtitle, “Hillary Clinton: had pneumonia” — on his fake talk show (whose defining trait is taking place, as the title indicates, between two ferns) in advance of the first presidential debate on September 26, 2016, and because playing up persona is unfortunately still very crucial to getting people to vote, it was both funny and effective, and hopefully will win the favor of some younger voters. It saw her responding to a number of brilliantly stupid questions, such as:
“When [Trump’s] elected President and Kid Rock becomes Secretary of State, are you going to move to Canada?”
“Are you excited to be the first girl president?”
“Does Ivanka ever call Chelsea to talk about boys who have crushes on her? Like her dad?”
and, on finishing the interview:
“What’s the best way to reach you? Email?”
The comic height of the clip comes in a back-and-forth, when Galifianakis asks Clinton about the Donald/Melania wedding she and Bill famously attended:
“When you went to Donald Trump’s wedding, did he write his own vows? And did Michelle Obama write Melania’s?”
“I couldn’t see or hear very well, so I’m really not quite sure what his vows were. But I’m sure they were great, and huge, and wonderful,” Hillary responds.
“Like his bowels,” states Galifianakis.