On Tuesday, President Obama appeared on Funny or Die's Between Two Ferns with actor and comedian Zack Galifianakas to push Obamacare. Chris Matthews and his guests could not contain their amusement at the alleged brilliance of Obama's acting skills and quick comebacks. The video has almost 8 million views and the White House said Tuesday morning that it led to 19,000 direct links to Healthcare.gov. They did not release how many of those 19,000 resulted in sign-ups.
Some have critiqued Obama for not appearing presidential and stooping too low to garner signups for his signature law. Matthews and his guests, Dana Milbank of The Washington Post, and Lizz Winstead (co-creator of The Daily Show) did not agree with the criticisms and defended Obama's appearance.
Matthews asked Winstead if she had watched the mock interview in its entirety and commented he thought the video was "hilarious". Winstead responded,
It was so hilarious and what I loved about it is that, you run the risk on doing a video like that, where it's so funny that you you forget what the message is supposed to be. Or if it's a celebrity you really talk about the celebrity and how funny it was but then you don't talk about that it was for healthcare. But not with this, I think they nailed it.
Referring to those who have critiqued the video and Obama, Milbank responded that he thinks the president can "walk and chew gum at the same time." All three agreed Obama should not be faulted for appearing on a video thought up by the Funny Or Die team last summer. The trio hailed it as an opportunity to reach the key demographic the White House needs to sign up for Obamacare.