The Internet was worked into a tizzy yesterday when Barack Obama turned up on Zach Galifianakis’ Between Two Ferns. Much like the celebrities who have sat between the flanking pteridophytes, Obama was there to plug one of his latest projects, in this case the HealthCare.gov site—the launch of which had been something of a clusterfuck.
The video, which sees Obama and Galifianakis trading barbs, appears to have paid off for the campaign, as White House Senior Communications Advisor Tara McGuinness claims it boosted HealthCare.gov’s traffic by 40 percent yesterday. That bump will likely serve the campaign well, as it still needs another 1.8 million Americans to enroll by the March 31 deadline to meet its projected goal of 6 million new enrollments. Meanwhile, historians have been struggling to find ways to assess the reality that the success of socialized medicine in America hinged on a well-timed joke about The Hangover franchise.