So, comedian and comic actor Zach Galifianakis has ruled out a Donald Trump appearance on his spoof talk show Between Two Ferns, which has been hosted by the comedy website Funny Or Die since 2008.
Galifianakis plays himself on the show, though adopts the persona of a goofy, clueless interviewer (think Alan Partridge meets Alan from The Hangover movies). The guests are in on the gag, and it’s surprising how game they are at sending themselves up.
He recently invited Hilary Clinton onto the show, but has announced that fellow Presidential candidate Donald Trump will not receive a similar invite. “He’s the kind of guy who likes attention – bad attention or good attention,” the comedian told the Los Angeles Times. So you’re dealing with a psychosis there that’s a little weird. “I wouldn’t have somebody on that’s so mentally challenged. I feel like I’d be taking advantage of him. And you can print that.”
It would be grotesquely fascinating to see Trump attempt to satirise himself, since he’s a walking parody anyway, but there are already some golden moments in the Between Two Ferns canon. Such as…
Let’s start with the obvious one. In this recent episode, Galifianakis asks 68-year-old Clinton, “What happens if you become pregnant?”. He also asks she’ll do when Trump becomes President and Kid Rock is anointed Secretary of State. To which the only responses are to cry with laughter… or just cry.
Carrell plays a petty, brittle version of himself here. The idea is that’s he watched the show and anticipates some barbs from Galifianakis. So he comes prepares with some fat jokes aimed at the host, who is so upset by the jibes that he’s moved to tears. Don’t worry, though – it doesn’t take long for our hero to regain his fighting spirit.
Actually quite a bold one, this, as Galifianakis uses the spoof scenario to ask Biebs some pretty probing questions about his bad behaviour, which at the time included pissing in a mop bucket in a restaurant and suggesting that Anne Frank may have been a Belieber on a visit to her infamous house.
The actress brings her cute dog on-set in this early episode, which sees Galifianakis ask the Star Wars actor what Chewbacca is like to work with. Best bit: when the pooch appears to roll its eyes at the interviewer’s stupidity.
The purportedly po-faced actor shows his sense of humour here, putting up with “Seth”, supposedly Galifianakis’ brother, who is in fact played Galifianakis with a daft moustache. When an interview ends with Sean Penn threatening to “knock you the fuck outta your chair,” it probably hasn’t gone great.
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Theron flirts outrageously with the host, and doesn’t even seem to mind when he mixes up the heartbreaking serial killer drama Monster, for which she won an Oscar, with the cutesy Pixar kids’ movie Monsters Inc.
In this 2010 episode, Galifianakis makes the joke that Bruce Willis is Ashton Kutcher’s dad (Kutcher was dating the older actor’s ex-wife Demi Moore at the time), a gag that Ricky Gervais did better a at the Golden Globes a year later. It’s still funny, though, and Willis excels at portraying himself as a dejected creep who never regained his ’80s pomp.
Jennifer Aniston and Tila Tequila
Tila who? That’s kind of the point. She a reality Z-lister (who happened to be kicked off Celebrity Big Brother for being a wrong un last year), and the gag is that Galifianakis is way more interested in speaking to her than bonafide megastar Jennifer Aniston. Goddamn it, it works.
It’s impossible for Will Ferrell to be unfunny, and so it proves here. Bromance spills over into romance as he and Galifianakis feed each other cherries and other increasingly large fruit. Then, as all relationships must, it ends in tears.
This list opened with a political interview, and so it ends too. Put aside considerations that perhaps the President of the United States might have better things to do than appear on an online spoof talk show and simply enjoy Obama answering every dumb question with the deadpan retort, “Seriously?”