Between Two Ferns: The Movie

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Between Two Ferns: The Movie
Between Two Ferns film poster.png
Film release poster
Directed byScott Aukerman
Screenplay byScott Aukerman
Story byZach Galifianakis
Scott Aukerman
Based on
Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis
Produced byCaitlin Daley
Mike Farah
Scott Aukerman
Zach Galifianakis
CinematographyBenjamin Kasulke
Edited byBrendan Walsh
Hank Friedmann
Music byAlex Wurman
Funny or Die
Billios Productions
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
  • September 20, 2019 (2019-09-20)
Running time
83 minutes
CountryUnited States

Between Two Ferns: The Movie is a 2019 American comedy film directed by Scott Aukerman and starring Zach Galifianakis that acts as a spin-off of the web series of the same name. The film was released on September 20, 2019, on Netflix.[1][2]


Zach Galifianakis is the host of his public access TV show Between Two Ferns. After Will Ferrell discovered the show and uploaded it to Funny or Die, Zach has become a viral laughing stock, attracting millions of views every day due to his poor direction. During an interview with Matthew McConaughey, Zach accidentally sets off a sprinkler system and causes a water leak which floods the room, drowning Matthew, although he is later resuscitated.

The incident attracts more views than ever, resulting in Will to offer Zach to turn ten episodes in two weeks and become president of Funny or Die; Zach, dreaming of having his own talk-show, accepts and starts a road trip. While the road trip is successful; Zach bonds with his crew and even though the interviews with guests David Letterman, Paul Rudd, Chrissy Teigen (with whom he has an affair after trying to interview her because of Jake Gyllenhaal's canceled flight), John Legend (who sprays him with mace because of the affair), Jon Hamm, Hailee Steinfeld, Awkwafina, Tiffany Haddish, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tessa Thompson are successful, Zach becomes short of money due to expensive activities. This causes Zach's manager, Carol (Lauren Lapkus) to steal items from Peter Dinklage during his interview to sell them and buy their return to Los Angeles.

On their way back, Zach gets into an accident by reading emails while driving, destroying his two beloved ferns. Despite antagonizing his crew, they reconcile and go back to Los Angeles and win the deal. Learning he will get four new ferns, Zach celebrates and starts his new show, Ferns with Zach Galifianakis and within a month became a national success. Although, his crew criticizes its lack of charm and personality causing Zach to cancel his talk-show and leave with his crew, not before two of his new ferns get destroyed by a car.


As themselves[edit]


On May 23, 2019, Funny or Die announced that it would make a film version of Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis for Netflix. The film was directed by Scott Aukerman, the co-creator of the original series, and produced by Aukerman, Galifianakis, Caitlin Daley and Mike Farah.[1][2] On June 17, 2019, it was reported that Ryan Gaul, Lauren Lapkus, and Jiavani Linayao were part of the cast alongside Galifianakis.[3]

Several ideas for Between Two Ferns: The Movie that Galifianakis came up with and subsequently discarded early in development were used on his show Baskets.[4]

Aukerman cited several other mockumentary films as inspiration, including This Is Spinal Tap, Borat, and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.[4]


On September 3, 2019, the first trailer for the movie was released.[5]

The film was released on September 20, 2019 on Netflix.[1]


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 75% based on 60 reviews, with an average rating of 6.6/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Between Two Ferns: The Movie shows the strain of stretching a series of web shorts to feature length, but should still satisfy fans of the source material."[6] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[7]

Nick Allen of gave the film 3 1/2 out of 4 stars, saying that "takes what's made the series so extremely funny and lovingly expands it into a feature film, in a way that would make all those ‘90s Saturday Night Live movies envious."[8] Writing for The A.V. Club, William Hughes gave the film a B, praising its humor but with the slightly muted criticism that "some of the original, exciting venom of the show’s appeal ends up a bit diluted along the way".[9]


Scott Aukerman, Zach Galifianakis, Mike Farah, Caitlin Daley and Corinne Eckart were nominated for a 2020 Primetime Emmy Award in the category Outstanding Short Form Variety Series for Between Two Ferns with Zack Galifianakis: The Movie, Sorta Uncut Interviews, consisting of uncut interviews from the film featuring David Letterman, Paul Rudd, Awkwafina, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brie Larson, Keanu Reeves, Hailee Steinfeld, and Adam Scott released on the Netflix Is A Joke YouTube channel and[10][11]


  1. ^ a b c Haring, Bruce (May 24, 2019). "'Between Two Ferns: The Movie' With Zach Galifianakis Confirmed, Sets Release Date". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Lincoln, Ross A. (May 23, 2019). "Zach Galifianakis to Bring 'Between Two Ferns: The Movie' to Netflix in September". TheWrap. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  3. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (June 17, 2019). "Netflix Plants Ryan Gaul, Lauren Lapkus, And Jiavani Linayao For 'Between Two Ferns'". Deadline. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Comedy Bang! Bang! episode 619, The Stars of Between Two Ferns: The Movie
  5. ^ Kim, Michelle (September 3, 2019). "Watch the New Trailer for Zach Galifianakis' Between Two Ferns: The Movie". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  6. ^ "Between Two Ferns: The Movie (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  7. ^ "Between Two Ferns: The Movie Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  8. ^ Allen, Nick. "Between Two Ferns: The Movie movie review (2019) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  9. ^ Hughes, William (September 20, 2019). "The Between Two Ferns Movie Is Funny, But a Little Defanged". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  10. ^ Schneider, Michael (July 29, 2020). "Emmys Trivia: 18 Surprising, Interesting and Just Odd Facts From 2020's Nominations". Variety. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  11. ^ "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: The Movie, Sorta Uncut Interviews". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 28, 2020.

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