Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis

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Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis
Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis.png
Genre Comedy, talk show
Presented by Zach Galifianakis
No. of episodes 21 (including one television special) (list of episodes)
Release
Original channel Funny or Die
Picture format 16:9 HDTV
Original release January 4, 2008 – present
External links
Website

Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis is an Emmy Award-winning talk show hosted by comedian Zach Galifianakis and featuring celebrity guests. Episodes last several minutes, in which both the interviewer (Galifianakis) and guest trade barbs and insults. The most viewed episode of the show featured Galifianakis interviewing US President Barack Obama, with thirty million viewers as of April 2015. In addition to the online series, an additional episode was filmed for Comedy Central as a television special.

Format[edit]

As the show's title suggests, host Zach Galifianakis conducts celebrity interviews sitting with his guests between two potted ferns.[1] The set intentionally resembles a low-budget amateur production for public-access television,[1] with on-screen graphics containing deliberate comical errors. For example, in a 2014 episode, Brad Pitt's name is spelled "Bart Pit" and his film 12 Years a Slave — the winner of the 2013 Academy Award for Best Picture — entitled "12 Years a Salve."[2]

Galifianakis maintains an awkward and often antagonistic demeanor with his guests, asking them bizarre, inappropriate or insulting questions mixed with offhand non-sequiturs. The guests' responses are scripted.[citation needed] Episodes often include a segment in which Galifianakis awkwardly interrupts his guests to promote a sponsor's product—examples include bananas, the video game Need for Speed: Shift, and (most frequently) Speed Stick deodorant. Several episodes also feature a button placed on a table between Galifianakis and his guest which, when pressed by Galifianakis, does various things such as play music or drop slime from the ceiling. The series' theme music is Dave Blume's arrangement of Bernard Herrmann's theme from Taxi Driver, which is on the original Taxi Driver soundtrack album but was not included in the film.

History and reception[edit]

United States President Barack Obama being interviewed by Zach Galifianakis for "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis," in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on 24 February 2014.
Barack Obama interviewed on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, 2014

The show originated as a short film on Scott Aukerman and B. J. Porter's Fox sketch pilot The Right Now! Show, a spin-off of their Comedy Death-Ray live show. After the network declined to pick up the show, the duo put the short up on the website Funny Or Die, where it made a successful transition to an internet series.

Discussing the show on ABC News Now, Galifianakis said, "The sycophantic way that Hollywood machine runs – it's fun to make fun of it. That's how 'Between Two Ferns' started." Guests aren't told what will happen in advance, according to Galifianakis, "They agree to come. There is no discussion beforehand...It just happens, no real prep, no organization whatsoever." He said, "inappropriateness is really fun to me...That is kind of the take on Between Two Ferns – inappropriate humor."[3]

The Chicago Tribune described it as "surreal improv...a talk show that's more of a charming critique of the faked intimacy of celebrity interviews than a talk show."[4]

A 30-minute television special, Between Two Ferns: A Fairytale of New York, aired on Comedy Central on May 6, 2012. The show featured interviews with Tina Fey, Jon Stewart, and Richard Branson.[5]

It was nominated for an Outstanding Special Class - Short-format Live-Action Entertainment Programs Emmy at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards.[4] The episode featuring President Barack Obama was timed to encourage Americans to sign up for health insurance at Healthcare.gov—with Funnyordie.com becoming at one point the top referrer to the government site [6]—and won Outstanding Short-format Live-Action Entertainment Program at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.[7]

The September 2013 episode featuring Justin Bieber also received significant media attention. The show opened with Galifianakis telling him, "It's really exciting to talk to you. Especially right in the middle of your public meltdown."[8]

The 2014 episode featuring Brad Pitt, in which he was referred to as both "Bradley Pitts" and "Bart Pit," was called one of the funniest episodes by media. Galifianakis referred to Pitt's latest film, Fury as "Furry", and asked Pitt, "Is it hard for you to maintain a suntan...because you live in your wife's shadow?" Galifianakis also asked Pitt if his relationship with wife Angelina Jolie was anything like "Ross and Rachel" from Friends, the show that made a star of Pitt's ex-wife, Jennifer Aniston.[2]

Episodes[edit]

No. Title Guest(s) Release date Views
(millions)
1 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Michael Cera" Michael Cera January 4, 2008 15[9]
2 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Jimmy Kimmel" Jimmy Kimmel April 17, 2008 6.5[10]
3 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Jon Hamm" Jon Hamm December 12, 2008 7.2[11]
4 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Natalie Portman" Natalie Portman May 6, 2009 17[12]
5 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Bradley Cooper" Bradley Cooper and Carrot Top May 25, 2009 13[13]
6 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Charlize Theron" Charlize Theron September 7, 2009 12[14]
7 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter" Conan O'Brien, Andy Richter and Andy Dick November 16, 2009 9.0[15]
8 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Ben Stiller" Ben Stiller March 16, 2010 9.9[16]
9 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Steve Carell" Steve Carell July 27, 2010 16[17]
10 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Sean Penn" Sean Penn August 31, 2010 8[18]
11 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Bruce Willis" Bruce Willis October 12, 2010 9.9[19]
12 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Jennifer Aniston and Tila Tequila" Tila Tequila and Jennifer Aniston February 8, 2011 9.3[20]
13 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Will Ferrell and Jon Hamm" Will Ferrell and Jon Hamm May 22, 2011 11[21]
14 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Oscar Buzz Edition Part 1" Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts, Christoph Waltz, Anne Hathaway and Amy Adams February 11, 2013 6.6[22]
15 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Oscar Buzz Edition Part 2" Jessica Chastain, Sally Field, Emmanuel Lewis, and Bradley Cooper February 12, 2013 3.7[23]
16 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: James Franco" James Franco, Edward Norton, & The Lonely Island May 7, 2013 2[24]
17 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Justin Bieber" Justin Bieber September 26, 2013 27[25]
18 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Happy Holiday's Edition" Tobey Maguire, Samuel L. Jackson, and Arcade Fire December 18, 2013 4.6[26]
19 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: President Barack Obama" President Barack Obama March 11, 2014 30[27]
20 "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Brad Pitt" Brad Pitt and Louis C.K. October 22, 2014 17[28]

Television Special[edit]

Title Guests Directed by Network Original air date
"Between Two Ferns: A Fairytale of New York" Tina Fey, Jon Stewart, and Richard Branson Scott Aukerman Comedy Central May 6, 2012 (2012-05-06)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Zach and Bruce Willis on Between Two Ferns". TIME. 27 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Randee Dawn (October 23, 2014). "6 reasons to watch Brad Pitt and Zach Galifianakis on 'Between Two Ferns'". TODAY Show. Retrieved February 21, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Zach Galifianakis: Comedy's Sensitive, Sarcastic Sensation". ABC News. 6 October 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Christopher Borrelli (4 April 2012). "'Seven Minutes in Heaven': The not-so-fine art of the awkward kiss". Chicago Tribune. 
  5. ^ Josh Modell (May 6, 2012). "Between Two Ferns: A Fairytale of New York". The A.V. Club. 
  6. ^ Variety
  7. ^ Emmy Nominations
  8. ^ Hillary Busis (September 26, 2013). "'Between Two Ferns': Zach Galifianakis gives Justin Bieber a stern talking to". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 21, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Michael Cera from Between Two Ferns, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Comedy Deathray, and BJPorter". Funnyordie.com. 2008-01-04. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
  10. ^ "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Jimmy Kimmel". Funnyordie.com. 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
  11. ^ "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Jon Hamm". Funnyordie.com. 2008-12-12. Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis: Natalie Portman". Funnyordie.com. 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
  13. ^ "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Bradley Cooper". Funnyordie.com. 2009-05-25. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
  14. ^ "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Charlize Theron". Funnyordie.com. 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
  15. ^ "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Conan O'Brien & Andy Richter". Funnyordie.com. 2009-11-16. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
  16. ^ "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Ben Stiller". Funnyordie.com. 2010-03-16. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
  17. ^ "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Steve Carell". Funnyordie.com. 2010-07-27. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
  18. ^ "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Sean Penn". Funnyordie.com. 2010-08-31. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
  19. ^ "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Bruce Willis". Funnyordie.com. 2010-10-12. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
  20. ^ "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Tila Tequila". Funnyordie.com. 2011-02-08. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
  21. ^ "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Will Ferrell". Funnyordie.com. 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
  22. ^ "Between Two Ferns: Oscar Buzz Edition Part 1". Funnyordie.com. 2013-02-11. Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Between Two Ferns: Oscar Buzz Edition Part 2". Funnyordie.com. 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
  24. ^ "Between Two Ferns: James Franco". Funnyordie.com. 2013-05-07. Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Between Two Ferns: Justin Bieber". Funnyordie.com. 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2015-04-16. 
  26. ^ "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Happy Holidays Edition". Funnyordie.com. 2013-12-18. Retrieved 2015-04-16. 
  27. ^ "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: President Barack Obama". Funnyordie.com. 2013-03-11. Retrieved 2015-04-16. 
  28. ^ "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Brad Pitt". Funnyordie.com. 2013-03-11. Retrieved 2015-04-16. 

External links[edit]