The Between Two Ferns starring President Obama and the above screencap from The O’Reilly Factor have been two of the funniest things that happened so far this week by a wide margin, for very different reasons. (For the record, I hope we start settling way more arguments using the “Would Abraham Lincoln have done it?” standard. “Should we get some poppers as an appetizer for the table?” “Lincoln hated jalapeños.” “So… mozzarella sticks, then?”) But now things appear to be going from Funny Haha to Funny Oooooooooo, as the director of Between Two Ferns, Comedy Bang Bang host Scott Aukerman, fired back at O’Reilly in an interview with Slate that I will now quote at length to try to preserve the context, unlike *cough*some*cough* media outlets:
Slate: I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but since the segment ran, Texas Rep. Randy Weber—who is sort of well-known for tweeting angry things—and Bill O’Reilly both criticized it. Weber said that the president should be focusing on Benghazi, not a comedy show. O’Reilly said Lincoln never would have sat down for something like this. Have you seen those criticisms?
Aukerman: Well, to the first point, about how the president has time to do something like that—it’s kind of ridiculous. People can do a lot of different things in the day. If they were that concerned about the president never doing something that wasn’t serious and connected to his job, we’d elect two presidents. It would be a tag-team situation—one president is sleeping, they slap hands, and the other one gets in.
I’m certain the president is not slacking off during the day. This is very important, trying to get the people who watch these videos involved in the Affordable Care Act. He has time to talk to young people about what they were doing.
As to the second thing—look, Bill O’Reilly is used to saying kind of stupid things to get attention. There’s not much of a difference between the president appearing on Between Two Ferns and appearing on The O’Reilly Factor. The difference is that we admit we’re a comedy show.
The real shame here is that everyone’s going to focus on that last paragraph and totally skip over the idea about the tag-team president system. We could have a good cop one and a bad cop one, and use them both to negotiate with uncooperative world leaders. And if that doesn’t work, one of them could distract the United Nations while the other hits, like, Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong-un or whoever with a steel chair that has “DIPLOMACY” scribbled on it in Magic Marker.
All I’m saying is that it could work. You don’t know.