We all know him as Alan, the loveable goofball who kickstarted the Hangover franchise by roofie-ing his friends, but he’s not all fluff all the time. For the past decade, Zach Galifianakis has sat “between two ferns” to conduct awkward interviews and berate some of the biggest celebrities in the world. I mean, how can it not get awkward if you ask Hillary Clinton how she serves President Obama his coffee every morning? Or tell Brad Pitt he looks like Hitler’s wet dream?
Created by Emmy-winning film and TV production company Funny Or Die, the absurdist celebrity talk show Between Two Ferns has given us some of the funniest and most cringe-worthy moments that exist on the internet. The low production value (who can forget the drip from the ceiling in the Matthew McConaughey episode?) and the increasingly personal and offensive questions which the celebrities reply to with their own snarky and passive-aggressive retorts lends to the show’s appeal. Everyone’s in on it, but they don’t crack so much as a smile and you could cut the tension in the room with a knife.
We’ve put together a list of the absolute banger interviews—from the 22-part series available on YouTube and the 2019 Netflix film Between Two Ferns: The Movie—that is bound to make your day. So get ready with those snacks for your binge-watch!
1. Keanu Reeves
One would think it would be impossible to be an asshole to Keanu Reeves. But Zach Galifianakis takes up that challenge, and nails it in this episode, where he takes shots at Reeves’ acting chops and his MTV Movie Award for Best Fight. Watch the entire episode to find out exactly how many words Reeves know and which part of his body Galifiankis was hoping to keep.
2. Benedict Cumberbatch
Galifianakis tries to stir up some controversy right off the bat in this one with Benadryl Cumberbash. Sorry, Benedict Cumberbatch. After struggling to get his name right, the comedian gets to the real question—how good does it feel to sell out? Cumberbatch’s patience starts to run thin when Galifianakis starts roasting his face and his accent. The interview does go off the rails when Galifianakis confronts Sherlock about his colonial past. Watch the entire episode to watch Galifianakis’ silly bit about Vincent Van Gogh answering his cell phone.
3. Brie Larson
Galifianakis is more uninterested than usual during this interview because he expected to have Alison Brie on and gets stuck with Brie Larson instead. She might have won an Academy Award for The Best Actress, but what’s holding her back from winning the real award—the Academy Award for Best Actor? Larson throws in some punches as well with some hilarious suggestions for Galifianakis’ superhero persona. Watch the entire episode to find out!
4. Jerry Seinfeld and Cardi B
Jerry Seinfeld is a guest that any comedy talk show would be ecstatic to host, but Galifianakis rubs even him the wrong way in this 6-minute episode. He starts off by bringing up his “more talented” friend Larry David and then takes a dig at Seinfeld’s only feature film, The Bee Movie. But if you poke the dragon, the dragon pokes back. Seinfeld puts his observational chops to use and “observes” that the Hangover movie would be considered a classic had they not made the other two. The comedy legend is pushed to the side though when Galifianakis brings on another (read better) and more relevant guest—Cardi B. Seinfeld does get a taste of his own medicine when the rapper “hug-snubs” him.
5. Brad Pitt
How old was “Bradley Pitts” when he lost his virginity? What does he have against showers? These are just some of the questions the host touches upon before he cuts to the chase and asks Pitt if he can “borrow one or two of his sperms”. Galifianakis gifts the actor a “bassoon” to help with his munchies and at one point there is even an exchange of saliva between the two. Watch the entire episode to find out which TV show the comedian brings up to make things even more awkward than they already are.
6. Matthew McConaughey
“Alright, alright, alright.” That’s just Galifianakis referencing McConaughey’s last three films’ box-office performance. In an episode that showcases the show’s low production budget (or so they make it seem), Galifianakis brings up rumours about the actor that “start to cross the line”. The comedian voices his concern about McConaughey succumbing to “fake AIDS” before their studio is flooded by the infamous leaky pipe.
7. Justin Bieber
Galifianakis has had it with teenagers and their punk attitude. And he’s not thrilled to interview “7-year-old” Justin Bieber in this episode. Needless to say, the host brings up the singer’s 2013 public meltdown and reduces the pop sensation’s career to changing hairstyles. Watch the entire video to find out which historic figure Bieber “beliebs” (amirite?) would be a Belieber.
8. Hillary Clinton
Galifianakis has hosted former President Barack Obama but we thought his interaction with Hillary Clinton would be a lot more fitting, considering how she gives it back to the incredibly rude host. For starters, the comedian is tackled by the Secret Service before he goes into his usual tirade. After tip-toeing around questions about President Obama, Galifianakis comes straight to the point—Trump running for the presidency. In retrospect, Trump did do most of the things that the two bring up jokingly in the episode. Watch the entire clip to find out!