Back on Feb. 11, Cooper was at the White House for the state dinner in honor of French President François Hollande. Before he got to his fingerling potato velouté, the actor met with Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in her office to brainstorm ideas about how to help get the word out on Obamacare. Enlisting the website Funny or Die had come up before, an administration official said, but Cooper was pushing hard for them to think about “Between Two Ferns,” the mock-interview web show hosted by his friend (and “The Hangover” co-star) Zach Galifianakis.
Cooper pulled out his cell phone, got Galifianakis on the line and put him on speaker. He was ready to help.
Now they just needed to sell the idea to the president.
The next day, at the end of a non-Obamacare briefing in the Oval Office, Jarrett, communications director Jennifer Palmieri and press secretary Jay Carney made the pitch. Obama had never heard of the show before, but he liked the idea.
“Zach Galifianakis and Bradley Cooper are going to do this for me?” a very pleased Obama asked.