Did you hear the one about the Affordable Care Act?
President Barack Obama played straight man to comic Zach Galifianakis, subjecting himself to a bitingly sarcastic interview by the "Hangover" star in order to tout the merits of Obamacare and urge young people to enroll.
"Have you heard about the Affordable Care Act?" Obama asked Galifianakis during the Web interview show "Between Two Ferns" on Funnyordie.com.
"Oh yeah, I heard about that," Galifiankis said. "That's the thing that doesn't work."
"Why would you get the guy who created the Zune to make your website?" asked Galifianakis, referring to the formerly tech-crippled federal Obamacare insurance exchange HealthCare.gov.
The interview went viral Tuesday with Twitter feeds citing that wisecrack and others that poked fun at Obama—identified as a "community organizer" in a chyron—and his signature health-care reform law.
(Read more: Fed watchdog probes 'flawed' Obamacare exchange )
By midday, the White House was crowing about the interview. A White House senior communications advisor for health care, Tara McGuinness, tweeted that it was "the #1 source of referrals to HealthCare.gov right now."
At the end of the video there is a clickable link to the government's health-care exchange. Officials later said about 19,000 people clicked on that link to go to HealthCare.gov.
Obama's appearance on "Between the Ferns" is part of a nationwide marketing blitz this month by the White House and ACA proponents to get many more of the uninsured to enroll in Obamacare plans by March 31, the deadline for most Americans to have health insurance coverage or face a tax penalty next year.
The interview was just the latest in a serious of humorous, Web-based segments the Obama administration has participated in with an eye toward appealing to irony-loving young adults, who are more apt to get their national news from Comedy Central's "Daily Show" with Jon Stewart than the traditional network evening newscasts.