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First the Nobel Peace Prize and now this?!? Are you kidding us?
The snarky—and extremely successful—Web video that President Barack Obama and comic Zach Galifianakis made last spring to promote enrollment in Obamacare was nominated for an Emmy Award on Thursday.
The "Between Two Ferns" interview the funnyman did with Obama, which went viral upon release March 11, was nominated in the category of outstanding short-format live-action entertainment program.
The video, with its oil-and-water chemistry between the unlikely duo, was credited with creating a surge of visitors that day to HealthCare.gov, the federal Obamacare health insurance exchange.
It has since been viewed 22 million times on the site Funnyordie.com—or about three times the number of people who actually managed to sign up for Obamacare plans.
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The video is competing against other nominees that include the Super Bowl's halftime show with Bruno Mars. Winners will be announced Aug. 25.
In the video, Obama subjected himself to Galifianakis' quirky brand of humor all in the name of boosting sign-ups for the Obamacare insurance plans during the final weeks of open enrollment. In doing so, the president had to run a gauntlet of offhand insults while playing a very, very straight man to the comedian.
"Have you heard about the Affordable Care Act?" Obama asked Galifianakis during the interview.
"Oh yeah, I heard about that," Galifianakis said, without enthusiasm. "That's the thing that doesn't work."
"Why would you get the guy who created the Zune to make your website?" sniped Galifianakis in a jab at the tech troubles that plagued HealthCare.gov during its launch last fall before it underwent a major repair.
At one point, Galifianakis insolently asked, "Where are you planning on building your presidential library? In Hawaii or your home country of Kenya?"
And in another jab that seemed pointed at Obama, but actually was directed at his critics, a graphic on the screen described the president as "Community Organizer." That was one of Obama's prior jobs, as was sneeringly mentioned by ex-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and others during the 2008 Republican presidential convention.
Top Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett continued the joke Thursday on Twitter when she tweeted, "Congrats @mike_farah & that one community organizer on your Emmy nomination for Between Two Ferns. "
—By CNBC's Dan Mangan