Column: The President Appears Between Two Ferns

In case you want to keep getting indignant about President Obama’s appearance on the Internet comedy series Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, here are two handy lists, compiled using History and Great Justice.

10 Presidents Who Would Never Have Appeared on Between Two Ferns

10. George Washington (insisted on bowing instead of shaking hands, too vulnerable to tooth-aimed jibes)

9. Andrew Johnson (no one would have asked him)

8. John Tyler (even fewer people would have asked him)

7. James Garfield (limited demand for his fun party trick of writing in Greek with one hand and Latin with the other)

6. Calvin Coolidge (for obvious reasons; when told by a possibly apocryphal dinner companion that she had bet a friend she could make him say more than two words, he responded, “You lose.”)

5. William Howard Taft (the camera adds 10 pounds)

4. Franklin Pierce (about the only person on speaking terms with him was Nathaniel Hawthorne)

3. Teddy Roosevelt (would have been required to put stick down, speak loudly)

2. John Adams (no fun)

1. John Quincy Adams (even less fun)


10 Presidents Who Conceivably Would Have Appeared on Between Two Ferns

10. Bill Clinton (as 42, he’d already appeared Between Two Bushes)

9. Andrew Jackson (less detrimental to the dignity of the presidency than his giant cheese block/election in the first place)

8. Richard Nixon (he was on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In)

7. Thomas Jefferson (as long as he got to talk about yeoman farmers)

6. Benjamin Harrison (he’d already appeared Between Two Clevelands)

5. William Henry Harrison (would have talked for an hour and 45 minutes during a cold rain, no matter what the plan was)

4. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (just put the ferns in front of a fire and, presto!, it’s a fireside chat)

3. Abraham Lincoln (“I’m not letting Mary Todd anywhere near you” would have taken on an entirely different meaning. Also, a great venue for jokes like these.)

2. Woodrow Wilson (he would have appeared anywhere to promote the League of Nations)

1. President Obama

Alexandra Petri is a columnist for The Washington Post.