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Zach Galifianakis' Between Two Ferns, an online special airing on Funny or Die since 2008, had its first (and likely last) big television special on Sunday night. The event titled Between Two Ferns: A Fairy Tale of New York was the lead in to Comedy Central's second annual Comedy Awards and featured some great guests like The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, Virgin mogul Sir Richard Branson and 30 Rock's Tina Fey. The network released previews for the first two interviewees to help hype up the special but the spot with Fey was saved for the big show. And rightfully so since she sums up the entire series so, uh, nicely. Take a look.
"It's almost like: 'Oh, I'll be rude to a celebrity to prove that I'm too cool to be caring about celebrity, at the same time increasing your own celebrity.'" Even if Galifianakis' retort made me laugh hysterically, I'd say Tina Fey pretty much nailed it. The online series operates almost exactly how Fey describes, except she doesn't mention that as Zach increased his own celebrity he also made the audience laugh hysterically. Not only has the comedian been successful in making a statement about the absurd cultural fascination with celebrity but he also manages to do it in a way that is cringe inducing but also hilarious.
The webseries' guests have included huge stars like Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Bruce Willis and even though the exchanges aren't scripted and they aren't 'prepped' for what will take place, they certainly know what they are getting into. And while some of the 'serious' actors have faired better than others, when other comedians step between the ferns, like Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Michael Cera and Ben Stiller (among many others), some real magic can occur in the improvisation. However, it seems like Between Two Ferns: A Fairy Tale of New York might be the end of the 'talk show' as Galifianakis himself has pronounced the series basically dead. And I might be more sad to see it go if the Fey interview wasn't the perfect goodbye.
Between Two Ferns: A Fairy Tale of New York aired Sunday on Comedy Central and will likely go into the channels' repeat rotation, however, you can also catch it in its entirety (if you live in the right region) on the website.