Lessons Learned from Between Two Ferns: Use humor to make a point

In 2013, President Obama’s top legislative priority appeared headed for disaster. Then the president appeared on a YouTube talk show hosted by a comedian best known for playing a weird loner in The Hangover. The day the video was posted online, it was shared by 11 million people. Unique visits to Healthcare.gov increased 40%—and the narrative around Obamacare began to change. Not everyone can star in a viral video with Zach Galifianakis, but anyone can use humor to reach new audiences with their message.

Key Takeaways:

  • Figure out which issues lend themselves to humor, and which don’t
  • Write an effective joke, even if you’re “not funny”
  • Amplify the effect of humor
  • Balance comedy with message
  • Maximize your chances to create content that goes viral
  • David Litt
    Former senior speechwriter to former President Barack Obama