“Between Two Ferns” director Scott Aukerman says getting President Barack Obama on his show was no easy task.
“It was really crazy, we’ve joked about it for two years, halfheartedly chasing him down,” Aukerman said. “We’d become a problem to the secret service.”
In an interview with the Team Coco podcast, Aukerman said discussions for the episode began he heard the White House might be interested, and he was invited to discuss the possibility with senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarret. He said after the leaving the meeting, he was confident the interview would never happen.
But Aukerman wants viewers to know the show would not have gone on if his crew felt the White House was exerting too much influence.
“We did not want to do a terrible episode, and we were fully ready to walk away if it was looking like it was going to be too much of an advertisement,” he said. “Even as we were shooting it we thought, this will probably go poorly and we’ll scrap it.”
But what they ended up with surprised Aukerman as raw, and frankly really funny.
“He knew how to act coming into it, he had an idea of how he wanted to play it and he did it,” Auckerman said. “We were blown away by how willing to go there he was. He was just very funny.”
Aukerman said he hoped Obama’s willingness to participate would encourage other guests, including possible 2016 contenders.
“It’s established a precedent, so whoever the next sitting president is should go on or else they look like a spoil sport,” he said. “I would love both  candidates, whoever they turn out to be, to have to make this a stop along the campaign trail.”