Funny or Die gears up to help promote Obamacare

Funny or DieFunny or Die takes comedy to a new level, but the satirical website will get a crash course in healthcare as it gears up to promote the Affordable Care Act, serving as the White House’s mouth piece to convince young Americans to sign up for the law’s health insurance marketplaces.

The website, backed by former Saturday Night Live funnyman Will Ferrell, has been in talks with the White House to promote the healthcare law since July, joining Hollywood heavyweights like Amy Poehler and Jennifer Hudson. But as the Oct 1. launch date of Obamacare’s health insurance marketplaces looms, Funny or Die has upped its efforts, developing close to 20 projects to promote the Affordable Care Act, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In order for Obamacare to maintain its low-cost-premiums promise, 2.7 million young Americans between the ages of 18 and 35 must enroll in the law’s exchanges. But the White House has struggled to reach Millennials, combatting efforts by the GOP to defund the law and groups like Generation Opportunity, which plans to convince young people not to enroll in the marketplaces through a college bus tour and series of short videos. And that’s where “Funny or Die” comes in.

“The simplest way to put it was, they had spent all this time and energy and money on the biggest movie of their lives and had no marketing budget in which to promote it. I just thought that was the craziest thing I’d ever heard,” Mike Farah, the site’s president of production, told the Los Angeles Times. 

Funny or Die signed up to help the White House, he said, because he knew “we’d do the work.”

The first of Farah and his team’s projects plans to go live Sept. 30, the day before Obamacare’s exchanges open for business. And though Farah did not divulge which celebrities Funny or Die teamed up with to promote the law, he did show the Los Angeles Times one video, which encourages young people to sign up for health insurance by featuring a series of ouch-worthy moments: a little girl’s tumble off a rocking horse, a skateboarder’s not-so-perfectly-executed trick and a boy’s failed attempted at a jump on his bike, which left him with his crashing to the asphalt.

“Valerie Jarrett loved this video,” Farah said.

But Farah and his Hollywood pals have their work cut out for them.

According to a new Rasmussen poll, 51 percent of likely voters would rather see the government shut down than keep Obamcare funded at current levels. And a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found 44 percent of Americans think the law is a bad idea.

Couple negative polling with efforts from Generation Opportunity and right-leaning groups like Americans for Prosperity — which hosted telephone forums and town-hall meetings to block the healthcare law — and support for Obamacare is dwindling.

But the Obama administration isn’t lessening their efforts to reach out to young people. The Department of Health and Human Services launched a “Healthy Young America” video contest to encourage young people to enroll in exchanges, complete with more than $20,000 in prizes. And celebrities like Katy Perry and Jason DeRulo used their influence on Twitter to promote the Affordable Care Act, directing their more than 45 million combined followers to seek coverage.

Still, the true test will come in just seven short days, when Funny or Die will see just how far their influence reaches.

Comments

Biden jokes about his creepy photos

Remember that time Joe Biden got close to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter’s wife?

The 'Notorious RBG' takes over SNL
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gives pretty hilarious and biting interviews in real life — “not 100 percent sober” ringing any bells? — but Kate McKinnon’s version of the “Notorious RBG” on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” may just take the cake. From jokes about her morning exercise routine to her sexy dreams about […]
Jimmy Kimmel 'censors' Obama

Thanks to some mischievous editing from Jimmy Kimmel, these originally innocent TV clips will put your mind straight in the gutter.

Jon Stewart: Fox News is 'killing' him

As his days on the Daily Show wind down, Jon Stewart wants to make sure we are all aware how much he really, really hates Fox News.

Jay Carney is going to work for Amazon

Imagining an Amazon customer service call with Jay Carney on the line.

White House

Calling for cooperation, Obama engages in confrontation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid appeals for bipartisanship, President Barack Obama in just three days has provoked Republicans on issues as disparate as immigration, Wall Street and the Keystone XL pipeline — a combative mix of defense and offense that underscores Washington's political realignment.

It’s on: Obama follows through and vetoes Keystone pipeline

Defying the Republican-run Congress, President Barack Obama rejected a bill Tuesday to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, wielding his veto power for only the third time in his presidency.

Biden: The middle class is ‘being killed,’ in worse shape than any time since the ’20s

Joe Biden—everyone’s favorite creeper and truth-bomb-dropper.

MSNBC Host: Obama’s terrorism summit is a ‘dog and pony show’
You know it’s bad when President Obama has even lost the support of MSNBC. MSNBC Host Andrea Mitchell basically called the White House’s Summit on “Countering Violent Extremism” a farce during her show Wednesday. “Here he has the summit, no heads of government coming, the participation has not been at a particularly high level. We’ll have […]
Obama assures ‘almost complete confidence’ there have been no NSA abuses

The president’s interview with Re/code over the weekend touched on privacy issues, with Obama insisting with “almost complete confidence” that there have been no abuses of the government’s vast surveillance program.

Congress

Dems worry about Warren's leftward push

The Hill reports that Democrats are beginning to worry about Elizabeth Warren's gravitational pull on the party's direction. It's a black hole of progressivism, baby.

Boehner: GOP infighting over 'tactics'
After a week that saw Republican infighting leading to a dramatic near-shutdown situation for the Department of Homeland Security, House Speaker John Boehner was questioned on CBS’s “Face the Nation” about his leadership. Boehner downplayed the divisions and said that it wasn’t the big picture that they disagreed on, but rather how to accomplish it. […]
DCCC fundraises off shutdown that didn't happen
Democrats really jumped the gun on this one. It seems that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was in such a hurry to fundraise over their hatred for Republicans this weekend that they were willing to spread a little misinformation to do so. The DCCC emailed supporters Saturday morning incorrectly saying that Republicans had allowed the Department of […]
Rand Paul calls on Hillary to retire

Rand Paul’s speech at CPAC Friday felt a lot like a campaign rally—and the crowd left little room to doubt that they wanted it that way, breaking out into chants of “President Paul! President Paul!” at least three times over the course of his remarks.

Cruz: Obama, Carter similarities 'uncanny'
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has his sights set on 2016, but he is not very optimistic about what will happen both at home and abroad in the mean time. Cruz laid out his predictions for the direction he believes President Obama is leading the country in during a round table event with reporters and bloggers […]