From popular online sketch to Hollywood movie: ‘Between Two Ferns’ channels same dark humor


Courtesy of Netflix

‘Between Two Ferns: The Movie’ sits with a 78% on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 51.

Between Two Ferns: The Movie” was released by Netflix on September 20. The movie is based on a web series of the same name that originated on the Funny or Die YouTube channel.  

We follow the host, Zach Galifianakis and his crew as they record Galifianakis’ public access television show, Between Two Ferns. The premise of the low-budget talk show is that Galifianakis’ asks questions to a celebrity with both in between two ferns. 

The questions he asks are either very personal or irrelevant and he also insults the guests and displays the guest’s name wrong as well. Notable celebrities include Benedict Cumberbatch, Matthew McConaughey and Tessa Thompson. 

The plot of “Between Two Ferns: The Movie,” is that Galifianakis’ character is forced to make 10 episodes of Between Two Ferns in two weeks time around the country. The whole movie is set up like a mockumentary and gives off a sort of “The Office” vibe in that it depicts people that some might work with and the strange things that go on while working at an office. 

The characters that we meet are very off-the-wall, awkward and at times cringey. As the story progresses,we see that Galifianakis and his television crew go from being hesitant about having to do these tapings around the country to becoming a close group of friends. 

At times you forget that it’s shot mockumentary style, which results in it feeling like a sort of a coming of age road trip, although, instead of teenagers, it’s a group of broke 30-somethings.  

Galifianakis’ character is really out there to say the least. His socially awkward persona and no regard for privacy makes following along equally humorous and odd. It’s almost like watching a version of Micheal Scott. At some points it was kinda hard to watch due to Galifianakis being so cringey.

To be honest, after watching the trailer for this movie, it didn’t look that interesting to me. My initial thoughts before starting the movie were that it would be an hour and a half of watching Galifianakis insulting various celebrities in a low-budget studio inbetween two ferns. 

I put my negative thoughts away and gave the movie the benefit of the doubt. After watching the whole thing, my view of it changed from what I had thought the movie would turn out to be. 

“Between Two Ferns: The Movie” did in fact surprise me. It gives us characters that at first seem to be very one dimensional, but turn out to be fleshed out and relatable. The movie did make me laugh at various points, which I didn’t think would happen.

The characters bring out the best in one another, although in unconventional ways. The plot holds itself very well and doesn’t waver at all during the runtime. To me, it’s not the best comedy that I’ve seen this year, this is something that you would probably put on on a Friday night at two in the morning.