Zach Galifianakis

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Zach Galifianakis
Zach Galifianakis 2011.jpg
Galifianakis at the premiere of The Hangover Part II in May 2011
Birth nameZachary Knight Galifianakis
Born(1969-10-01) October 1, 1969 (age 43)
Wilkesboro, North Carolina
MediumStand-up, film, television, music
Years active1996–present
GenresAlternative comedy, observational comedy, musical comedy
Subject(s)Everyday life, self-deprecation
SpouseQuinn Lundberg (m. 2012) «start: (2012)»"Marriage: Quinn Lundberg to Zach Galifianakis" Location: (linkback://
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Zach Galifianakis
Zach Galifianakis 2011.jpg
Galifianakis at the premiere of The Hangover Part II in May 2011
Birth nameZachary Knight Galifianakis
Born(1969-10-01) October 1, 1969 (age 43)
Wilkesboro, North Carolina
MediumStand-up, film, television, music
Years active1996–present
GenresAlternative comedy, observational comedy, musical comedy
Subject(s)Everyday life, self-deprecation
SpouseQuinn Lundberg (m. 2012) «start: (2012)»"Marriage: Quinn Lundberg to Zach Galifianakis" Location: (linkback://

Zachary Knight "Zach" Galifianakis[1] (pron.: /ˌɡælɨfəˈnækɨs/ GAL-i-fə-NAK-iss; born October 1, 1969)[2] is an American stand-up comedian, actor and pianist known for his numerous film and television appearances including his own Comedy Central Presents special. He garnered attention for his role as Alan Garner in the comedy The Hangover films directed by Todd Phillips. He also co-starred in Phillips' road trip comedy Due Date (2010).


Early life

Galifianakis was born in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.[2] His mother, Mary Frances (née Cashion), ran a community center for the arts, and his father, Harry Galifianakis, was a heating oil vendor. Galifianakis' paternal grandparents emigrated from Crete, Greece,[3][4][5] and Galifianakis was baptized in his father's Greek Orthodox faith.[6][7][8][9] His mother has Ulster-Scots ancestry.[10] He has two siblings, a younger sister, Merritt, and an older brother, Greg. [11] His cousin is Washington Post cartoonist Nicholas Galifianakis.[12] His uncle, Nick Galifianakis, was a congressman from North Carolina between 1967 and 1973. He attended Wilkes Central High School, and subsequently attended but did not graduate from North Carolina State University, where he was a communications major.[13]

Early career

Galifianakis' career began on television in 1996, when he played the recurring role of a stoner named Deuce in the short-lived sitcom Boston Common. Then he joined Saturday Night Live as a writer but lasted only two weeks.[14] Galifianakis co-starred in the film Out Cold and had small roles in Corky Romano, Below, Bubble Boy, Heartbreakers, Into the Wild, Super High Me, Little Fish Strange Pond, and Largo.

Zach Galifianakis in Inside Joke in New York City in 2006

He had his own episode of Comedy Central Presents, which first aired in September 2001. It included a stand-up routine and a segment with a piano, and concluded with an a cappella group (The Night Owls, introduced as his "12 ex-girlfriends") singing "Eternal Flame" by The Bangles while he made jokes. In 2002, he was the host of his own VH1 talk show called Late World with Zach. It featured many of his friends and regular performers from the LA comedy and music venue Largo where he appeared frequently during this time period. One episode featured Largo regulars Jon Brion and Rhett Miller as musical guests. His next television role was as a coroner named Davis in the Fox drama Tru Calling, which lasted from 2003 to 2005.[6] He has also appeared many times on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and has made three appearances on Reno 911! as "Frisbee".

Galifianakis starred as Alan Finger on the Comedy Central show Dog Bites Man, a fake news program that caught people during candid moments thinking they were being interviewed by a real news crew. In addition, he was on an episode of the Comedy Central show The Sarah Silverman Program as Fred the Homeless Guy. He also had a recurring guest role as a doctor on the animated Adult Swim show Tom Goes to the Mayor and appeared in several episodes of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! in a recurring role as Tairy Greene.

In 2006, Galifianakis was featured in Fiona Apple's music video for the song "Not About Love" where he is seen lip-synching the lyrics to the song. A year later Kanye West employed Galifianakis and indie rock musician Will Oldham for similar purposes in the second version of the video for his song "Can't Tell Me Nothing". In June 2006 Galifianakis released the single "Come On and Get It (Up in 'Dem Guts)",[15] a comedic rap/hip-hop/dance song which features Apple's vocals.

Galifianakis was, together with Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, and Maria Bamford, one of the four Comedians of Comedy, a periodic packaged comedy tour in the style of The Original Kings of Comedy and the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. They chose to perform at live rock clubs as opposed to comedy clubs to try to reach a different audience. Much of the tour was taped, and has been featured in both a short-lived TV series on Comedy Central and a full length movie that has appeared at SXSW and on Showtime.

On February 22, 2008, he made an appearance on the 24 Hour Takeover. He interviewed various members of the Jackass cast.

Galifianakis starred in the independent film Visioneers which played in select cities in 2008. This was Galifianakis's first starring role in a film and was given a direct-to-DVD release. That same year, Galifianakis appeared in a web video series of advertisements for Absolut vodka, along with Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, creating a parody of the Golden Girls in which one has a deep anger issue, breaking the fourth wall in exasperation and outright violence on the set.[16] He also completed the pilot Speed Freaks for Comedy Central.[17]

Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis

Galifianakis has a series of videos on the Funny or Die website titled Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis where he conducts interviews with popular celebrities between two potted ferns. He has interviewed Jimmy Kimmel,[18] Michael Cera, Jon Hamm,[19] Natalie Portman,[20] Charlize Theron, Bradley Cooper (with a brief appearance by Carrot Top), Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter (with a brief appearance by Andy Dick), Ben Stiller, Steve Carell, Sean Penn, Bruce Willis, Tila Tequila, Jennifer Aniston and Will Ferrell. His interview style consists of typical interview questions, bizarre non sequiturs and sometimes inappropriate sexual questions and comments.[21]

Mainstream performances: 2009–present

Galifianakis co-starred as Alan Garner in the hit comedy The Hangover and earned the MTV Movie Award for the Best Comedic Performance.[22] Following The Hangover's release, Galifianakis was prominently advertised in subsequent films that featured him in supporting roles. These included G-Force, Youth in Revolt, and the Oscar-nominated film Up in the Air.

Galifianakis also played a supporting role in the HBO series Bored to Death. He hosted Saturday Night Live on March 6, 2010 during the show's 35th season, during which he shaved his beard mid-show for a sketch, and then closed the show wearing a fake beard.[23] He hosted again on March 12, 2011 and shaved his head this time, in a Mr. T-like hairstyle, which was allegedly supposed to be used for a sketch that never aired due to time constraints.[24] In 2010, he starred in several films, including Dinner for Schmucks, It's Kind of a Funny Story,[25] and Due Date.

On October 29, 2010, while debating marijuana legalization on the show HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Galifianakis appeared to have smoked marijuana on live television;[26] host Bill Maher denied that it was real marijuana in an interview with Wolf Blitzer during an episode of The Situation Room.

In 2011, he returned as Alan Garner in the sequel, The Hangover Part II, which was set in Thailand.[27]

In 2011, he voiced Humpty Dumpty in DreamWorks Animation's Puss in Boots.

Galifianakis starred alongside Will Ferrell in The Campaign, a political comedy directed by Jay Roach and released in 2012.[28] During an interview following the shoot, Galifianakis expressed a negative view of the Tea Party, stating, "I understand Tea Partyers’ anger with the system, but they are in way over their heads and often racially motivated, and I can’t be part of that."[29]

Personal life

On August 11, 2012, Galifianakis married Quinn Lundberg, co-founder of the Growing Voices charity, at the UBC Farm in Vancouver, Canada.[30] Galifianakis is a frequent user of chewing tobacco. For his character in the 2007 film Into the Wild, he was asked to put prunes in his mouth to appear as if he was using dipping tobacco; instead, he told them to get him the real stuff.[31]


1999King and Me, TheThe King and MePizza boy
1999FlushedPathetic guy
2001Bubble BoyBus stop man
2001Corky RomanoDexter
2001Out ColdLuke
2002Late World with ZachHost29 episodes
2002BelowWeird Wally
2003–2005Tru CallingDavis26 episodes
2004Zach & Avery of FergusHomeless man
2005The Comedians of ComedyHimself
2006Pity Card, TheThe Pity CardZach
2006Dog Bites ManAlan Finger9 episodes
2007–2010Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!Tairy Greene7 episodes
2006–2007Zach Galifianakis Live at the Purple OnionHimself / Seth GalifinakisWriter and executive producer
2006–2007Into the WildKevin Wallis
2008What Happens in VegasDave the bear
2008Super High MeHimselfDocumentary
2009The Ballad of G.I. JoeSnow Job
2009GiganticHomeless guy
2009Hangover, TheThe HangoverAlan Garner
2009–2010American Dad!Heavyset man / Norman / Juror2 episodes (voice only)
2009G-ForceBen Paredes
2009–2011Bored to DeathRay24 episodes
2009Up in the AirSteve Sewa
2009Operation: EndgameHermit
2009Little Fish, Strange PondBucky
2010Youth in RevoltJerry
2010FrenemyAdult shop clerk
2010Dinner for SchmucksTherman MurchComedy Award – Best Comedy Actor in Film
2010It's Kind of a Funny StoryBobby
2010Due DateEthan Tremblay / Ethan ChaseNominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance
Nominated – Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie: Actor Comedy
2010–2011Saturday Night LiveHimself2 episodes
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (2011)
2011Hangover Part II, TheThe Hangover Part IIAlan GarnerNominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance
Nominated – Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie: Actor Comedy
Nominated – Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie: Chemistry (shared with Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms)
2011Puss in BootsHumpty DumptyVoice only
Nominated – Annie Award for Best Voice from an Animated Feature
2011The MuppetsHobo Joe
2012Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar MovieJim Joe Kelly
2012The CampaignMarty Huggins
2012Bob's BurgersChet
2013The Hangover Part IIIAlan Garner
2013You Are HereBenIn Post-Production



  1. ^ "Official web site of Zach Galifianakis". Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  2. ^ a b "Zach Galifianakis Biography (1969–)". Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  3. ^ Rhymes with Crouton: The Touching Story of Zach Galifianakis from Paste magazine
  4. ^ Wray, John (May 28, 2009). "The Making of Zach Galifianakis". The New York Times. Retrieved June 6, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Mr. Paul Lindsay Cashion, age 89, died Tuesday, August 16, 2005". Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  6. ^ a b "Brian M. Palmer – Zach Galifianakis interview".
  7. ^ Sandlin, Christopher (December 10, 2007). "Zach Galifianakis Bringing Comedy and a Thick Beard to Dallas". EDGE Gulf Coast. Retrieved June 6, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Zach Galifianakis: Bible full of typos | That Other Paper | Austin's ONLY Paper". That Other Paper. 2007-03-08. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  9. ^ Peters, Mike (March 22, 2007). "Comedian Galifianakis funny on, off stage". The Badger Herald. Retrieved June 6, 2009. 
  10. ^ Eells, Josh (June 23, 2011), "The High Times and Surreal Life of Zach Galifianakis", Rolling Stone (1133): pp. 60–68
  11. ^ Austin L. Ray. "Rhymes with Crouton: The Touching Story of Zach Galifianakis". Paste.
  12. ^ Baker, Gabbi (March 15, 2011). "Literature: Nick Galifianakis’ Uncomfortably True Cartoons". Washington Life Magazine. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  13. ^ Wray, John (May 31, 2009). "The Making of Zach Galifianakis". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ Devin Friedman. "Three of Our Most Serious Minds Confer...". GQ.
  15. ^ "Alan Finger talks about his song, Up In Them Guts". Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  16. ^ A Vodka Movie by Zach Galifianakis, Tim and Eric from YouTube
  17. ^ Visioneers Website[dead link]
  18. ^ Zach interviews talk show host Jimmy Kimmel from Funny or Die
  19. ^ Zach interviews Jon Hamm of AMC's Mad Men from Funny or Die
  20. ^ Zach interviews Natalie Portman and her dog, Whiz from Funny or Die
  21. ^ Zach puts Michael Cera in the hot seat from Funny or Die
  22. ^ "The Twilight Saga: New Moon a "Surprise" Winner at MTV Movie Awards / New Eclipse Footage". DreadCentral.
  23. ^ clip from NBC
  24. ^ Hartsell, Carol (March 15, 2011). "SNL Backstage: Zach Galifianakis Shaves Head Like Mr. T (VIDEO)". Huffington Post (USA). 
  25. ^ Sciretta, Peter (November 30, 2009). "Ryan Fleck's It's Kind of a Funny Story Begins Production". /Film. Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2010. 
  26. ^ "Not one toke over the line?". CNN. November 1, 2010. 
  27. ^ Pols, Mary (May 25, 2011). "The Hangover Part II: The Wolf Pack Is Back, and This Time They've Brought a Monkey". Time Magazine. Retrieved June 9, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Zach Galifianakis Talks PUSS IN BOOTS, THE HANGOVER 3, DOG FIGHT, BORED TO DEATH". Collider. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  29. ^ "Tea Party "Racially motivated"". weaselzippers. Retrieved 2012-08-07.
  30. ^ Johnson, Zach (August 13, 2012). "Exclusive: Confirmed: Zach Galifianakis Marries Quinn Lundberg!". Us Weekly. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  31. ^ Eells, Josh (23 June 2011). "Zach Galifianakis, Reluctant Superstar: The Rolling Stone Cover Story". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 

External links