Early life Edit
Galifianakis was born in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. He was raised Greek Orthodox, but now says he "isn't sure" on the subject of religion. He attended North Carolina State University, pursuing a degree in Communication and Film. He failed a course by one point before graduation and left for New York City in 1992.
Galifianakis's cousin Nicholas Galifianakis is a newspaper cartoonist, and his uncle Nick Galifianakis is a former Democratic U.S. Congressman who lost a race for an open Senate seat in 1972 against Jesse Helms, launching Helms's career in the Senate.
Galifianakis got his start on television in 1996, when he played the recurring role of a stoner named Bobby in the short-lived sitcom Boston Common. In 2001, Galifianakis co-starred in the film Out Cold. He has had small roles in Corky Romano, Below, Bubble Boy and Heartbreakers, and has parts in Into the Wild. In 2007 he appeared as himself in Super High Me. He had several films come out in 2008: G-Force, What Happens in Vegas, Visioneers, Little Fish Strange Pond and The Largo Movie.
Zach performed in episode 15 of season 5 of Comedy Central Presents, first aired 17 September 2001, including stand-up jokes, a segment with a piano, and concluding with an a cappella group (The Night Owls, introduced as his "12 ex-girlfriends") singing Eternal Flame by The Bangles while he made jokes with flip-charts and pranced around in tights. In 2002, he was the host of his own talk show called Late World with Zach. His next television role was as a coroner named Davis in the FOX drama Tru Calling, which lasted from 2003 to 2005. 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 as they acted under the impression that they are 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 its "follow up" show Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! in the "Gravy Robbers" sketches as Tairy Greene, a deranged gravy-robber mentor, who later appears to be an actor, playing "The Snuggler" in the episode "Forest" and as a childrens' acting coach in the episode "Larry". In Season two of Wondershowzen, in the episode entitled "Mathematics", Galifianakis played the role of Uncle Daddy, a feminine redneck who hosted his own garage-workshop show wherein he subconsciously dealt with his difficulties reconciling religion and culture with his probable homosexuality.
In 2006, Galifianakis was featured in Fiona Apple's music video for the song "Not About Love". In the video, 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 Nothin'". In June 2006 Galifianakis released the single "Come Over and Get It (Up in 'Dem Guts)", a comedic rap/hip-hop/dance song which features Apple's vocals. More recently, Galifianakis performed on a tour called the "Comedians of Comedy" with Brian Posehn, Patton Oswalt, and Maria Bamford. 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. A DVD featuring Galifianakis's work, Live at the Purple Onion, was released on March 6th, 2007. He also took part in the Be Funny or Die Tour with fellow comedians Demetri Martin, Nick Swardson, Andrea Savage and Will Ferrell.
Galifianakis divides his time between two residences, one in Venice Beach, CA, and a 60-acre (240,000 m) farm in the foothills of North Carolina that he hopes to turn into a "writer's retreat".
In 2008, Zach appeared in a web video series of advertisements for Absolut vodka, along with Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, playing a character who shouts in an aggravated manner in a light-hearted setting. He also just completed the pilot Speed Freaks for Comedy Central.
Zach appears uncredited in the 2009 film Gigantic, where he plays the character of a homeless man stalking the protagonist played by Paul Dano.
Zach has a series of videos on the Funny Or Die website titled "Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis" where he interviews popular celebrities, quite naturally, between two ferns. As of yet, he has interviewed Jimmy Kimmel, Michael Cera, Jon Hamm and Natalie Portman. His interview style consists of typical interview questions, bizarre non sequiturs and inappropriate and sometimes sexual questions and comments, at one point attempting to tickle Michael Cera and force Cera to tickle him.
He can also be seen in the upcoming comedy The Hangover, due out in 2009.
- The King and Me (1999)
- Flushed (1999)
- Being John Malkovich (1999)
- Heartbreakers (2001)
- Bubble Boy (2001)
- Corky Romano (2001)
- Out Cold (2001)
- Below (2002)
- Zach & Avery of Fergus (2004)
- The Pity Card (2006)
- Into the Wild (2007)
- What Happens in Vegas (2008)
- Visioneers (2008)
- G-Force (2009)
- Youth in Revolt (2009)
- Rogue's Gallery (2009)
- Little Fish, Strange Pond (2009)
- The Hangover
- Gigantic (2009)