There are comedy acts, and then there’s Zach Galifianakis. The actor and comedian is popularly known for his role in The Hangover trilogy movies, where he played the character Alan Garner. But other than his movie role, many people know little about the actor. In honor of the actor’s extraordinary works, we look at things you probably don’t already know about Zach Galifianakis.
Early Life and Family
One of the first things anyone notices about the actor is his long and unique name. If you guessed Greek descent, then you’re absolutely right! Although his mother is of Scot-Irish-English descent, his paternal grandparents were Greek immigrants from Crete.
The 53-year-old actor was born on October 1, 1969, in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, U.S. His father, Henry Galifianakis, was a heating oil vendor, while his mom, Mary Frances, was the owner of the community arts center.
Growing up in a religious family, Zach was baptized in a Greek Orthodox church. He grew up with two siblings; an older brother Greg and a younger sister Merritt. With a unique and now famous last name, it’s easy to tie him with other relatives. Nick Galifianakis is his uncle and an American politician who served as North Carolina’s Congressman from 1967 to 1973 as a Democrat. He also has a cousin, Nick Galifianakis, a renowned cartoonist for the Washington Post.
Zach Galifianakis is married to Quinn Lundberg. The couple does not fancy the spotlight and shies away from the public eye. However, they have two children; the first was born in 2013, and the second in 2016.
He Had a Struggling Career
Many Hollywood actors had to endure years of obscurity before getting their big break. The same is true for Zack Galifianakis. 2009 The Hangover movie may have given the actor fame, but he’s far from being an overnight success.
His first movie role was as far back as 1997 when he played the pathetic guy character in Flushed. However, he was on television a year earlier and played the character Bobby for a total of five episodes on Boston Common.
After his success with the first Hangover, he hosted Saturday Night Live (SNL) for three episodes between 2010 to 2013. However, about a decade ago, he was hired as a writer on SNL and fired after 2 weeks. In one interview, he mentioned it was a position he had always wanted.
Yet, somehow managed to screw it up. In one of his sketches for the show, he posited that Will Ferrell would act as a bodyguard for Britney Spears’ belly button by shrinking Ferrell to the belly button size! Of course, for Galifianakis at the time, that was probably a hilarious idea in his mind. But, knowing his love for dark humor, let’s just say the world wasn’t ready at the time.
He Once Interviewed a Sitting U.S. President
Although that may not be a big deal to many people, it’s the nature of the interview program he had the president on that makes it an achievement. Zack Galifianakis anchors the mockumentary Between Two Ferns, where he brings on guests with whom he interacts in what seems like traded insults.
Galifianakis was able to invite President Barack Obama for a session that became the most-watched of the show. Knowing President Obama, he gave Galifianakis a run for his money with his timely reply punches. The interview received over six million views in just a few hours it was put online. Between Two Ferns is available to watch on the Funny or Die official website and YouTube channel.
Missed Getting a College Degree by a Point
It no longer comes as a surprise when celebrities drop out of college or choose not to go. However, the situation was a bit different for Galifianakis. The actor was actually looking to finish college and earn a diploma. He successfully got into North Carolina State University in 1988 with a major in Communications.
After enduring four years at the university, he failed his final course by one point. Not only did he leave the university, but he also left without a degree. Even without his success, it’s hard to blame him for not looking back after what felt like a wasted four years.
He Has His Signature on the U.S. Constitution
How’s that even possible? Well, before you hurry off to check, it was an official reproduction of the real one. His promotion tour for the 2012 The Campaign movie, which he acted in and produced, coincided with the National Constitution Center’s 225th anniversary. The center allowed Galifianakis, Ferrell, and others to sign the commemorative copy.
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