Entertainment » Culture

Zach Galifianakis Bringing Comedy and a Thick Beard to Dallas

by Christopher Sandlin
EDGE Gulf Coast Regional Editor
Monday Dec 10, 2007
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His unique last name is quite a mouthful. but it’s easy to stomach his hilariously offbeat comedy. You’ve probably seen comedian Zach Galifianakis (pronounced Gal-If-A-Nakis) and his trademark beard in the new Kanye West video, on Reno 911!, The Sarah Silverman Program and Dog Bites Man (aside from a host of roles in film and TV). Galifianakis, who is of Greek descent, spent his childhood in the foothills of North Carolina before heading to California to pursue comedy and acting. Zach spoke with EDGE Dallas ahead of his performance next Friday at The Lakewood Theater.

EDGE: How did growing up in a small-town North Carolina impact your comedy?
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: Where I am from is known for moonshine and the largest chicken processing plant in the world. There are too many rednecks and mouth breathing is the county pastime. Looking back, I am glad I grew up there. I used humor to deflect the mouth breathers and my love of moonshine to get me through the day.

EDGE: ...and how about being born Greek in the South?
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: I was baptized Greek Orthodox but there was no Greek church in my town. We went to my mother’s Presbyterian Church where my brother, sister and I learned to mock most all aspects about it. I was baptized with my sister. My dad wanted a two-for-one so the baptism would be cheaper. I don’t remember how old I was, but I was old enough to be embarrassed because in the Greek Orthodox Church you are baptized naked and held up like the baby in "Roots". I may have had an erection.

EDGE: Some of your writing is similar to what David Sedaris writes. Do you get compared to him?
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: I wish people would compare me to him. He is one of my favorites. You may be the first. We are both from NC, both Greek and both have a boyfriend named Hugh. That is where the similarities end. Oh, I also have a place in France.

EDGE: You’re performing next week here in Dallas at a venue that’s popular with gays. Does geographic location or audience type factor into the material you do in your stand-up?
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: Not really. The crowds that have been attending my shows are pretty similar. The lines outside my shows usually look like a line at a kissing booth at Comic Con.

The lines outside my shows usually look like a line at a kissing booth at Comic Con.

Galfanakias has appeared on talk shows as his "twin" ambiguously gay brother Seth.
EDGE: Can we expect to see more of your twin brother Seth?
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: We are shooting a music video soon, covering a Fugees song. I am still mad at him because he forgot my birthday, which is weird because we are twins.

EDGE: Who are your favorite comedians?
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: The Bush Administration.

EDGE: What’s your favorite dirty joke?
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: I will tell it at the show. It is also very offensive. The best combination.

Tickets for Zach Galifianakis’ Dec. 15 performance at The Lakewood Theater are available through Ticketmaster and www.lakewoodtheater.com

For more information about this funny guy, check out his official site.

Christopher Sandlin is the Chief Correspondent (Gulf Coast) with EDGE. His work has been published in The Dallas Morning News, International Herald Tribune and other local, national and international newspapers and and magazines. He can be reached at csandlin@edgepublications.com.

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