Zachary Knight Galifianakis is an American comedian, actor and writer. He is best known for his roles in The Hangover trilogy (2009-2013), The Campaign (2012), Birdman (2014) and Masterminds (2016).

He is also the host of the Emmy Award-winning talk show Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis on the website Funny or Die.

Galifianakis (born October 1, 1969; age: 48) was born in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. His mother Mary Frances owns a local arts center and his father Harry sells heating oil. He has both Scottish and Greek ancestry.


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Galifianakis was baptized in his dad’s Greek Orthodox church. He has an older brother and a younger sister. His cousin Nick Galifianakis is a cartoonist for the Washington Post. 

After graduating from Wilkes Central High School, Galifianakis enrolled in North Carolina State University to study communication, although he never graduated.


Galifianakis started his career in television: he briefly appeared in the short-lived NBC sitcom Boston Common and worked as a writer for Saturday Night Live, but was there for just two weeks.

He went on to play small roles in comedies like Corky RomanoBelowBubble BoyHeartbreakersInto the Wild and Largo.

Galifianakis then had several gigs on the Comedy Central network. He potrayed Alan Finger on the network’s show Dog Bites Man, and Fred the Homeless Man in The Sarah Silverman Program. He was also one of the featured comedians in the 2001 special Comedy Central Presents.

In 2006, Galifianakis released the song “Come On and Get It (Up in ‘Dem Guts’), a comedic rap/dance song which features vocals from Fiona Apple. That same year, he had a cameo in a music video for one of Apple’s songs, “Not About Love.”

Galifianakis, Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn and Maria Bamford, comprised the four Comedians of Comedy, a regular comedy troupe similar to The Original Kings of Comedy and the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. They often performed at rock clubs instead of comedy clubs.

In February 2008, he made an appearance on the 24 Hour Takeover. He interviewed several members of the Jackass series cast.

Galifianakis has a long list of clips on the website Funny or Die called Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. The show, which started in 2008, is modeled like a talk show in which he and a guest literally sit between two plants and discuss several topics related to them. The show is different from other talk shows in that it often involves Galifianakis asking several awkward or rude questions to the guests about their personal or professional lives, making weird non-sequiturs and randomly endorsing strange products to the point of making the guests uncomfortable or even angry.

The guests he has interviewed on Between Two Ferns are Jimmy Kimmel, Michael Cera, Jon Hamm, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron, Bradley Cooper, Carrot Top, Conan O’Brien, Andy Richter, Andy Dick, Ben Stiller, Steve Carell, Sean Penn, Bruce Willis, Tila Tequila, Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, Samuel L. Jackson, Tobey Maguire, Arcade Fire, Justin Bieber, President Barack ObamaHillary Clinton, and Brad Pitt.

In 2014, Galifianakis won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program for producing the show.


Galifianakis then went on to play several roles in high-profile comedies like The Hangover, (2009), The Hangover Part II (2011) and The Hangover Part III (2013).

He also had supporting roles in the 2009 films G-Force and Up in the Air. He also starred in the short-lived HBO comedy series Bored to Death (2009-2011) alongside Ted Danson, Heather Burns and Jason Schwartzman.

In 2010, Galifianakis starred in multiple movies, including Dinner for SchmucksIt’s Kind of a Funny Story, and Due Date. In October 2010, while debating marijuana legalization on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, Galifianakis seemed to have smoked the drug on live television. However, host Bill Maher denied it was really marijuana in a later interview on CNN.

In 2011, Galifianakis reprised his role as overgrown man-child Alan Garner in The Hangover Part II, and also voiced Humpty Dumpty in Puss in Boots. He also played a southern politician alongside Will Ferrell in the 2012 political comedy The Campaign. 

He also starred in the 2014 Oscar-winning dark comedy Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) alongside Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton and Naomi Watts. 

Galifiankis’s more recent films include Masterminds, Keeping Up with the Joneses (both 2016) and The Lego Batman Movie (2017), in which he voiced The Joker.

He also starred in the 2017 historical drama Tulip Fever, alongside Dane DeHaan, Alicia Vikander and Christoph Waltz, one of his few dramatic turns to date alongside his role in It’s Kind of a Funny Story. 

Since 2016, Galifianakis also stars in the FX comedy series Baskets, which he co-created with fellow comedian friend Louis C.K.

Galifianakis is next set to play the Happy Medium in the 2018 Disney sci-fi/adventure film A Wrinkle In Time, which is based on Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 novel of the same name. The film, which is directed by Ava DuVernay, also stars Chris Pine, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling.


In September 2010, Galifianakis sat down with uInterview for an exclusive interview on his comedy-drama It’s Kind of a Funny Story, which co-stars Keir Gilchrist, Emma Roberts, Lauren Graham and Viola Davis. 

The film is about a teenager (Gilchrist) who checks himself into a mental health clinic after living with too much stress and depression. However, the youth wing of the ward is closed so he spends his five days there with adults. There, he befriends an older patient (Galifianakis) and a girl (Roberts) who both help him start over.

Galifianakis answered fan questions about the film and his role, which is more serious than his previous parts in other movies.

“I had known about the directors … when I found out that those guys were the ones that were gonna direct this movie … we met and we chatted about the tone of the movie and you know, it was the directors more than anything,” he said about what drew him to the role. “And then they had shown me a poster already and how beautiful my face would look and they were like, “This is the poster,” and I was like “This is an odd thing, the poster is first?” “That’s how we work.” So I mean, with that mug, you really wanna do a movie like this. And that’s how I got attracted to the movie.”

Galifianakis added that he did research for his character by visiting several mental health clinics in New Mexico, and also said he felt Gilchrist was much more mature than him.

“Yeah I think he is. I mean I think he is; I wasn’t even joking,” he said of Gilchrist. “He’s a good actor; he’s experienced. It’s amazing the amount of confidence such a young person has to stand there and have the wherewithal to draw emotion out and be in touch with the coordination of emotions, and I feel like when I was that age, I could never do that. I was too busy with back acne.”


Galifianakis married Quinn Lundberg, who co-founded the charity Growing Voices, in Vancouver, Canada, in August 2012. The couple share two sons, ages four and one.

Galifianakis also gradually lost a significant amount of weight between 2013 and 2017, and showed off his achievement at the 2017 Emmy Awards. The loss was probably most apparent in his 2016 comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses. 

He said cutting alcohol out of his diet helped him lose around 50 to 60 pounds to weigh in at 190 pounds. His height is listed as 5-foot-7.

“I stopped drinking and I just kind of put the weight off,” he said during a 2013 appearance on Conan O’Brien’s late night show. “I was having a lot of vodka with sausage… delicious but bad for you.”

He added, “I was getting into too much trouble with the drinking, so I just kind of stopped.”

Galifianakis owns a farm in Alleghany County, North Carolina, and reportedly goes there occasionally during breaks from work. He said, “My farm is a place that I get to think clearly and pretend to know what I am doing.

Galifianakis also became friends with an elderly homeless woman who was living in a Santa Monica laundromat for an unbelievable 18 years. The actor helped her move into an apartment across the street from that laundromat. That anecdote was told in a 2015 documentary film called Queen Mimi.

His Twitter handle is @galifianakisz and his Instagram is @zachgalifianakisofficial.


“I think those neighborhood signs that say ‘slow children playing’ are mean.”

“At what age do you think it’s appropriate to tell a highway it’s adopted?”

“When you look like I do its hard to get a table for one at Chucky Cheese.”

“I dream of starting a three-man country trio called the Chixie Dicks.”

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