telling minor stories to avoid a major one

Read This: The Perfectly Aged Weirdness by Barbecue Bros
March 4, 2010, 10:43 am
Filed under: Read This | Tags: ,

I missed this a few months ago (its from November 2009), but here’s a profile on Zach Galifianakis from where writer Devin Friedman visits Zach on his North Carolina farm.

“You did Into the Wild. That had to have been fun.”

“So Sean Penn called my cell phone, what, two years ago? Three years ago? And he’s like, ‘Hey, it’s Sean Penn.’ And I’m like, ‘Uh-huh.'”…”I’d heard he was trying to get in touch with me, but I thought this was a prank. He said, ‘What are you doing next weekend?’ I said, ‘I’m going to Arby’s.’ That’s what I said! He said, ‘Have you ever read the book Into the Wild?’ And I said yes. And he said, ‘I’m doing a thing. Would you want to be in it?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, send my Jews the script.’ I don’t think there was a laugh there.”

The whole thing is pretty hilarious, but I especially love the part detailing some of his best jokes:

…But people tend to have a favorite Zach joke, the one that for them captures the brittle, angry weirdness that makes him funny. Like his “pretentious illiterate” character (“Uh, I told you,” he’ll say, “I don’t know how to read”), or the “timid pimp,” or the “effeminate racist,” or the “self-deprecating nuclear physicist.” Some people were won over when he went onstage dressed as Little Orphan Annie and lip-synched “Tomorrow” while revealing pages on a large easel that said things like I call my balls the bush twins and kill dane cook. Or the very odd joke he once told about how he won’t sleep on a futon because he’d never sleep on anything that rhymed with “crouton.” There was the time he was filling in for Letterman and instead of a monologue he goes out and tinkles on the piano and says, “My New Year’s resolution was to stop saying ‘You go, girl’ to myself.” He falls silent and plays a few bars. Then he softly says, “You go, girl.” I personally like a joke he told only to a reporter: He was on a subway platform in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with a bunch of hipsters waiting for the train, and he wanted to yell, “The choo-choo is coming!” The part in The Hangover where he pretends to jerk off the baby, which he improvised, is also a favorite.

Sarah Silverman’s favorite Zach joke is his impression of a 5-year-old with a beard: “I don’t like having a beard! It hurts! My beard hurts!” Comedian Patton Oswalt’s is about a kid who has been the victim of statutory rape by his teacher: “I heard on the news today that he died… Apparently he died from high-fiving.” Writer Jonathan Ames, who created Zach’s new HBO show, says his favorite joke is when he told a gossip columnist at a premiere that it took him thirty years to learn how to spell Galifianakis.



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