Ever since he absolutely killed as The Hangover's Alan Garner back in 2009, few people have been unaware of the comedic genius who is Zach Galifianakis. The actor starred in all three of the franchise's films, audiences loved him in 2010's Due Date, and critics praised his performance in 2014's Birdman. Galifianakis is also leaving fans laughing in the aisles (or in front of their screens) with his current Funny or Die gig, Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. But we all know this.
True fans, however, are also in the know when it comes to more obscure Galifianakis trivia. They know he attended North Carolina State University, he's half Greek, he lasted two weeks as a Saturday Night Live writer in 2000 (it's apparently a really bad idea to annoy Britney Spears), and he appeared in a number of bit television and movie roles before really breaking onto the scene with his unique and off-center brand of comedy on 2005's Comedians of Comedy tour. But what about the truly trivial facts, those that aren't obvious from a simple Google search of the actor's name? Did you know that Galifianakis' first film role was that of Santa in 2002's Stella Shorts? Or that he credits his massive weight loss to abstaining from alcohol? Those who really follow news of the comedian might even be aware he's enjoyed dipping Skoal ever since filming 2007's Into the Wild.
"They gave me prunes, but I couldn't talk with them in my mouth. So I said just give me the real thing," Galifianakis told Rolling Stone in 2011. "And I loved it. It's embarrassing."
So maybe you know a lot about him, but do you know the following 10 little-known facts about Zach Galifianakis? How big of a Galifianakis fan are you? Let's find out.
10 He's Visited Sesame Street
9 He Owns A Farm
While suggestions that he farms pot are purely speculation, Galifianakis actually owns a 60-acre farm in North Carolina, which he's nicknamed Farmageddon. If you remember when he rode a tractor in Kanye West's Can't Tell Me Nothing video, you've seen Farmageddon. There, he and wife Quinn grow blueberries, strawberries, grapes and apples, and they have no television or cell service. Galifianakis even raises horses and honeybees, and he built a barn for some goats.
8 He's Suffered From Depression
While he doesn't often discuss the subject, Galifianakis has struggled with depression. In a live performance released on DVD, he spoke of "the fragility of the human psyche," and explained his belief that all comedians are to some extent mentally ill. It was no mistake that Galifianakis was cast as a goofy, yet depressed high school student who survives a jump from the Brooklyn Bridge and is institutionalized in It's Kind of a Funny Story, based on the 2006 semi-autobiographical bestseller by Ned Vizzini.
"The character in the movie is more similar to me than anything else I've been involved with," the The Hangover actor told HitFix in an interview. "I mean, that's not the greatest endorsement for your own personality but... it came pretty easily."
7 He Missed Getting A College Degree By One Point In One Class
We've all heard plenty of tales of the student with a dream who drops out and heads to Hollywood just a semester or two shy of a diploma. But Galifianakis takes the cake when it comes to just missing out on his degree. The North Carolina native enrolled in North Carolina State University in 1988, where, ironically, the sports teams are nicknamed "The Wolfpack." He studied there as a communications major for four years, but failed his final course by one point and left without earning his degree. Still, Galifianakis looks back on his experience fondly.
6 He Hosted A Late-Night Talk Show In 2002
5 He Saved His Hangover 3 Premiere Date From Homelessness
4 At One Point In 2014 He Was The #1 Referrer To Obamacare
President Barack Obama wanted to urge young Americans to enroll in a health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act's healthcare.gov website, and needed an outlet to reach them. He found it in Galifianakis' web series, Between Two Ferns. In the talk show featured on the popular website Funny or Die, Galifianakis conducts celebrity interviews as he and his guests sit between two potted ferns. Not only was the interview with Obama viewed more than 6 million times within just a few hours online, but a White House senior advisor soon tweeted that Funny or Die was the No. 1 source of referrals to healthcare.gov that day, a claim that was later confirmed by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
3 He Is A Skilled Pianist
2 He Signed The U.S. Constitution
1 He Only Auditioned for G-Force Because He Was Stoned
Galifianakis reportedly only agreed to audition for Disney's G-Force, the animated action thriller featuring crime-fighting guinea pigs, because he was stoned when asked. Kind of makes more sense now, right? Of course that was far from Galifianakis' first experience with marijuana. He's known to have dated a Vancouver woman named Watermelon, who sold pot-laced cookies on the beach, and he famously lit a joint on a 2010 appearance on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, during a discussion of California's Proposition 19 ballot issue, although Maher later denied the substance was actually marijuana.
"If it was a real joint, Wolf, I would have smoked it. I think it was cloves or something," Maher told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in an interview on The Situation Room, adding "Zach's crazy, he's not that crazy."
Still, the on-air joint, which Galifianakis graciously offered to share with the entire panel, sure looked like the real thing, and apparently Conservative pundit Margaret Hoover, who appeared with Galifianakis on Real Time, thought it smelled legit, too.
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