It took Zach Galifianakis quite a while to get here.
After Variety named him as a Comic to Watch in 2000, Galifianakis trudged his way through a slew of unmemorable movie roles and failed television shows, like Fox’s drama “Tru Calling” (which Galifianakis would regularly refer to in interviews as “the worst TV show I have ever seen”) and 2002’s “Late World With Zach” (the VH1 latenight talkshow he hosted — for a grand total of nine weeks).
But failed shows or not, Galifianakis still had the Internet.
Long before the buzz of “The Hangover” made him an “overnight” star, Galifianakis was winning fans online with the release of numerous shorts. His popular “Between Two Ferns” series shows the comic awkwardly interviewing celebrities (such as Natalie Portman and Michael Cera) while sitting between, well, two ferns. Debuting on FunnyOrDie.com a year ago, the videos are popular, with two of the five shorts closing in on the million-views mark.
Galifianakis’ lip-syncing abilities have also become an online sensation. After silently singing along to Anita Baker’s “You Bring Me Joy” in a short musicvideo he produced, Galifianakis was invited by Kanye West and Fiona Apple to revisit his lip-syncing skills for a pair of official musicvideos: Galifianakis’ version of West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothin’ ” has been viewed more than 250,000 times since its online debut in July 2007, and his take on Apple’s “Not About Love” has been watched more than a million times since it hit YouTube in August 2005.
Before the year’s end, Galifianakis will be featured in four more films, including Disney’s live-action/CGI “G-Force” and the coming-of-age film “Youth in Revolt.” This September, the comic will also star alongside Ted Danson and Jason Schwartzman in HBO’s new comedy “Bored to Death.”
But even with all the attention, he’s taking it in stride: “Honestly, I just hope I get to play other types of chubby guys.”