From The Hangover to Baskets, Between Two Ferns, and much, much more, Zach Galifianakis's weird and wonderful style has defined an era of comedy. In a recent podcast interview, the comedian revealed that we have his father to thank for all that. Lately, Galifianakis has been living in Canada with his wife and kids, enjoying fatherhood and a relatively quiet life for a famous person. In a rare new interview, Galifianakis stopped by Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes's podcast SmartLess this week, where he reflected on his own father, sharing sweet stories about how his supportive dad's sense of humor sparked his desire to get into the entertainment industry.
First, a little context: remember that Disney movie about secret agent guinea pigs? Arnett began by reminiscing with Galifianakis about their roles in the absurd 2009 film G-Force. “Zach and I did this really great movie for Disney years ago," Arnett said, jokingly, "that I tried to forget about, and the only person who reminds me about it is Zach and my son, who’s 12." Arnett reminded Galifianakis of their conversations on set, and how he would tell stories about his dad, Harry Galifianakis, loving craft services and generally being in awe of his son's career. Galifianakis reflected on how he and his brother would joke around with their dad growing up in their small North Carolina town, singing, "There's no business like no business," whenever their father had a slow day at the office. "My father would laugh so hard. He had such a great sense of humour." Galifianakis shared that his father passed away a few years ago, but that he "got a kick out of me being in show business probably more than even I did."
He continued, "Put it this way, guys: so, I’m from a small town. My father—you know how they’ll have cutouts of people in the movie in the movie theatre? Of the character, like a cardboard cutout? My dad took one from the local theatre of me. And he stood on the corner of the street with a cutout of me, waving to people. As if, 'Hey, this is my son.'"
Galifianakis went on to say that his dad's laughter is what drives him as a comedian and an actor, because no matter how old we get, deep down many of us really just want to please our parents. “The core of me being in show business, in a weird way, is probably because I loved the sound of my dad’s laughing," he said. "Watching Benny Hill or All in the Family with my father and listening to those laughs… I think there was a craving for me to hear that kind of noise out of human beings as much as I could get it. It sounds very corny, but it’s true.”
"Corny" be damned. Here's to Harry Galifianakis inspiring some great comedy.
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